Early College at UMF allows you to explore what college is all about. Dig into areas of passion or future career paths, work with UMF faculty, and participate in projects, debates, and discussions with university students.

Keeping Credits with Purpose at the forefront, we work with you to select the courses that best fit your interests and needs, often leading you to need fewer classes in college — saving you money and time. Participating in an Early College program may also result in you having to take fewer high school classes because some of your college courses replace your high school classes.

Early College programs are offered at all of University of Maine System universities, each offering something a bit different. UMF prides itself in offering students opportunities to be in classes that are often small, hands-on (even when online) and student-centered.

Early College Pathways at UMF

Early College Pathways at the University of Maine at Farmington allow you to explore careers, programs, and majors at UMF while also pursuing meaningful coursework that will have relevance — both now and once you’re in college. Interested in learning more?

Visit Early College Pathways for details and information on how to register.

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. Some fees may apply and students are responsible for textbook costs, though this can sometimes be covered by the university or a student’s school district. If textbook costs are a barrier to participation, please contact Director of Early College Kirsten Petroska kirsten.petroska@maine.edu

“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
Graduated from Foxcroft Academy

Early College — FAQs

For 2023-2024

  • Fall Semester 2023 begins August 28
  • Winter Term 2023-2024 begins December 26
  • Spring Semester 2024 begins January 2024
  • May Term 2024 begins May 6

Typically …

  • Fall Semester classes generally run late August to early December
  • Winter Term classes generally run late December to mid January
  • Spring Semester classes generally run mid-January to late April / early May
  • May Term classes generally run early May 9 to mid June
  • Summer Session classes generally run mid June to late July

Ready for this? Aspiration and Concurrent Enrollment courses are TUITION FREE, up to 12 credits per academic year. Most UMF courses are 3 credits each, so that usually means up to four UMF classes per academic year. You’re only responsible for fees and books & supplies in some Early College programs.

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

For more personal attention, we invite you to reach out to Director of Early College Partnerships Kirsten Petroska kirsten.petroska@maine.edu

She is able to provide academic advising services as you work to choose the courses that make the most sense for you.

Think you may want to attend UMF? Let Kirsten help you pick the best courses to help jumpstart your success in your chosen major here at Farmington.

This video walks you through the ExplorEC account creation process as well as how to apply for classes on any University of Maine System campus.


Your application moves through three phases and has three people who are responsible for it.

Phase One: Select and apply for a class. The student is responsible for this phase.

Phase Two: The application is approved. The high schools’ guidance departments are responsible for this phase. NOTE: “Approved” does not mean a student has been enrolled in a course. “Approved” means a student’s assigned guidance counselor believes the selected class is appropriate for the student. Students are enrolled in the class in the next phase.

Phase Three: An enrollment coordinator manually registers the student for the selected class. A welcome/enrollment confirmation email is then sent. At that point, the student is enrolled in the class.

Some other labels you may see instead of “Applied”, “Approved”, or “Registered” are:

  • “Section is Full” – The class applied for no longer has any seats.
  • “Cancelled” – The course has been cancelled.
  • “Not Approved” – The student’s guidance counselor has decided this class is not appropriate for whatever reason; please contact guidance when this designation appears, not Early College.
  • “Late Application” – The application came in too late; please see the time frames listed below to avoid this issue.
  • “Application not Processed – See Notes” – This often indicates issues such as a mistake in an application, the selected course is not appropriate for an Early College student, or another reason that isn’t easily indicated by the other labels. Often students, their parents, and/or their guidance counselors will receive and email explaining why the application was not processed, but this reason will also be listed in the notes section of a students profile.

The earlier the better!

Registration for Early College students generally open in late Spring for the following Fall semester and late Fall for the following Spring. Check our website or contact our director, Kirsten Petroska at kirsten.petroska@maine.edu for specific dates.

While it is best to apply for courses as early as you can, we understand life happens. Here are the best rules of thumb for applying closer to the start of the semester:

  • Two weeks before the start of the semester: We will accept an application for any class that still has seats, however, make sure you will have time to order your textbooks. Remember, if you want to purchase a used textbook, they cannot always be shipped as quickly and may take a week or more to get to your home.
  • One week before the start of the semester: We will accept an application for classes that have digital textbooks as an option. We do not want to set up students to possibly start a semester without a required text.
  • The weekend before the start of the semester: We’re really cutting it close here! It is unlikely we will accept an application this late, but if the class does not have a required textbook, we will consider it. Please reach out to us if you find yourself in this position.

We do not recommend coming into a class after it’s started. While college students may add a class after the semester has begun, we do not recommend this to Early College students, especially if this is their first college class. Many times this sets students up for failure as they try to take on challenging work while still feeling the stress of acquiring necessary materials, adjusting to a new schedule, and also settling to their high school classes. We want the Early College experience to be a positive one where students are set up to thrive! 

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 varies 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. Should you need a transcript, you can always contact our office’s enrollment coordinator, Carrie Bosse at carrie.bosse@maine.edu.

UMF offers a number of academic support services, both online and in person, including NetTutor and on campus academic support services. Contact Director of Early College Partnerships Kirsten Petroska kirsten.petroska@maine.edu and she can help set you up with the support you need.

Two Ways to Attend Early College

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. Students anywhere in the state may take classes from our every growing list of online offerings as well.

Concurrent Enrollment
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.

UMF Partner High Schools and Concurrent Enrollment Offerings

  • Erskine Academy: Creative Writing
  • Mt. Blue High School: Biology (Phage Quest), Pre-Engineering Physics (through Bridge Academy)
  • Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School: Introductory Biology
  • Dirigo High School: Writing Seminar, Topics in English (topic varies by school year), Introductory Biology
  • Carrabec High School: Precalculus
  • Old Town High School: Writing Seminar (ENG 100), Topics in English (topic varies by school year)
  • Waynflete Academy: Calculus II: Introduction to Advanced Biology, Astronomy
  • Carrabassett Valley Academy: Topics in English (topic varies by school year), Introductory Biology

Have questions? Contact me.

Kirsten Petroska
Director of Early College Partnerships
Division of Graduate & Continuing Education
University of Maine at Farmington
Theo Kalikow Education Center
186 High Street
Farmington, Maine 04938
tel 207-778-7266
TYY (via Maine Relay Service) dial 711

Mailing address:
Division of Graduate & Continuing Education
University of Maine at Farmington
111 South Street
Farmington, Maine 04938