Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Aid, Scholarships, Tuition & Fees

What is the federal school code for Northland?

A: 002385

How do I apply for financial aid?

A: You apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be completed two ways: by completing the paper application which can be obtained at any financial aid office or by completing the FAFSA online application. The FAFSA on the web is the fastest way to apply and also your information is edited before you submit it so if you have made any errors or left out information you will be aware of it. This will reduce the chance that your data will be rejected for some reason and makes it less likely that you will have to correct information later. By completing the FAFSA you are applying for all the grant programs and it also determines your loan eligibility. You will receive instructions from the NCTC financial aid office along with your award letter on how to apply for your student loans.

How do I complete my FAFSA?

A: To complete your FAFSA you need to have a copy of your last completed federal tax return. You will also want to have any documents in regards to untaxed income. If applicable, you will also need to have parent information including federal tax return and asset information. If you have chosen to complete your FAFSA on the web be sure student and one parent has applied for a PIN number using the PIN website. This pin number is used to electronically sign the FAFSA on the web. You will also want to have this available when completing your application.

I've completed the FAFSA. What happens next?

A: After completing and submitting the FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education will issue a Student Aid Report to you, either by mail, or via secure link if you provided an email address on the FAFSA. At approximately the same time, the SAR information will be sent to the college you listed in step six of the FAFSA. If you listed Northland Community and Technical College , federal school code 002385, the Financial Aid Office will then issue an award letter to your listed grant eligibility, if any, and your student loan eligibility.

How do I get a student loan?

A: A student wishing to make use of the federal and state student loan programs must first complete the FAFSA. When the results of this application are received by the college, the Financial Aid Office will notify you of your eligibility for participation in the loan program. You must then complete a separate loan application on the web.

I've been living on my own, why do I need to include my parents income?

A: The Department of Education's definition of an independent student is much more stringent than most people expect. There are questions on the FAFSA that determine a student's dependency status, If the student can not answer "yes" to any of the questions they are considered dependent event if they have not lived with, supported or claimed for tax purposes by their parents for several years. Below are the requirements for students to be considered independent.

Students who:

  • Are at least 24 years old
  • Are orphans ( both parents are deceased)
  • Are wards of the court or were until the age 18
  • Are a veteran of active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Have legal dependants (children or persons other than spouse) which the student provides more than 50% of their support
  • Are working on a degree beyond your bachelor's degree
  • Are married

What if the Stafford Student Loan doesn't cover all my expenses?

A: There are additional loan programs that may be available to you or your parents. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

Are distance education courses eligible for financial aid?

A: Yes, as long as the student is pursuing a degree, diploma or certificate in a program that is at least one year in length.

Are scholarships available for students at Northland?

A: Yes, Northland has a large number of scholarships available for those students who qualify. Contact the Northland Foundation for more information.

When do I need to pay the tuition for the new semester?

A: Students should pay the tuition, fees and other costs by the beginning of classes for the semester. If financial aid will be covering the costs, arrangements are made for the delay. Usually financial aid is disbursed, for that semester, by the second week of classes. If there are extenuating circumstances as to why this cannot happen, you must make arrangements with the Dean of Student Services, the Business Office and the Financial Aid staff, as appropriate.


Who does Immunization apply to?

A: When you enroll in college in Minnesota, you will need to show that you've been vaccinated against five major vaccine-preventable diseases:

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria

The Minnesota college immunization law applies to anyone who was born after 1956. Students who graduated from a Minnesota high school in 1997 or later are exempt from these requirements under the law (because they will already have met them as a high school student).

Are there other immunization requirements if I'm enrolling in a Health or Human Services program at Northland?

A: Students enrolled in a Health and Human Services Program (HHSP) at Northland Community & Technical College (NCTC) participate in clinical training as an essential element of their studies. Such clinical training includes the performance of direct patient care and participation in clinical experiences at affiliated hospitals and other healthcare institutions (affiliated healthcare providers).

To protect the health of students, patients, employees and others, and to comply with standards established by the affiliated healthcare providers, the College requires all students enrolled in a HHSP to provide dates of current immunization against certain vaccine preventable diseases, and date and results of current tuberculosis (TB) screening before the student is eligible to participate in clinical training, unless an exception applies. If you have additonal questions on please contact the program advisor of the program you persuing.

What do I have to do?

