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Early College

Information for
Students & Parents

Frequently Asked Questions:

High school students who enroll in early college courses are more likely to graduate high school, enroll in college, and earn a college degree. As a result, students are more prepared and successful in their chosen career. 

For example:

  • Dual enrollment and Aspiration courses are tuition free for students (up to 12 credits per academic year). Students are responsible for fees and books in some EC programs.
  • Students can save up to $14,000 in tuition, fees, and other expenses (estimate is based on transferring up to 30 credits to UMaine).
  • Students can show college admissions officers that they are ready for more difficult coursework.
  • Students build a college transcript while still in high school. The college credits earned are transferable. While we hope students will attend one of Maine’s Public Universities or Community Colleges, these credits may be transferred to other colleges. Students will need to check with their institution about transferring credits when they enroll.
  • Early College programs can provide rigorous courses to enhance the high school curriculum.
  • Universities may offer a variety of courses not available at the high school. Some programs offer pathways to a career which can help students navigate through college to future employment, or explore interests before choosing a major.
  • Students who participate in Early College have better study skills, more academic confidence, and less anxiety about the transition to college.
  • Early College students who graduate from high school and enroll in a Maine Public University are more likely to enroll in college (persist) for a second year. For example, 91% of Academ-e students, 86% of Aspirations students, and 81% of Dual Enrollment students persist to their second year of college, versus 74% of students with no Early College courses.
  • Students who participate in Early College are less likely to need remedial courses in college. Remedial, or developmental courses, are courses for students who graduate from high school but are not yet ready for college. Students pay tuition, but do not receive college credit for these courses.
  • Students who enter college with Early College credits are more likely to earn a degree on time than students with no Early College credits.

Printable PDF of Benefits of Early College (Opens in a new window.)

Learn more about Early College Programs at each of Maine’s Public Universities.

Sources for the above data can be found here.

Course offerings vary by university, high school, and Early College program. Students may enroll in courses that fulfill general education requirements, explore potential majors, or enroll in specific course sequences to guide students towards career pathways.  Popular courses include college writing, introduction to literature, college algebra, US history, introduction to statistics, and calculus.

A great place to begin is our Early College webpage, which has general information on the different programs offered by Maine’s Public Universities.

Each of Maine’s Public Universities has an Early College Coordinator who works closely with high school guidance counselors to ensure students are placed in the college courses that best suit their needs. Please contact the high school guidance counselor or one of our Coordinators for more information.

  • Dual enrollment and Aspiration courses are tuition free for students (up to 12 credits per academic year). Students are responsible for fees and books in some EC programs.
  • Early College students can save up to $14,000 in tuition, fees, and other expenses (estimate is based on transferring up to 30 credits to UMaine).
  • Contact the high school guidance counselor or the Early College Coordinator for more information about course fees. 
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