Central Maine Community College is housing over 100 students in the Center Street Value Inn in Auburn, which has been renamed “Mustang Hall.” Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

AUBURN — Central Maine Community College is contracting with Center Street Value Inn at 170 Center St. to house students at the hotel, calling it Mustang Hall.

The college has experienced record enrollment over the past few years with an greater need for campus housing, which could not be filled by the more than 250 available beds in on-campus dormitories, according to Associate Dean of Enrollment Management Andrew Morong.

Just over 120 students are housed at Mustang Hall, he said. The college has previously housed students at the hotel but the demand for student housing is much higher this year, requiring it to rent more rooms. The college has full-time resident advisers staying at the hotel with the students.

Enrollment this year is expected to hit another record high, from 3,375 students enrolled last year to almost 4,000  expected this year, Morong said. Because of this, almost everything at the college is in demand.

Maine high school graduates from 2020 to 2025 are eligible to attend community college tuition free. The program is run though a scholarship that covers tuition, mandatory fees after federal and state grant aid is applied. The program is a state investment that 6,400 students benefited from during the first year after it was rolled out in the spring of 2022, according to Maine’s Community Colleges website.

With the free tuition for community colleges in Maine and the college’s efforts to increase its enrollment dating back several years, it created a “perfect storm” of record enrollments in the past few years, Morong said.


The college has expanded the number of transfer agreements with other institutions, allowing students to have credits transferred from other schools, Morong said. It is also offering more programs, such as plumbing, heating and HVAC. Its nursing program has almost doubled in recent years.

Maine needs more people trained in the technical and trade fields because there is a statewide demand for it, he said. More students attending Central Maine Community College seeking those trainings can help meet that demand.

“We know there’s a shortage in teachers, we know there’s a shortage in nurses so being able to grow in these areas and provide people that are going into these professions in the very near future is something that we at CMCC take a lot of pride in,” Morong said. “I believe that’s our duty to the state of Maine.”

People are encouraged to visit Central Maine Community College during an open house Oct. 14 to learn more.

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