As featured in the Courier Newspaper
During my senior year at Thornton Academy, I decided to take a step that ended up paying off down the road. I decided to take college courses as a supplement to my high school instruction.
Through the University of Maine System High School Aspirations Incentive Program, junior and seniors in high school can take up to six credits of college courses at a reduced rate. UMaine pays half the cost of tuition for up to six credits while the Maine Department of Education pays for half the tuition for up to three credits. Most students only have to pay for books and fees.
I’m a proud product of this program. It wasn't something that many of my peers knew too much about, though. While college isn't for everyone, this program is a good way to test the waters of post-secondary education. It enabled me to graduate early from college by getting a few of the core classes out of the way and I believe taking the courses that I did made me a better student academically while attending TA. Moreover, the staff and professors are extremely nice and helpful and are there to ensure you have a great educational experience.
Luckily we have University College at Saco right on Saco Island. I would consider this the hidden gem in our community that the public desperately needs more awareness of. While major education reforms are needed at the state level, this is something students can do right now that will benefit them in the long run without significantly burdening their parents or their own pocketbooks.
You can learn more about the University of Maine System High School Aspirations Incentive Program and download the application by logging on to my legislative website.
Justin Chenette is the state representative for District 134 in Saco. You can get legislative updates about the work out of the 126th Legislature at www.justinchenette.com, Facebook.com/justinforsaco, and Twitter.com/justinchenette.
Beyond the Headlines
Weekly Column featured in The Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier Newspaper by Rep. Justin Chenette of Saco