Early College On-campus FAQ

How does the selection process work?

The on-campus Early College program is very competitive. We are seeking well-rounded individuals who will be a great fit for the classroom and for the Northwestern community. We will interview top candidates (with GPA of 3.3 or higher and ACT/PLAN score of at least 22, Aspire score of at least 434, or SAT score of at least 1530, or PSAT score of at least 153) to better determine who to accept. Students must also maintain a 3.0 GPA at Northwestern during the program.

How much does Early College cost?

Tuition for Early College courses is affordable! Tuition is $199 per credit for the 2016–17 academic year.

Do I commute or live on-campus?

On-campus Early College students are eligible to live in the dorms at Northwestern, although many students choose to commute. Seniors who are 17 at the beginning of courses may live in dorms alongside traditional UNW students—space permitting. Please see below for more information on Residential Early College.

How many credits may I take in a semester?

On-campus Early College students must take a minimum of 6 credits and a maximum of 18 total credits. Residential on-campus students must take a minimum of 12 credits.

Am I able to sign up for any class?

If the course is currently being offered, you meet any necessary prerequisites, and it fits within your schedule, yes! Early College students may take all 1000–3000 level courses. Subject to availability.

Will someone help me pick out classes?

You will be assigned an academic advisor who will meet with you one-on-one to discuss your goals. We also encourage interested students to discuss possible course selections with high school guidance counselors if they intend to apply Early College courses towards high school graduation requirements.

Are there ways to get involved on campus?

Yes! There are optional events planned during each semester, including social gatherings, chapels, and student-led Bible studies. Also, every new Early College On-campus student will be paired up with a student mentor for their first semester on campus. This mentor will come alongside them, providing an instant connection and helping them 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 any questions or concerns.

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

Yes! Your Academic Advisor will work around any current schedule to help students choose classes that will fit in with high school, activities, and jobs.

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 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).

Early College Residential FAQ

Is there an age requirement to live on campus? 

You must be a senior in high school and 17 years old by the first day of classes.

How much does room and board cost?

Room: $2,730/semester ($5,460/year)
Meals: $1,800/semester ($3,600/year)

When do I need to put down a deposit to save my spot?

A $200 deposit is required no later than June 15th. 

Am I able to have a car on campus and what is the parking permit fee?

Yes! The parking permit fee is $125 per semester.

Which dorms can the Early College students reside?

Knutson, Hartill, and KnuHa.

How many students to a dorm room and will I be with other PSEO/Early College students?

Typically, all rooms will have a total of three PSEO/EC students.

Will I go through on-campus orientation in the fall with traditional students?

Yes, Early College students will complete the same on-campus orientation as traditional students.

Are there chapel requirements for PSEO/ Early College students who live on campus? 

Yes, the same Chapel requirements as traditional students as part of the housing agreement.

How many credits may I take in a semester?

The minimum number of credits to reside on campus is 12 credits per semester.