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See If You Qualify for Advanced Standing

Applicants entering Northwestern College may qualify for advanced standing on the basis of transfer of credit from another institution and/or credit for life experience through proficiency examinations.

Transferring Credits

Northwestern College may accept credit for classes taken at an accredited college or university if the grade earned is C or higher, the class is college level and credit-bearing, and is equivalent to a course taught at NC in the student's major.

Students must complete 50 percent of the entire program and 67 percent of the major at NC. If the student changes majors, his/her transferred credit will be reevaluated at the student's request.

College credit earned in foreign countries will be considered for transfer after a student has successfully completed 12 credit hours or more at NC with at least a 2.0 GPA. If the transcript is not in English, it is the student's obligation to have an official translation and evaluation performed by an education credential evaluator.

Unless permission is received in advance, a student may not transfer credits taken after he/she begins classes at Northwestern College.

Life Experience Credits

The College will evaluate life experience credits through written examination. The student may elect to take either of the two proficiency examinations offered by the College.

Credit for High School Classes

Northwestern College does not give college credit for high school classes. However, students who feel they have attained college-level competency in a given class are encouraged to take the Credit By Examination.

Proficiency Examinations

Northwestern College offers two types of proficiency examinations to determine a student's prior knowledge of a subject. Students should see the Student Services Department for the list of classes for which proficiency examinations may be taken.

  • Proficiency tests are written and content is based on the specific criteria of a given course. In skill subjects such as word processing, keyboarding, etc., there is also a practical component to the test.
  • The student must not be enrolled in or have completed the class for which he/she decides to test.
  • The minimum passing score is 76 percent.
  • No more than 50 percent of the credits in a given program may be earned through proficiency examinations. No more than 33 percent of the credits in the major may be earned in this way.

Advanced Status Examinations

These tests are given to determine class placement, but do not award college credit. There is no charge for this exam. Students may elect to take the Advanced Status Examination for any of the following reasons:

  • To verify the class placement when credits have been earned at a foreign college or university. (Students must still complete at least 12 credit hours in residence before his/her transcript is evaluated.)
  • To prove advanced standing for skills learned in high school.
  • To provide advanced standing for life experience.
  • To verify competency in a prerequisite when transferred credit is over five years old.

Credit By Examination

Students who take and pass the CBE will receive credit for the course. Students are charged 25 percent of the cost of the tuition of the class for the test. If, however, students do not pass the CBE, the fee (minus a 25 percent administrative charge) is applied to the tuition for the class. Students may not earn CBE for a course they are currently taking or for a course they have failed in a previous quarter at NC.