MAINE, USA — Getting a jump start on college while you're still in high school might sound too good to be true, but it's a real and free opportunity for students in Maine.
The University of Maine has announced it is offering more than 50 free summer courses to high school students.
Several courses will be available online, but others are set to be held in person at the University of Maine campus in Orono, the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast, and the University of Maine at Machias campus.
Kari Suderley is the director of early college programs at UMaine. She said the summer courses are part of the university’s aspirations program. It’s sponsored by the Maine Department of Education, which reimburses UMaine for a portion of the tuition costs.
"We give preference to juniors and seniors, but we do also allow freshmen and sophomores," Suderley said.
In addition to being free, Suderley said there are a lot of benefits students get from taking these courses, like improving their time management and study skills, giving them confidence about going to college.
“Once they got that, that is one less transition that they have to worry about when they do eventually go to college," Suderley told NEWS CENTER Maine. "[Students get] familiar with the level of rigor and they’re able to focus on other things that they’re going to need to deal with in that transition.”
Qualified high school students can earn up to 12 college credits per year and save up to $4,000, according to Suderley.
Interested high school students can register for the UMaine summer courses by clicking here. Applications are due one week prior to the course start dates.