Early College General FAQ | University of Northwestern, St. Paul
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Early College General FAQ

Early College frequently asked questions such as course selection, homeschool student participation, and parent or guardian access to student information.

Professor writing on board

How much does Early College cost?
Course cost is $210 per credit starting fall 2020, plus the cost of books.

Will I be able to talk with someone about course selection?

As an Early College student, you will be assigned an academic advisor with whom you may discuss course selection. We also strongly encourage you to discuss your course selections with your high school guidance counselor if you intend to apply your Early College courses to meet your high school graduation requirements.

Additionally, academic advisors should be consulted if you are experiencing challenges. The deadlines are important to keep in mind if you are considering adding, dropping, or withdrawing from courses; we encourage you to always consult with your academic advisor first before making any course change decisions.

Will the courses qualify for full college credit?

When you complete your course, full college credit will be applied to your academic record at Northwestern. These credits may be used to complete a degree at Northwestern or transferred to another educational institution. We encourage you to check the requirements of the program and school where further study is planned before selecting your Early College courses.

What if I don’t successfully complete my Early College course?

If you are taking an Early College course that is required for high school graduation, and you do not successfully complete the course, you may not be able to graduate from high school. Please contact your high school guidance counselor if you have questions regarding potential consequences due to unsuccessfully completing any courses.

Additionally, federal and state regulations require all universities to establish standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for students receiving financial aid. The intent of the law is to encourage students receiving financial aid to make satisfactory progress towards their degrees. They must meet the following minimum requirements to receive financial assistance: Halfway through the student’s declared program, a student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00. Failure to accomplish this requirement will result in the denial of assistance until a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better has been reestablished. Students must earn a minimum of 2/3 (67%) of credits attempted to be eligible for financial aid. Withdrawal from a course may result in reduction or cancellation of financial aid.

Early College courses are included on your permanent college transcript; therefore, grades not earned may impact financial aid in the future. Please contact Financial Aid at 651-631-5212 with any questions.

May homeschooled students participate?

Yes! Northwestern understands the needs of homeschooled learners and will help guide you through the process. Nearly a third of our Early College students are homeschooled and approximately 10% of Northwestern's traditional undergraduate students have been homeschooled in the past.

May a parent/guardian access a student's information?

Your student and your student's education records are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99). The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA's primary purpose is to establish a uniform framework for access, review, and correction of academic records at all schools nationwide. In primary and secondary educational institutions, FERPA grants these rights to the parent, but these rights are transferred exclusively to the student once the student reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level (i.e. a post-secondary educational institution no matter the age of the student.) Students who wish their records to be released to a parent or third party must authorize the college in writing. Students may find this form on theROCK under the tab labeled Academics > FERPA channel > Student Information Release Form.

We recommend you review the FERPA Frequently Asked Questions to gain more understanding about this Act.

Is Northwestern accredited?

Yes, Northwestern is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and can be reached by phone at (312) 263-0456.

Do I need to maintain a certain GPA?

Yes - online and on-site students must maintain a 2.00 GPA and on-campus students must maintain a 3.00 GPA while taking courses.

Are there ways to get involved on-campus as a commuting Early College student?

Yes! There are optional events planned during each semester, including social gatherings, chapels, and student-led Bible studies. Also, you will be paired up with a student mentor for your first semester on-campus. This mentor will provide an instant connection and help you transition smoothly into the Northwestern community. The mentor may be someone to meet with over lunch or coffee in the café or to text with questions or concerns.

May I still take classes at my high school or be involved in sports?

Yes! Your academic advisor will work around your current schedule to help you choose classes that will fit in with your high school schedule, activities, and jobs.

May I visit the campus?

If you are considering attending Northwestern after high school you may contact admissions to arrange a time to visit Northwestern. You can set up a personalized visit or attend one of our campus visit events for prospective undergraduate students. Our admissions staff is also happy to answer your questions about Early College. Please contact an Early College admissions counselor for a personal appointment by phone or in-person.

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