With Aspirations, you can get a jump-start on your college career and save money. Aspirations is a program co-sponsored by the Maine Department of Education and Maine’s Public Universities and Community Colleges. High school students may take up to 12 credits per academic year on a college campus, online, or out-reach center.
Students must be:
- Juniors or Seniors (with some exceptions)
- In academic good standing with a B average
- Enrolled in a public school, or homeschool
- Able to pay the cost of textbooks, any fees associated to the class. (Labs, studio fees.)
Aspirations allows high school students to begin college with credits already on their record, prove that they are capable of college-level work, and save hundreds of dollars in tuition fees.
To find out about applying for an Aspirations class, contact your Guidance Office. They will have the appropriate form and a class listing of eligible courses. You can also contact the UMPI Admissions Office to find out how these classes can help get you started on your degree.
The courses that we offer through Aspirations include options for on-site, at the Houlton Higher Education Center and UMPI. In addition to online programs, which give you the opportunity to take classes that work around your schedule.
Click here to see which Aspirations courses are being offered by UMPI. Aspirations students can take 100 and 200 level courses.
Looking for your textbooks? Click here.
How do I sign up for Aspirations courses?
Please talk with your school counselor to see if Aspirations is right for you. To register for an Aspirations course you will need to create an account or sign in to an existing account through the registration portal ExplorEC.
What is ExplorEC?
ExplorEC is the online (paperless) registration portal for both Aspirations and Concurrent Enrollment courses.
I don't live in Presque Isle, can I still take Aspirations courses?
Yes, Maine high school students can take Aspirations courses regardless of your location in Maine. We offer courses on-site in Presque Isle, at the Houlton Center, and online.
Can I take any class?
You can take any 100 or 200 level academic course for which you have met the course prerequisites as long as there is space available. Please remember the credit hour limits for free tuition.
How much do Aspirations courses cost?
The State of Maine Department of Education and The University of Maine at Presque Isle cover tuition charges for up to a maximum of 12 credit hours per year. The 12 hour limit applies to all early college courses combined across the University of Maine System campuses as well as the Maine Community College System and is contingent on state funding availability.
Students will be charged the early college rate for all hours over the 12 credit hour limit or if state funding expires. There may be additional costs such as course fees, materials, and textbooks. Please contact us for additional details.
There may be additional costs such as course fees, materials, and textbooks.
**Tuition calculations for eligible students in this chart do not include some course fees (if applicable) or cost of textbooks that are not covered by the tuition waiver program.
When do I have to sign up for my class?
For Aspirations courses you need to sign up for your classes during the add/drop period at the beginning of the semester. View the Academic Calendar. For Concurrent Enrollment courses please check with your school counselor.
What is the difference between Aspirations and Concurrent Enrollment?
Aspirations courses are taught by UMPI faculty through the UMPI campus or online. Concurrent Enrollment are courses taught at high schools by UMPI-approved high school teachers. These courses cost $20/academic credit. They count toward your high school diploma AND toward the University of Maine at Presque Isle transcript. You can take Aspirations through the Presque Isle campus, Houlton Center, or Online.
Concurrent Enrollment offers both the UMPI course and high school course all rolled into one. These courses are taught at our partner high schools by high school faculty in the high school that have university credentials. Successful completion of such a course allows students to earn both high school credit toward their high school diploma as well as college credit from UMPI that can be put toward a college degree.
Why is Early College important?
A college degree or certificate has become increasingly important for the jobs of your future. These jobs have much higher earning power on average, and over the course of your life, this could be in excess of a million dollars! When you get an early start to college not only will you earn more sooner but you will spend a lot less to get there.
Will these courses transfer?
Aspirations courses that you take through UMPI will transfer to all other University of Maine System institutions, as well as to numerous private colleges. For specifics, talk to your school counselor.
How do I pay my bill?
Students taking an Aspirations course will receive a bill only if they exceed the 12 credit hour limit per year.
If my bill is incorrect who should I contact?
When do I have to sign up for my class?
Aspirations students must sign up by the add/drop period at the beginning of the semester. View the Academic Calendar.
How do I drop/withdraw from a course?
To drop/withdraw from a course, please contact the Early College office. Please be aware of the add/drop and withdrawal dates during the semester. Withdrawal dates also affect Concurrent Enrollment students, please check with your school counselor.
Where do I purchase my textbooks?
You can purchase your textbooks right through the campus store online.
What is the difference between dropping and withdrawing from a course?
Dropping a course and withdrawing from a course are essentially the same thing. Both of these will officially remove you from the course. There is a set time period called add/drop at the beginning of the semester where you can drop a course and it will not be noted on your college transcript.
Withdrawing from a course is essentially dropping the course after the add/drop period ends. If you withdraw from a course, a “W” designation will be listed on your official college transcript. The “W” simply means that you have withdrawn from the course and is not a grade or that you failed. There are specific deadlines for both dropping and withdrawing from a course that vary from semester to semester. View the Academic Calendar. For Concurrent Enrollment courses please talk with your school counselor.
What services are available to me?
You have all the same services available to you as a traditional UMPI students. These include tutoring, the Writing Center, and Student Support Services.
I need a tutor but I can't go to campus
Aspirations and Concurrent Enrollment students will have access to online tutoring through Net Tutor. Net Tutor offers several ways to connect for help including live conversations with knowledgeable tutors. This serviced is accessed through your MaineStreet account once you are registered. If you would like to schedule a tutoring appointment with UMPI tutors, please contact the UMPI Tutoring Center.
Why am I still being charged for a course even though I withdrew?
You are charged for any courses that you withdraw from after the add/drop period.
As a parent, can I talk to my student's instructor about grades?
UMPI is legally required to protect student information, even with parents and guardians. If your student is in an Aspiration(s) course, they may complete one of our FERPA consent forms in order for you to receive information about their grades. This is possible through the ExplorEC portal.
Can I attend campus events?
Yes! As an Aspirations student, you can attend any campus event with the exception of UMPI dances. Most events are free and open to the public.
I have an IEP or 504 plan at my high school. How does that apply to the university and can I get help?
Students who have 504 plans or IEPs in their high schools often feel that they wish to attempt college-level courses without these plans in place. There is a better way to approach this topic. Because the rigor of a college-level course is higher than that of a high school course, students are encouraged to reach out to Student Support Services. Some of the services provided or coordinated for students with disabilities include testing accommodations, note-takers, ordering alternate format texts, classroom relocation, and advisement on disability issues.