UMFK’s Rural U to offer free classes to high school students

FORT KENT, Maine — The University of Maine at Fort Kent has announced that starting this fall, students in Maine’s public high schools will have the opportunity to enroll in early college and concurrent enrollment classes free of tuition and fees via the University of Maine at Fort Kent’s Rural U Early College and Concurrent Enrollment Program. UMFK officials said since 2011, the Rural U program has been a leader in the state in providing high school students the opportunity to earn college credits while still in high school.  

In the past, fees were charged for those classes, but starting this fall those fees have been eliminated.  This elimination of fees, in addition to the tuition waiver provided by the Maine Department of Education’s Aspirations Fund, means up to 12 credits per year of college classes will be free to all public high school students in Maine. Students in private schools will be eligible for a reduced tuition rate.  

“When high school students earn college credits in UMFK’s Rural U program, they get to really see how college learning works and that makes the transition to college later on an easier one,” said Scott Voisine, UMFK’s dean of community education.  

“Several studies have shown that early college students tend to be more successful than their peers in college; tend to complete their degree at a higher rate than other students, and do all of this while saving a significant amount of money in the process,” Voisine said.

Rural U serves an average of 1,100 Maine high school students each year.  Students take early college classes online or concurrent enrollment classes in schools taught by qualified high school teachers.  Rural U provides those class opportunities paired with a high-touch student and school support program that includes a personalized communications plan, on-boarding and orientation, student tutoring, and a strong collegial relationship with schools and their personnel.

The new free class opportunities will begin this fall semester.  High school sophomores, juniors, and seniors interested in early college classes in the Rural U program should contact their school guidance department.  

To learn more about this opportunity, please call (207) 834-8645 or go to  

Submitted by the Marketing and Communication Office of the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

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