A: Under Minnesota law, you have to submit a complete immunization record to your college, or meet one of the legal exemptions. You might be automatically exempt if you graduated from high school in Minnesota since 1997 or you previously were enrolled in another college in Minnesota.

What if I can't find my shot record?

A: Try to remember where you were immunized and see if your doctor or clinic still has the records. Your parents may be able to help. A former high school district may still have your records. --For additional immunization information MN residents should contact: MN Public Health (651) 215-5800. ND residents, ND public Health Immunization Information, (701) 328-1665.

If you still can't find your records, you will have to repeat the shots.  Be sure to keep a record.

Where can I get the shots?

A: Your own physician can provide what you need. If you don't have a physician -- or you don't have health insurance-- you may be able to get the shots through a community clinic.

  • MN Polk County Health - (218) 281-3385
  • MN Pennington County Health - (218) 681-0876
  • ND Grand Forks Public Health - (701) 787-8100

Are there other diseases that adults need shots for that are not part of the law?

A: Yes. For example, many adults may need shots for hepatitis B -- a highly contagious disease that infects the liver and can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and even death. Be sure to check with your doctor to see what additional shots you might need.

For additional immunization information contact: MN Public Health (651) 215-5800, or ND Public Health Immunization Information (701) 328-1665. In additional to these resources, the Minnesota Department of Health has a general brochure about the college immunization law written for the student, and a sample college immunization record.

Minnesota Department of Health Immunization Laws

Requesting Information

How can I receive information about Northland?

A: By calling our EGF campus at 1-800-451-3441 or our TRF campus at 1-800-959-6282, filling out our online information request form, or stop by one of the campuses. You will be asked for some general information such as your full name, address, phone number, what major you're interested in, and what semester you would like to start.

What kind of information will I receive from Northland?

A: A general packet of information will include an application for admission, enrollment checklist, immunization form, accuplacer assessment information, laptop specifications (if applicable), and curriculum/cost sheets in a specific program. Let us know if there is additional information such as a catalog, financial aid, reciprocity, housing lists, math review guide, Veteran information or any other information that may interest you.


What is reciprocity and how does it work?

A: Reciprocity is an agreement that reduces non-resident tuition prices and eliminates non-resident admissions barriers for residents of a state different from the institution that they attend.

Minnesota has ongoing reciprocity agreements with Wisconsin , North Dakota , South Dakota , Iowa , and Manitoba.

*Note: North Dakota residents are now able to go online to fill out a ND reciprocity application.

How can I get a reciprocity application and what do I do with it?

A: First, apply for admission to the participating reciprocity college or university. Second, apply for reciprocity online or fill out a paper application. New applications are available each April for the following academic year. Your best insurance for receiving the reciprocity tuition price at the time of registration is to apply during the spring or summer before classes start in the fall. If there is a break or a laps in your education you will need to resubmit a reciprocity application to your home state.

Residents of other reciprocity states should contact one of the following agencies:

Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board
Reciprocity Program
P.O. Box 7885
Madison , WI 53707
Phone:(608) 267-2209

North Dakota University System
600 E. Boulevard Avenue, Dept 21
Bismarck , ND 58505-0602
Phone: (701) 328-2964

South Dakota Board of Regents
Reciprocity Program
Box 2201
Brookings , SD 57007
Phone: (605) 688-4497 or 1-800-952-3541

Where should I send the reciprocity application?

A: Paper applications should be mailed to the appropriate higher education agency in your home state (see above). Do not mail the application directly to the college or university unless otherwise specified.

*Note: North Dakota residents are now able to go online to fill out a ND reciprocity application.


How do I figure out my GPA?

A: Academic progress is evaluated in terms of grade point average. The following system will be used to establish a student's grade point average and will be the only grades included in the GPA calculation:

  • A = 4 grade points per credit
  • B = 3 grade points per credit
  • C = 2 grade points per credit
  • D = 1 grade points per credit
  • F = 0 grade points per credit

A grade point average (GPA) is determined by the sum of all grade points divided by the total credits attempted, except those credits that carry grades other than the usual A - F.

A 2.0 GPA is the standard for all satisfactory academic progress.

How do I change majors?

A: Contact an academic advisor or staff member in Student Services to make this change. It is important to make the change in the system if you have decided to change your major.

If I drop a class can I get a refund?

A: Only during the first 5 days of the semester. After that time, you can still withdraw or drop the class if necessary, but you will not get a refund. Even if you have not paid your tuition, you are still obligated to pay the credits dropped after the 5th day.

