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Offered in partnership with Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS), the Early College Access Program (ECAP) gives county high school students a 50 percent discount on AACC course tuition while they’re in high school.

That’s right. With the approval of your school principal or counselor, and with a GPA of 2.0 or higher, AACPS students can take courses at AACC at half-price tuition. The college credits gained may be transferable to a four-year college or university. This opportunity, formerly called Jump Start, allows you to tackle your first-year basics with math, English, psychology or science, or start exploring career options in architecture, business, information technology, homeland security, teaching and more. And it’s not just for public school students.

Home-school students and students from partnering private schools can participate too!

Learn how to enroll in ECAP.

Why should I take a college course through ECAP?

Save Time

Did you know our general education courses transfer to all of Maryland's public four-year schools? This helps you reduce the time it takes to graduate from college.

Save Money

Why wait and pay the full price later at AACC or even pay significantly more at a four-year college? Submit your ECAP application form for each term to receive the 50 percent tuition discount.

Learn about the cost and cost savings you get at AACC.

Increase Your Competitive Edge

More colleges and universities want to see college coursework prior to admission.

Discover Your Passion

Try out a course in your desired field to see if it’s a good fit for you. Browse our areas of study to explore courses that help you identify your talents and interest. Take a course that aligns with your signature or magnet program, or start down the path toward your career.

Enjoy the Full Benefits of Being an AACC Student

Once you are enrolled in an AACC credit course, you are an AACC student, just like every other enrolled credit student, and you have the exact same benefits. You will receive student discounts on performances and will have access to the gym and library. Be sure to tap into our student services; including tutoring and access to the math, writing and technology labs. You are not limited to taking classes during traditional school hours, nor are you limited to taking courses on the Arnold campus.

What courses should I take?

Any course approved by your school principal could be eligible for ECAP and there are no special sections dedicated to ECAP students. The college's full course schedule, including evening and weekend classes, is available on the AACC website. Summer courses taken prior to your senior year qualify for the 50 percent tuition reduction under ECAP. Some courses are approved by AACPS for dual credit (meaning it counts toward high school and college graduation and you receive a grade for both) but most AACC courses you take through ECAP are simply college courses for which you receive college credit.

Visit our online Course Search or download the latest schedule on the right hand side of this page. Contact an Admissions advisor to help plan your schedule.

How many courses should I take?

We recommend that most high school students enroll in no more than two courses per term. Two reasons:

  1. We want you to succeed. College courses are hard, and your grade will follow you beyond high school graduation.
  2. Home-school students may be limited by the number of college courses they can take and still be considered home-school students.

There are exceptions, so check with our admissions advisor well in advance of registration, if you plan to pursue a heavier course load.

Not sure if you qualify for ECAP?

The 50-percent discount applies to students who attend AACPS, are AACPS affiliated home-school students or attend a partnering private school.

Check with our admissions team if:

  • The courses you’d like to take are not approved by your school principal.
  • You’d like to take more than two courses.
  • You’re not sure if your private school participates in ECAP.
  • You attend a school other than an Anne Arundel County public school or partnering private school.
  • You have any other circumstances that prompt you to question whether you're qualified.

There may be other ways for you take classes at AACC, and possibly qualify for grants, scholarships or tuition waivers.

Need additional help with tuition?

Early College Access Grants of $200 per term are available for students who demonstrate financial need. The grant helps cover the other half of the tuition that’s not waived through ECAP. Students who qualify for free and reduced meals (FARM) may have the full tuition waived.

Learn more under ECAP costs and payment.