Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Students Attend NMC?

More than 5,200 students attend NMC during the academic year with the summer semester seeing an attendance of about 1,300 students.

What is the average age of students attending NMC?

NMC is a community college welcoming students of all ages. While the average age of students is 26 years old, 55% are between the ages of 18-25 years old.

When Should My Student Apply?

Applications for admission are accepted throughout the year. However, the earlier your student begins the process, the more well-prepared they will be to register for the classes they want before they fill up. For application information and procedures go to nmc.edu/admissions.

Is NMC an accredited school?

Northwestern Michigan College is accredited by North Central Association and The Higher Learning Commission. We also hold accreditation from the American Culinary Federation, the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation, Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, Federal Aviation Administration/Federal Aviation Regulation Part 141 approved, Michigan Board of Nursing, International Accreditation by the United States Maritime Administration.

Are NMC Credits Accepted by Four-Year Colleges and Universities?

NMC is a MACRAO (Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers) school and has transfer agreements in place with many four-year schools. In addition, we also have articulation agreements in which students complete a portion of their education at NMC and continue at a four-year school as a junior in a particular program. (MTU 2+2)

How much does it cost to attend NMC?

Students living in Grand Traverse County can expect to spend about $2500 per year for full-time tuition. Tuition for out-of-county is $4600 followed by out-of-state tuition at $5800 per year, plus fees. You can see our tuition rates on the Records and Registration page at nmc.edu/admissions/tuition-fees. Remember to calculate for books and supplies as well—about $500 per semester.

How Does My Student Apply for Financial Aid?

Just as important as applying for admission, completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required to be considered for NMC scholarships. The FAFSA is available in early January for the following fall semester. You can find the application online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The federal deadline for the state of Michigan is March 1, with NMC’s deadline being April 1. Students who have submitted their financial aid paperwork by the deadline will receive first consideration for aid.

When Is Tuition Due?

Tuition due dates can be found at nmc.edu/student-services/records-registration/important-dates. Students are able to spread tuition over four payments per semester. For more information about our Deferred Payment Plan at nmc.edu/financial-aid/payment-options.html.

What Is The COMPASS Test and Does My Student Need To Take This Test?

COMPASS is an American College Testing Placement Exam, used by NMC for the mandatory academic placement of new students in mathematics and writing courses. Information regarding this placement test is available at nmc.edu/student-services/advising-center/career-advising/compass.html. Information to assist you in preparing for this assessment or obtaining a preview are available on the web from ACT (they authored the assessment) at www.act.org/compass/tests.

What is Orientation and Does My Student Need To Attend?

Orientation is a session that is designed for first-time students to learn about processes at NMC like Financial Aid, Registration and Tuition Payment. Following an information session, students meet with an academic advisor to choose their classes. Parents are welcome to attend. For more information, go to: nmc.edu/admission/orientation. After attending an orientation session and getting registered for classes, students will be required to have a counselor’s signature on their class registration form, or to meet with a counselor in order to ensure they are staying on track.

When Does My Student Register For Classes?

First-year students will register for classes during orientation, when they meet with an academic advisor. Specific dates can be found at: nmc.edu/admissions/orientation/orientation-dates.html.

Here is a general outline:

  • Fall Registration – Begins in April and dates go through August
  • Spring Registration – Begins in November and dates go through mid-January
  • Summer Registration – Begins in November and dates go through early June

My Student Has Special Needs. Is There Help Available?

The Support Services Office provides services to students who have special needs, including interpreters for deaf students, note-takers and special testing arrangements. It is important that you contact the Tutoring office in order to discuss your student’s situation with them directly. Tutoring is also available and a popular service for many students. Tutoring takes place in the tutoring office with a student mentor or part-time staff member in a small group setting. Visit their web pages at nmc.edu/student-services/tutoring-support/support-services.html or contact their office at (231) 995-1138.

What If My Student Doesn’t Have A Major?

Choosing NMC to begin work on general education requirements, or “basics”, is a great idea — especially if your student has not yet chosen a program of study. It’s much more cost effective to begin their education here and transfer to a four-year school once they have decided what they want to study. We also recommend your student goes through some career exploration in our Career and Employment Services Office to see which career areas may be suitable for them. Call 231-995-1041 for more information.

What Is MACRAO?

The Michigan Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO) has adopted an agreement to help students transfer more easily from Michigan community colleges to participating four-year colleges and universities. The agreement provides for transferability of up to 30 semester credits to meet many (in some cases all) of the General Education Requirements at participating Michigan institutions. Some participating institutions include provisos with limitations and exceptions, which may be based on the student’s program of study. Students should check with NMC counselors and admissions personnel at the transfer institution to learn about an institution’s level of participation. Information may also be found at www.macrao.org.

The following courses satisfy the MACRAO agreement requirements:

  1. English Composition: MACRAO specifies minimum of 6 credit hours, which can be fulfilled through completion of NMC’s ENG 111 and 112 English Composition.
  2. Humanities: 8 credits from Group 1. Courses must be taken in more than one department.
  3. Natural Science: 8 credits from Group 1 Natural Sciences (with at least one lecture/laboratory course). Mathematics may be included in this category. Courses must be taken in more than one department.
  4. Social Sciences: 8 credits from Group 1 Courses must be taken in more than one department.

All courses which meet MACRAO requirements are listed as “Group 1 Courses” on pages 65-66 of the NMC catalog.

When students have completed the MACRAO requirements, they should notify the NMC Records Office so their transcripts will be noted “MACRAO AGREEMENT SATISFIED.”

Completion of the ASA degree will fulfill the MACRAO requirements. However, it is not necessary to complete the entire associate degree to satisfy the MACRAO agreement or to transfer to four-year schools.

How Does My Student Drop A Class?

Before dropping a class, it is a good idea to speak with the instructor of the class, an academic advisor, as well as the Financial Aid office to see if it may impact your student’s financial aid. They may be able to help you. You could also consider getting help from our Tutoring Office (nmc.edu/student-services/tutoring-support/support-services.html). Make sure you are aware of reimbursement dates and deadlines, as well as how your student’s financial aid could be affected before dropping a class.

When Should My Student Apply To the School Where They Intend To Transfer?

It is best to contact the school where your student plans to transfer in order to determine deadlines for applying, minimum GPA requirements, and scholarship information. You can visit our Counseling Office for transfer guides and access to university catalogs and transfer applications. We also have transfer guides on our website at nmc.edu/student-services/advising-center/transfer-guides.

How Will My Student Know If They Are Ready To Graduate?

Graduation is not automatic and your student will need to complete an Application for Degree or Certificate in order to have their transcript audited in order to determine if they have enough credits. You can find the PDF application at nmc.edu/student-services/records-registration/forms/application-for-degree.pdf. This application needs to be submitted to the Records Office before your student’s last semester. If your student has met all the requirements for graduation, they will be notified and will receive their diploma within 4-6 weeks of completing their last semester. If there are still classes which need to be completed, your student will be notified as to which classes so, if need be, they can sign up for those classes before the start of their last anticipated semester.

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