Maine Maritime Academy, as its name implies, is made for a specific kind of student. For those interested in engineering, logistics, transportation and marine science, the school is top-notch, offering a hands-on approach that includes lots of practical experience on training ships. (The school does have an Arts and Sciences department for students with varying interests.)

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The academy has about 900 students, and it has an acceptance rate of 58%. Certain programs require students to join the Regiment of Midshipmen, which requires uniforms as well as standing watch and other duties.

The training at MMA provides a solid career path: Recent grads report above-average earnings, and the academy's website boasts an above-90% job placement rate within 90 days of graduation. For in-state students, MMA is a relative bargain. It has a below-average net price of a degree, thanks in part to scholarships and work-study programs.

The school is located in Castine, a quiet town on Maine's seacoast, and fields Division III teams in sports like basketball, cross country, sailing and soccer (it’s in the process of bringing back football). There are also many aquatic-themed organizations available to join — check out the Women on the Water or Yacht Club.