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 participaing 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.

As a student in our Early College program, you’ll also have the opportunity to actively participate in other aspects of UMF college life.

You can get a real taste for what college is like. For example, if you’re an Early College science student you might come to campus to take an on-campus science lab with UMF students, or go on a UMF science field trip, or come participate in a science lecture delivered by a UMF faculty member or guest speaker.

But you can also come to UMF to participate in activities and events outside your science classwork.

Come to the evening readings that are part of our Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writers Series. Experience a UMF student Bust-A-Move Beavers dance performance in the Emery Community Arts Center. Take in a Student Theatre UMF play in Alumni Theater. Come participate in an evening lecture and discussion that’s  part of our New Commons Project.

Go to Mantor Library and use our group study or quiet-area study areas. Come take in some on-campus sports events. Hang out with UMF students over coffee and snacks in our Mantor Cafe inside Mantor Library or the Beaver Lodge inside the Olsen Student Center. Get over to The Landing in the Student Center and catch an open mic night, karaoke night or poetry slam or come check out our student improv comedy troupe, the Lawn Chair Pirates.

Consider our campus your campus. One of our goals with the Early College Program is to open the door to the full spectrum of college-level experiences: academic, extra curricular, and cultural & social offerings.

Early College – FAQs

There’s course registration paperwork every Early College student needs to fill out. It needs to be signed by a parent or guardian, and also by a school guidance counselor.

If you’re interested in the Aspirations option, taking classes on campus at UMF, you’ll work with your high school guidance counselor and also with UMF’s Registrar’s Office (located on the first floor of UMF’s Merrill Hall — the big brick & arches building) or with our UMF Early College Campus Coordinator (see her contact info below).

If you’re interested in taking a Dual Enrollment course at your high school, you’ll work with your high school Guidance Counselor and the high school teacher who will be teaching the class. If you’re a homeschooled student, you work with the UMF Early College Campus Coordinator (see her contact info below).

Your teacher, whether it’s a UMF faculty member or a high school teacher teaching a Dual Enrollment course, is always available to help you.

At UMF we have something called The Learning Commons, located in Mantor Library, where math and writing tutors are available to you — free. We also have Supplemental Instruction (focused tutoring sessions) available for some courses — also free. Finally, Nettutor is a free online tutoring support service available to all high school students taking Early College courses.

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.

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.

“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

Contact Us

Clarissa Thompson
Early College Coordinator
Associate Professor of English Middle-Secondary Ed
University of Maine at Farmington
246 Main Street
Farmington, Maine 04938
Tel: 207.778.7192
Email: clarissa.thompson@maine.edu