Provost Hecker Writes Op-Ed on Student Debt for Press Herald

Jeffrey Hecker, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Maine, wrote an opinion piece for the Portland Press Herald titled “Timely graduation could help cut UMaine student debt.” Hecker cited recent findings that show the amount of debt students accumulate while earning a bachelor’s degree depends on how long they are in school. The average student debt for Maine residents who complete their UMaine degree in four years is $22,101. The debt rises to $33,482 for those who take six years to graduate, according to Hecker. “The implications of these findings are obvious: If we can help students complete their degrees in a timely fashion, we can cut costs significantly,” Hecker writes, citing the Provost’s Action Plan for Retention and Graduation, which includes steps UMaine is taking to improve student retention and graduation.