When is the last day to withdraw from a class?

A: The date for the last day for the drop/add period and the last date for withdrawal are listed on the yearly school calendar. It is the student's responsibility to know these deadlines. A withdrawal form must be completed by the student, signed by an advisor and turned in to the Registrar's office by the deadline. If it is not completed by the deadline, you will receive the grade earned in that class.

How do I get my college transcript?

A: You can complete our online Transcript Request Form or you can submit your request in writing to Northland.

Please list:

  • Your name.
  • The last name you used when attending the College.
  • Your social security or student identification number.
  • Your current mailing address and day time telephone number.
  • The Program or Major and the years that you attended the College.
  • Please supply us with the name, contact person and the address of where you want your transcript mailed.

Do I need to take 16 credits every semester?

A: There are not a minimum number of credits required per semester. For most programs you would need to average 16 credits per semester to complete in 4 semesters. However, some will require you to take more. Financial aid does have credit requirements and in most cases 12 credits is considered to be full-time.

Is it possible to take more than 20 credits?

A: Yes, but you must make a request for permission from their academic advisor/counselor.

Is there an order I should take my classes in?

A: There is no specific order in which you must take the liberal arts classes. However, some of the classes may have prerequisites you will need to complete. It is advisable to take a wide selection of the liberal arts as this would prepare you for most majors and careers. In the technical programs offered at NCTC, students will take most of the classes in the recommended order.

What are developmental classes and why would I need to take them?

A: The developmental classes consist of Fundamentals of English, Math Foundations, Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, and Critical Reading Skills. Depending upon your ACT, SAT, or assessment scores taken while entering Northland Community and Technical College, you may or may not have to take one or more of these classes. These classes exist to give every student the opportunity to raise the level of skills needed (in whatever area) to the "college level." They are in place to give the student the best chance at long term success in college. All developmental courses must be passed with a grade of "C" or better.

Why do we have to take liberal arts classes?

A: All universities require a broad general education (liberal studies) designed to give all students an academically well-rounded experience in all areas of knowledge.

Why does everyone need to take Composition I & Composition II?

A: Programs at universities require two semesters of Freshman English. All majors and careers require you to be able to write effectively. In the technical programs, different levels of writing skills are required, so you may or may not be required to take Composition I or Composition II. A minimum level of competency, however, is expected of all Northland graduates.

Do all classes require writing papers?

A: No, but many do. Learning to write well is one of the most valuable skills a student can learn as it affects the grade received in almost every class. Being able to communicate well is a skill employer's value.

Check out Northland's Online Writing Lab (OWL)

When & how do I register for next semester?

A: Registration begins for Summer and Fall Semester on April 1st and for Spring Semester on October 15th. You can meet with an advisor for assistance in selecting courses.

How often can I cut classes?

A: Generally, never. Skipping classes is the primary reason students fail a course. Some teachers do announce the maximum number of absences they will allow in their classes. Attendance may be a factor in deciding your final grade for some courses.

How many hours a night should I study?

A: The general rule of thumb is 2 hours of study for every 1 hour spent in class. Many students find out, a little late, that they studied too little during their first semesters in college. Help with study skills is available in the Learning Center at Northland.

What are the greatest academic "dangers" for students attending Northland?

A: Not attending class tends to be the best indicator of doing poorly in school. Regular class attendance is a good indicator that a student will be successful. Other situations such as taking a full class schedule and working too many hours also tends to create problems. You must realize that attending Northland is not like high school. At NCTC, you are treated as an adult, so no one checks up on you. You are expected to be responsible for your own actions.

Can I get a tutor if I need one?

A: Yes, contact the Learning Center at Northland for help with tutoring services. There is no charge for these services.

If I have a personal problem, is there anyone I can talk to at Northland?

A: Yes, Northland has licensed counselors on each Northland campus to assist students with Career Counseling, Academic Advising, and Personal Concerns. Northland counselors serve prospective and enrolled students to address their identified needs by reducing the barriers that they encounter on their educational journeys.

Student Job Placement

What type of services does Placement provide?

A: All of Northland's employment resources are located on the Virtual Career Center website. The Virtual Career Center is designed to provide resources and career information that will assist students in selecting and preparing for a career. Our goal is to connect students with employment agencies, job seeking skills, employment opportunities and online resources.

Where are student job opportunities posted?

A: Student job opportunities are posted on the Virtual Career Center website.