Early College is a program that allows high school and home schooled students to earn college credits and initiate a college transcript while still in high school. It gives you a head start at your college options. High schoolers participating in an Early College program may have fewer high school classes because some of their college classes replace their high school classes.

The Early College program also allows you to get a true sense of what college will be like while still letting you participate in high school events such as football games, homecoming, prom and more. It’s like having a foot in both worlds.


What are some benefits of UMF’s Early College program?

Research has shown that high school students who enroll in Early College courses are more likely to graduate high school, enroll in college and earn a college degree.

  • Early College students can show college admissions officers that they’re ready for more difficult coursework
  • Early College students typically have better study skills, more academic confidence and less anxiety about the upcoming transition to college
  • Early College students enter college with college credits under their belts and are more likely to earn a degree on time than students with no Early College credits
  • Early College is TUITION FREE for Maine residents. You may have to pay some fees and books & supplies for some courses, but the tuition is FREE.

We offer two different Early College options.

Aspirations option
Students who live close enough to the University of Maine at Farmington can take courses here on campus with UMF faculty members — attending class in person with UMF students.

Dual Enrollment option
Through this option, you can take courses at one of our partner high schools where highly qualified and screened high school teachers offer specifically designed courses you can take (there) for college credit. Each approved high school teacher works closely with a UMF faculty member, ensuring appropriate course content and high college-level academic rigor.

In either option, you get a jump start toward your college degree as you discover the rewards of learning at the collegiate level.


Early College – FAQs

The registration period for our Spring 2021 Semester has ended and Spring classes are underway.

We will announce online Early College classes for May Term 2021 and Summer Session 2021 sometime mid-spring.

Please check back.

Ready for this? Aspiration and Dual Enrollment courses are TUITION FREE, up to 12 credits per academic year. Most UMF courses are 4 credits each, so that usually means up to three UMF classes per academic year. You’re only responsible for fees and books & supplies in some Early College programs.

In the Aspirations option, a variety of on-campus UMF courses are available to you: ENG 100, Calculus, Biology, French, etc.

In the Dual Enrollment option, classes taken at your high school, courses can be offered in many subjects: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English, History, Music Theory, etc.

Registration happens through Early College ExplorEC, an online portal for you to register for classes at any UMaine System campus — though we prefer you register for UMF Early College classes.

For more personal attention, we invite you to reach out to UMF Associate Professor of Secondary Education & English Education and Early College Coordinator, Clarissa Thompson clarissa.thompson@maine.edu. She can help answer your questions and assist you in the registration process.

If you go on to a University of Maine System college like UMF, your credits will be automatically transferred. (How easy is that?) Your Early College credits may also be transferable to other colleges but this vary by institution — you’ll need to check with your future college or university about which credits will transfer when you’re in the process of selecting your college.

UMF has a number of online academic support services available.

“I think Early College really prepares you well. Taking college-level classes made my transition to college way easier — and I didn’t have to pay extra for it. I feel like my freshman year of college is easier than my senior year of high school. And unlike my roommates, I can get 8 hours of sleep and I still have some free time. Plus, I was able to fit in the English Language Learner Certificate class I wanted to do.”

— Gabby Jolin
Early College student, currently a college freshman
Graduated from Foxcroft Academy


Have questions? Contact me.

Clarissa Thompson
Early College Coordinator
Associate Professor of English Middle-Secondary Ed
University of Maine at Farmington
University of Maine at Farmington
246 Main Street
Farmington, Maine 04938
tel  207-778-7192
TYY (via Maine Relay Service) dial 711
clarissa.thompson@maine.edu