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Getting Started

These questions are designed to help parents and students navigate through the process for preparing for the first semester of college.

When should my child apply/begin the process?

Your child can apply to IVCC within a few months prior to the start of their first term. If your child has taken an IVCC course while in high school, the application is already taken care of for summer or fall enrollment following graduation.

 

How can my daughter get a tour or see the college?

Prospective students who would like to arrange a tour of IVCC should call Connie Skerston in the Admissions Office at (815) 224-0446 or e-mail to make arrangements.  We ask that the prospective student call a week prior to the intended visit so that we can best tailor the tour to the student's needs.

 

How does my child apply to IVCC?

IVCC application forms can be acquired through high school guidance offices or on the IVCC website.   The IVCC Admissions Office is happy to mail applications as well and can be reached at (815) 224-0439.

 

How does my child apply to other universities?

Applications for the state universities and many private colleges are available in the IVCC Counseling Center. Students may also contact the school of their choice by phone or on the Internet to obtain application information. Most colleges will require an official transcript if a student has attended IVCC. To find out ways of obtaining a copy of an official transcript, see the Transcript Request page on the Admissions & Records website.

 

Does my child need to take placement tests?

If your child plans to attend IVCC for the first time as a full-time student (12 credits or more), he/she does need to take the Accuplacer placement exams. Also, placement tests are required for any part-time students who intend on enrolling in English or Math classes.

Information about using ACT scores for placement is available on the Assessment Center webpage. ACT scores will only be accepted for placement if sent directly to IVCC from ACT or are placed on an officially sealed High School transcript.  Certain programs also require interested students to take the placement tests.

 

How does placement testing work?

Accuplacer placement tests are computerized and required for first-time, full-time students or for those who are attending part-time but are planning to enroll in any English or Math course.  

Appointments can be made through the Assessment Center by calling (815) 224-0542 and are administered at both the IVCC Main Campus and Ottawa Center location.

 

When can I buy textbooks?

The best time to buy books is about one month to three weeks prior to the start of a term.  The bookstore is supplied with most of the fall books by the last week in July.  It is recommended students wait until about December 1 to purchase for the Spring term.  For summer, after May 1 is best.  The earlier a person purchases, the better chance for attaining used books which are less expensive than new books.

The Bookstore can be reached at (815) 224-0311 or by visiting their website.  The store is located off the Main campus lobby directly down the hall from the Library entrance.

 

When does a major/program of study need to be declared?

Every student must declare an academic program when he/she applies and registers.  However, a student can certainly change programs as appropriate.  Counselors are the best resource for a student not knowing the name of their program of interest or for those needing career guidance.

 

When and how do we apply for financial aid?

  • For grants, loans, or work-study:

Students and/or parents should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early in the spring as possible (as soon as their federal tax return is filed) to establish their eligibility for the following school year .  Students must apply for financial aid once each year.

  • For scholarships:

The IVCC Foundation Scholarship application is available in the Financial Aid Office in January of each year.  Most scholarship applications are available from January – March and the scholarships are awarded in the spring of the year for the following fall semester.

 

What if my child registers and changes his/her mind about attending?

If a student registers at IVCC and then decides not to attend, it is important that he/she contact the Registration Office and drop those registered classes.   Registration can be reached at (815) 224-0447.  Be sure to ask for written confirmation that the classes are dropped.

If a student has not paid tuition and fees or made other arrangements for payment, the classes will be automatically dropped.  Otherwise, the student will be held accountable for properly removing himself since the College doesn’t know every student’s intentions.

 

Does high school GPA or class rank count when applying to IVCC?

High school GPA or class rank only come into play for admissions at IVCC for select admission programs such as nursing or therapeutic massage.  Otherwise, we are an open admission college and accept students without conditions as general students.

 

Does my child need to take the ACT to attend IVCC?

This question is interesting because the ACT is now an Illinois mandate.  In recent years, it has become part of the Prairie State Exam that all high school juniors take.  The ACT isn't required for admission purposes at IVCC, but in the future scores may be able to be used for placement into courses.

Is there an orientation?

There are two orientations at IVCC:  

  • All new first-time, full-time students are required to complete a New Student Orientation prior to registering for classes.  The orientation consists of both on-campus and on-line components that must both be completed.
  • There are also two preview sessions available for students.  Fall and Spring Preview are geared to help students get ready for their first semester by meeting faculty, finding the location of their classes, and being informed about other important services available to them.  Students are not required to attend a Fall or Spring preview (depending on their start term), but attending one is highly recommended.  Both previews are offered a few days prior to the beginning of its respective semester.

For more information pertinent to new students, visit the Orientation Webpage.

 

Why is it so important to decide on a major right away?

Students are not required to declare a major right away at IVCC. However, it is very beneficial for students to have some knowledge of their career path. This knowledge will help students to make a smoother transition to a 4 year school or into a vocational program, will help determine core and major coursework, and will lessen the amount of time at either IVCC or at a 4-year institution.

 

How is high school different than college?

There are many answers to this question, but the bottom line is that the accountability and responsibility rest with the student! Here are some examples:

  • In high school, many teachers will constantly remind students of homework and deadlines. 
  • College instructors give students information and expect them to be responsible for it. 
  • Students are responsible for attending classes, completing the work in a timely manner, knowing the important dates and policies for the course, and for taking responsibility if he/she is not doing well.
  • Students spend less time in the classroom than in high school, but a greater amount of work is required outside of the classroom. This can be a shock to students who have never had homework or have never had to study!

 

Are there any special requirements for home-schooled students?

Illinois is open to home-schooled students coming to the community college and earning an Associate Degree.  Placement tests are required as well for first-time, full-time students.

 

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