Earn College Credits as High School Student

SMCC offers a number of learning opportunities for high school students who want to save time and money by getting a head start on their college education.

On this page:

Benefits of Earning College Credit as a High School Student

  • Potential to graduate earlier.
  • Demonstrate academic ability and self-motivation to colleges you apply to.
  • May lessen your course load in your first few semesters.
  • Allows you to take more electives once in college.

Programs for Earning College Credit as a High School Student


Embark is a high school-to-college transition program to help high school students who are undecided about their future learn more about their college options. Embark offers students individualized encouragement and guidance through the college admissions process, personalized financial aid support, and the chance to take a college course at no cost (we pay tuition, fees and books) in their senior year. Embark students who choose to attend a Maine community college are eligible for a two-year scholarship and continued personalized support and guidance in college. High schools select students to participate in their junior year and then nominate seniors for the scholarship opportunity. The program is offered in over 80 high schools statewide. For more information, ask your high school guidance counselor or visit the Embark website.

Dual Enrollment

SMCC’s dual enrollment programs provide high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to experience college work, tuition-free, and earn college credits from SMCC while still attending high school.

  • On Course for College – This program offers qualified high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take tuition-free college courses at SMCC. To learn more, visit our On Course for College webpage.
  • Concurrent Enrollment – This program offers juniors and seniors at select high schools and Career and Technical Education Centers (CTE’s) the opportunity to take tuition-free SMCC courses and earn college credit. These courses are taught by vetted high school teachers during the regular academic day. To learn more, visit our Concurrent Enrollment webpage.
  • CTE Articulation Agreements – These agreements offer juniors and seniors at select Career and Technical Education Centers (CTE’s) an opportunity to earn college credit through a proficiency-based system. To learn more, visit the CTE Articulation Agreement webpage.
  • Partnership Opportunities – Are you a high school or Career and Technical Education Center interested in partnering with SMCC to provide tuition-free college credit opportunities to your students? If so, visit our Dual Enrollment Partnership Opportunities webpage.

Advanced Placement (AP) Courses

SMCC accepts many courses with a score of 3 or higher for credit toward your degree or certificate. Credits are considered for both a one- or two-semester course sequence. To see if you have AP courses that can earn you credit, download the list of SMCC Course Equivalencies for AP Tests.

Costs Associated with Earning College Credit as a High School Student

Tuition and fees are waived for all students who have met the necessary requirements to participate in each program and complete registration by the deadline provided.

Keep in mind that if your school does not provide the required course textbooks or supplies, you will need to cover these costs.