Easing the college transition for both you and your student


Mother and Daughter

Mother and Daughter

When your son or daughter decides to go to college, parents often find themselves in a strange new situation. They are accustomed to being informed about student grades, very involved in making school-related decisions, and quite invested in parent organizations.

But college is different. Parents no longer receive direct school communication—the student does. Students suddenly have night classes and an irregular schedule and may be moving out to live with friends in an apartment or on campus. Academics become more complicated and require more work outside of class.

Parents want to continue to support their students… but how? Here are a few pointers for students who will be making the transition to North Idaho College:

Encourage your student to participate in dual credit. Students who begin earning college credits through North Idaho College’s Advanced Opportunities Dual Credit program get a taste of the college lifestyle. Dual credit provides the opportunity for high school students to earn college credits at reduced rates while concurrently satisfying high school graduation requirements. Idaho State Department of Education Advanced Opportunities funding allows for students to individualize their high school learning plan. The Fast Forward program provides every student attending an Idaho public school an allocation of $4,125 to use toward Advanced Opportunities in grades 7-12. These options include dual credit, technical competency credit, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate programs. Tuition rates for dual credit classes are $65 per credit. It’s a great way to save money while getting a jump-start on your student’s college education. For more information on dual credit, call (208) 625-2329 or visit www.nic.edu/dualcredit.

Visit campus. Don’t just take our word for it. See for yourself what North Idaho College is all about! Tour the college with your student and help them gain confidence on the campus while you are with them to key in on critical locations, resources, and other highlights. You are welcome to join students on campus tours at NIC. You can schedule your family’s visit to North Idaho College by visiting www.nic.edu/visit and clicking the “Sign Up Here” button for “Individual Tours.”

Apply for admission early. Encourage students to complete placement testing, get high school transcripts sent in, meet with a counselor, and be ready to register. Having everything in place early means that there is better course selection and students can build a better schedule. Apply by visiting www.nic.edu/apply.

Apply for financial aid and scholarships. It is important to understand the cost of college as well as the financial aid and scholarships available to your student. Help your student apply for federal financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. This application will open for students Oct. 1 for the following Fall Semester. The North Idaho College Foundation disseminates hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships each year. Your student can apply for these scholarships once they have applied to North Idaho College.

Load your student up with Cardinal Cash. You can help your student with the minor daily expenses that add up by adding Cardinal Cash to their student ID card, which is called the Cardinal Card. Cardinal Cash is a prepaid, declining balance account that is similar to a debit card and can be used for bookstore purchases, printing copies, and dining services. Learn more at www.nic.edu/cardinalcard.

Guide them. The best thing parents can do is empower their students to navigate the college system on their own, while leaning on you for support along the way. Rather than doing it for them, teaching them how to seek out support and assistance on campus will give them the self-help skills they need to set them up for success throughout their academic careers.

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