Early College Online FAQ

How much does Early College cost?

Courses cost $199 per credit, plus the cost of books. This is 1/5 of the cost of traditional undergraduate courses! 

Which courses may I take through online Early College?

All of our online Early College courses are listed on our courses page. Each course is offered every semester (summer, fall, and spring) unless otherwise noted.

Do I need to attend class on campus?

No. Online Early College courses are offered through a convenient online format which allows you to complete your work in a home or school setting that best fits your schedule. You do not need to login at a certain time. For students who want to experience taking classes on campus, there is an on-campus program with options to live on campus or commute to classes. 

How will I complete the courses?

Northwestern's PSEO Online program requires students to have internet access to complete their courses. Please download our computer requirements. Our courses consist of online video lectures, online discussion boards, electronic assignment submission and exams, as well as textbook readings, depending on the course. Students have a professor to answer questions just like any other class.  Students must show responsibility, time management, and the ability to complete college level work for both types of course formats.Our courses are offered in either an Independent Study or Online Learning Group format.

Independent study

An independent study course means that while you study, you are independent of other students, of weekly due dates, and of regular interaction with your professor. You may work on the course at your own pace as long as you are able to complete the course by the end of the semester.

Online learning group

An online learning group course requires that the students interact with other students and their instructor. Semester start and end dates are critical for a learning group course. The group of students starts the course together, works through the course materials and assignments together, and finishes together. This type of course has greater accountability because the courses have weekly due dates which are to be followed throughout the semester.

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

As an online 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 listed here are important to keep in mind if you are considering adding, dropping, or withdrawing from courses; we encourage you to always consult first with the academic advisor 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 PSEO/ Early College course?

If you are taking a PSEO/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.

PSEO/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 online high school students are homeschooled and approximately 10 percent of Northwestern's traditional undergraduate students have been homeschooled.

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 > Academics tab > FERPA channel > Student Information Release Form.
We recommend that you review the FERPA Frequently Asked Questions on our website to gain more understanding about this Act.

Is Northwestern accredited?

Northwestern is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (ncahlc.org, 312-263-0456).