PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — An increase in enrollment at Maine's community colleges has motivated lawmakers to consider the possibility of expanding on-campus housing at the schools.

On-campus housing isn’t common at community colleges, but there’s an increasing trend toward it around the country. A proposal introduced by Democratic Rep. Daniel Hobbs of Wells would direct the Maine Community College System to study providing housing at all of its colleges.

Enrollment in Maine's community colleges is up 12% since the state created a free tuition program. That has brought with it a greater demand for providing housing in an increasingly expensive rental market, Hobbs said.

Hobbs said on-campus housing "should be more accessible to all students, so that finding off-campus housing is not added to the list of challenges students already face.”

Maine's community college system has seven colleges and serves about 17,000 students. There is on-campus housing at five of the system's seven colleges.

Finding living arrangements has become a struggle for many college students around the country due to rent hikes and housing shortages.


In this story first published March 17, 2023, The Associated Press reported that lawmakers in Maine are considering the possibility of offering on-campus housing at all community colleges. The story should have made clear that some community colleges already offer on-campus housing.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.