About the Aspirations Program

The Maine Department of Education is coordinating efforts to assess the early college opportunities available to Maine students and find ways to make such opportunities more widely available with the hope that many students will be able to earn associate’s degrees within a year of completing high school.

Education research, both nationally and in Maine, shows that high school students who have the chance to enroll in early college courses during high school are more likely to graduate, be admitted to college, and follow through and earn a degree. As a result, they’re more likely to be prepared to succeed in careers.

Any high school student who wishes to take a course with the University of Maine (other than through Academ-e) must complete the Aspirations high school application to be considered for enrollment, even if funding is not available.


Student must:

  • Be a full-time high school student
  • Have permission from the high school guidance counselor
  • Have the consent of their parent or guardian
  • Have a B or better academic average
  • Be a resident of the state of Maine
  • Meet academic course prerequisites, if any
  • Be attending a state-eligible secondary school or state-approved homeschool


  • Course registration is subject to space availability and does not allow enrollment until the open enrollment period begins
  • Students interested in taking more credits than those approved through the Aspirations and Academ-e Programs combined can do so, but will be charged full, in-state tuition rates for any credits over (6) credit hours per semester
  • All registration information and grades earned will become a part of the student’s permanent academic record and will be included in the cumulative GPA earned at UMaine, Orono.
  • A maximum of six (6) credits can be paid for by Aspirations and Academ-e per semester, combined; or twelve (12) credits per academic year.

Where can I search for courses to take?

How to search for courses 

Where and when can I take my course?

The university offers a more traditional classroom environment through its Aspirations program. Online courses also qualify under this program.

Students who are able to attend on-campus, live classes, may take any University of Maine course for which they have met any pre- or corequisites. On-campus courses are offered at the Orono campus and at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast.

Important information about dropping

UMaine Aspirations Programs have adopted a new policy regarding course withdrawals:

  1. If an Aspirations student withdraws from a course after the Add/Drop period, a letter of appeal must be written to the program’s coordinator at um.earlycollege@maine.edu, asking for reinstatement to register for any following semester.
  2. If a student enrolls in two or more courses and then withdraws from all of them, enrollment in any further early college funding programs will be prohibited and the cost of the course(s) will be the responsibility of the student.
    Note: Exceptions to these policies will only be considered in cases of medical/family emergencies.