Skip Navigation

About Onward

Applying to Onward

Candidates apply directly to the Onward Program. Application materials are available here  for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Paying for College

As University of Maine students, Onward students are eligible for financial aid packages. Through an arrangement with the University’s financial aid office, Onward students often receive preferential financial aid. In addition to traditional financial aid, Onward students are kept apprised of available scholarships, and Onward students sometimes qualify for special federal grants administered through the Onward Program and Financial Aid.


  • Peer Advisors
    Onward students meet weekly with peer advisors, who have completed at least one year in the Onward Program. At these meetings, students can receive academic help, talk about concerns, and learn how to navigate the University system.
  • Counseling Services
    Professional counseling is available via two on-site, licensed social workers who can provide academic, career, and personal counseling free of charge.


  • Orientation
    Students at the Onward Program attend an orientation one week prior to the start of classes. During this time, students have an opportunity to tour campus, meet with their academic advisor, buy their books, meet their instructors, and more. By the first day of classes, Onward students already know where to go for class and know the names of most of the other students in the class. It is also during orientation that many students begin to build the friendships with other Onward students that many of our alumni have indicated was pivotal to their success in college. Watch this video about Onward from the students’ perspective.

Meet some of our students

Follow this link to read Onward students’ stories.

  • East Annex
    Onward students frequently use the East Annex as home base. At the East Annex, students can get extra help from their instructors, utilize our counseling services, do homework at our computer cluster, and study and socialize with other Onward students. Many of our students continue to utilize Onward services throughout their college career, even after completing their Onward courses, and visit the building often.


Onward students take a selection of Onward courses at the University of Maine designed to prepare them not only for the academic content of the courses they will take for their degree, but also for the process of taking classes. Follow this link to learn the more about Onward courses, labs and credit.

Transferring from Onward

Onward is a gateway program for the University. It is the goal of all students to complete Onward requirements and transfer to the College of their choice at UMaine (see Majors and Colleges at

To transfer from Onward, a student must:

  • Complete the following Onward classes: ONR13, Onward ENG101, ONS12 or 14, ONO100;
  • Complete two semesters of Onward mathematics or complete MAT111;
  • Earn 15 University degree credits (see Onward Degree Credits at:;
  • Be in good academic standing; and
  • Achieve the minimum accumulative GPA for the target College.

Upon satisfying the above requirements, eligible students should notify their Advisor that they wish to transfer. A transfer form and letter of recommendation will be forwarded to the Dean of the target College. If the transfer is successful, the student will be notified and will be assigned an Academic Advisor within that College.