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Eligibility and Application FAQs

Eligibility Questions:

  1. Who is eligible for free-tuition?
  2. Who decides this eligibility for Maine Students?
  3. I am homeschooled. Am I eligible?
  4. I pay tuition to attend school in Maine. Am I eligible?
  5. I am a Freshman or Sophmore. Am I eligible?
  6. I have a GPA just under 3.0, can I still take a course?
  7. I am a graduating senior. Can I still take summer courses?
  8. I attend High school outside of the state of Maine. Can I still take courses?
  1. A Maine student must:
    • Be a full-time high school student
    • Have a recommendation from the high school guidance counselor
    • Have the consent of their parent or guardian
    • Have a B or better academic average or permission from the high school guidance counselor
    • 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

2. For free tuition, Eligibility guidelines are determined by the Maine Department of Education.

3. Homeschool students are eligible if they have filed a letter of intent to homeschool with the State of Maine. Parents will approve applications in lieu of a school counselor. An ExplorEC guide for parents is available. If parents approve applications for a student who is not registered with the state, parents may be responsible for tuition costs at the Early College rate. 

4. If you pay tuition to attend any school in the State of Maine, you are eligible to take courses at a reduced Early College rate. You must meet the academic criteria mentioned above.

5.  The Department of Education does allow qualified freshmen and sophomores to access the Early College Program (Aspirations DOE funding). Maine’s Public Universities will follow DOE guidelines, but priority will be given to juniors and seniors.

6. The Department of Education suggests students must maintain a minimum secondary school GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent of a “B” average unless the University grants a waiver. Juniors and seniors with a GPA below 3.0 or “B” average may be granted a waiver with the support of the guidance counselor and Early College Coordinator.

7. Seniors who are graduating from Maine Public High schools are eligible for tuition-free courses that start prior to their graduation date. (May term and early June). All other graduating seniors (private schools, out of state, or international) that are attending UMaine in the fall are eligible for the Accepted Student Early College Program. 

8. The Early College program allows high school students from out-of-state (non-Maine residents) to take college courses. Out-of-state students pay a discounted rate of $138.25 /credit hour. (Compared to the non-resident rate of $1,001/credit hour and the NEBHE rate of $524/credit hour) Students will choose out-of-state as their high school in the ExplorEC portal. To be eligible an out-of-state student must:

    • Be a full-time high school student
    • Have a recommendation from the high school guidance counselor (form link will be sent manually).
    • Have the consent of their parent or guardian
    • Have a B or better academic average or permission from the high school guidance counselor
    • Meet academic course prerequisites, if any

Application questions:

  1. How do I apply for courses?
  2. What courses can I choose? And how many can I take?
  3. How long will it take for me to hear back about my enrollment?
  4. I am homeschooled. I don’t have a guidance counselor. Can I still sign up?
  5. What is a Placement Exam and why do I have to take it?
  1. Create your account at ExplorEC. (Remember to have your parent sign the application). Apply for your course and meet with your school counselor to approve your application. You can view our process video to see all the steps involved.
  2. Choose your course from the recommended semester listings on our website.
    • Course registration is subject to space availability and registration will be confirmed via email. 
    • A maximum of twelve (12) credits can be covered by the Department of Education funding per fiscal year (July 1-June 30).
    • Students interested in taking more credits than those approved by the Department of Education may do so, but will be charged an Early College tuition rate for any credits over the maximum of twelve (12).
    • High school students from out-of-state (non-Maine residents including international students) may take up to 12 college credits.
  3. The processing of your application may take a minimum of  2-5 business days from the date your school counselor approves your application. This process is the reason we have a full week deadline for applications.
  4. Absolutely! Your parent/guardian is your guidance counselor in this case. You only need to submit the Student/Parent Application, and your parent will need to complete the recommendation and upload a transcript for the Department of Education’s guidelines. 
  5. If you choose any of the math or language courses, you are required to either take the UMaine Placement Exam or have completed the required previous course pre-requisite.  The exam indicates your readiness for the college-level course you chose. If the results reveal that another course would be more appropriate for you, we will contact you. Each student requesting either math or language courses will be sent an email with instructions.