“I had no intention of going to college right off due to financial reasons. Without [ECforME] I would have taken the year off for work and lost out on a lot of scholarships and grants.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Here’s what Early College for ME can offer you:
- The chance to take a 3-credit Maine community college course during your senior year in high school, with tuition, fees, and books paid for by the program.
- Support from Early College for ME staff from your junior year of high school through your second year of college or for as long as you are in the program.
- A $2,000 scholarship for a two-year program at a Maine community college or $1,000 for a one-year program.
Learn more about ECforME:
Who is eligible for Early College for ME?
High schools select students to participate in the program. However, if you are interested, you should contact your high school guidance office. To qualify, you must be a junior attending a high school that is partnering with Early College for ME. You must be on track to graduate with your class and be “in good standing.” You must be a Maine resident and have not (yet) made plans for college. In choosing applicants, schools may consider financial need and whether students would be the first in their family to go to college.
How do I apply?
See your guidance counselor to complete the quick and easy application and then have it signed by your parent or guardian.
Why should I consider going to a Maine community college after high school?
Education or training beyond high school gives you more choices and opportunities in the job market as well as higher earning power. A Maine community college is an affordable, accessible option for college that will prepare you for a career or for transfer to a four-year college or university. Of Maine’s community college graduates, 92 percent land jobs or continue their education. It’s real education for real life. Learn more>>
What does the college scholarship cover?
Scholarship students receive $500 per semester: up to $2,000 for a two-year program or $1,000 for a one-year program. Scholarship funds can be used for community college tuition and fees, books, and on-campus housing. Scholarship funds are applied to a student’s college account.
What are my chances of getting one of the ECforME community college scholarships?
Each high school that participates in the Early College for ME program is able to nominate a number of participants to receive a community college scholarship. Your school will notify you if you have been selected as a nominee or an alternate. Scholarships are awarded to nominees who 1) have filed for federal financial aid (ECforME will help with this), 2) are accepted into a Maine community college program of study for the fall term following high school graduation, and 3) enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester for consecutive semesters.
What if I need financial aid in addition to the scholarship?
Early College for ME staff help you and your parent or guardian complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Filing this application as soon as possible after October 1 makes it possible for you to be considered for a number of types of financial aid, including the Maine State Grant.
If I’m accepted into Early College for ME and I want to take a college course before I graduate from high school, how do I do that?
ECforME participants may request to take a community college course during their senior year of high school. If you’re eligible, ECforME will pay for course tuition, fees, and books. Our staff will also help with course selection and registration, getting books, and answering questions. The course may be offered at a community college, at a college outreach center, or online.
Can I get high school and college credit for the course?
Students who receive a grade of C or better will be awarded college credit. It’s up to your high school to decide whether your Maine community college course will qualify for high school credit.
Do I have to take a college course while I’m still in high school in order to participate in ECforME?
No. As available, college courses are offered to students whose Accuplacer (college placement test) scores and high school recommendation indicate academic readiness to take a college course as a high school senior. Students participating in Early College for ME take the Accuplacer in their junior year. If scores point to a skills gap in a particular area, it may be better to concentrate on enhancing those skills and doing well academically in the last year of high school.
If Early College for ME isn’t the right fit, are there other ways I can take a course at a Maine community college while I’m still in high school?
Yes. Two other programs help pay for some, or all, of the cost of a community college course for Maine high school students. Each one has its own guidelines and requirements: