Early College


Logo for ExplorEC: Early College at Maine's Public Universities

Early College (EC) within the University of Maine System (UMS) is broadly defined as any program in which high school students enroll in college courses. Students in EC programs earn transcripted college and high school credit when they successfully pass the course. EC programs are based on partnerships between Maine’s Public Universities and high schools to help students successfully transition to college.

Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment (also referred to as concurrent enrollment) includes courses taught by college-approved high school teachers on the high school campus. Students gain exposure to the academic challenges of college while in their supportive high school environment. Dual enrollment also facilitates close collaboration between high school teachers and college faculty that fosters alignment of secondary and postsecondary curricula. Information fromĀ The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships.


Aspirations provides an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to enroll in courses at Maine’s Public Universities that take place on a college campus or online. Courses are taught by a college professor and include high school and college students.

Bridge Year

Bridge year refers to a partnership between Maine’s Public Universities and Career and Technical Education (CTE) schools. Juniors and seniors earn college credits on the high school campus as part of their curriculum while exploring careers and developing employable skills in their CTE program. Information fromĀ Bridge Year Maine.

Dual enrollment and Aspirations students may earn up to 12 tuition free credit hours per year (6 credits per semester). Students are responsible for fees and books in some programs. Bridge Year students may earn up to 25+ credits, at a cost of $40 per credit. All Early College Programs are supported, in part, by the Maine Department of Education.

Early College students are more likely to finish their college degree on time.

2985 students participated in Early College in the 17-18 school year.

Early College students earned 17,577 FREE credit hours in 17-18.

Each student can save up to $14,000 in tuition, fees and other expenses.


It was a boost for my self-confidence to know that I could complete college courses successfully. It eased the transition from High School to College. When I started attending UMF as a matriculated student, I knew I could complete the course work based on my early college experience. – Nancy, Early College Student



For additional questions about Early College at Maine’s Public Universities please contact:

Amy Hubbard
UMS Early College Lead Coordinator
Phone: 207-572-3806