Parent Perspective

Parents are an important part of a student’s college education. This resource page includes answers to common questions and important information to help you guide your student through PSEO and Early College at Northwestern.

Application, Registration, and Course Change Dates

Fall 2014

Semester length:August 27, 2014 – December 18, 2014
Application deadline:July 1, 2014
Course registration opens:April 14, 2014
Last day to self-register on theROCK:September 3, 2014

Last day to add/drop a course
(adding a course is dependent upon availability)

September 10, 2014

Getting Connected

Visiting the UNW campus

If your student is considering attending Northwestern after high school you may contact Admissions to arrange a time visit Northwestern. You can set up a personalized visit or to attend one of ourcampus visit events for prospective undergraduate students.

One-on-One Visits

Our admission staff is also happy to answer your questions about PSEO and Early College. Please contact an Early College/PSEO admission counselor for a personal appointment by phone or in-person.

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Student Services

Once your student is admitted, the student services staff can work with your student to answer questions and encourage their success. An academic advisor will help your student each semester to make a plan that will fit for a variety of post-high-school options. We also encourage your student to set up meetings with other colleges that he or she is interested in to learn about what classes they require.

Additionally, the academic advisor should be consulted if the student is experiencing challenges. The deadlines above are important to keep in mind if changing or withdrawing from courses is being considered; we encourage your student to always consult first with the academic advisor before making any course change decisions.

They can reach an academic advisor at 651-631-5300 or email

Ensuring Student Success for Online PSEO and Early College

Northwestern’s online PSEO and Early College programs require students to have internet access to complete their courses. Our courses consist of online video lectures and readings as well as a book, depending on the course. Students have a professor to answer questions just like any other class. Our courses are offered in either an Independent Study or Learning Group format.

For both of these types of courses student must show responsibility, time management and the ability to complete college level work. We encourage you to discuss this type of course format with your student to see if this is something they would be able to adapt to and succeed in. 

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 can 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 allows students to interact with other students and their instructor via an online discussion board, submit assignments and exams electronically, and have an added time requirement. 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 since assignments have due dates which are to be followed throughout the semester.

Study Groups

Any parent can help their student stay on track with the course calendar. Encouragement and accountability are two things that parents can offer their students!

There are a few study groups in the Twin Cities. These groups are independent and not affiliated with University of Northwestern. You may check with a school counselor or homeschool cooperative to see if there are other groups or resources in your area.

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Program Participation

Homeschooled Students

Northwestern understands the needs of homeschooled learners and will help guide you through the process. Nearly 50 percent of our PSEO students are homeschooled and approximately 10 percent of Northwestern's traditional undergraduate students have been homeschooled.

PSEO through Multiple Institutions

The Minnesota PSEO program allows you to take courses through multiple institutions, but please keep in mind that you must apply to each PSEO program individually and will need to work out details with your high school.

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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

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.

Computer Requirements

Participation in Northwestern’s online courses requires the use of a personal computer with Internet access. Download a copy of our computer requirements.

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