Frequently Asked Questions for Prospective Online Students

The University of Minnesota Crookston is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association (NCA).

1. Will my credits transfer?

UMC is very transfer friendly and accepts credits from schools that are/were accredited by Regional Accrediting Associations at the time of attendance. To find out what credits will transfer in to our online programs, request a free pre-evaluation of your credits and send a copy of all transcripts to the Office of Admissions.

2. What does regional accreditation mean?

A regionally accredited institution of higher education means a community college, college, or university which is a candidate for accreditation or is accredited by one of the following regional accrediting bodies. There are six regional accrediting organizations: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), New England Commissio of Higher Education (NECHE), Southern Assosciation of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

3. Do I need to send in all my transcripts?

Yes. All transcripts from institutions in which credit was attempted and/or earned need to be sent to the Office of Admissions, no matter how long ago it was from. This includes transcripts from regionally accredited institutions, non regionally accredited institutions, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureatte (IB), College Level Exam Preparation (CLEP), etc. Even if you don't believe the credits will transfer in, it is our university policy to obtain all official transcripts for accreditation purposes.

4. What qualifies as an "official" transcript?

Official transcripts are certified and signed by the University registrar. You should request that the institution send your transcript directly to the Office of Admissions at or 2900 University Avenue Crookston, MN 56716.

The University of Minnesota considers transcripts “official” only when the certified record of academic work is transmitted in a confidential manner from the issuing institution and includes proper signatures and authentication elements. The acceptance of official transcript(s) is at the discretion of the Registrar and may include sealed paper documents, a secure PDF utilizing a secure delivery service, secure transmission of electronic records from the issuing institution, etc., and should be a complete record of all coursework taken with final grades/marks. Faxed or photocopied academic records are not considered official.

You can find additional information about official electronic and paper transcripts here.

5. What are the admissions requirements?

You can find more information about the application review factors, as well as application checklists for Freshman and Transfer students here.

6. How do I know what classes I would need to take?

Once you are admitted to one of our online programs, you will be assigned an academic advisor who will work closely with you to ensure you are on the right path toward graduation. Your advisor will reach out to you via email when it is time to begin discussing your registration.

7. How many courses should I take at a time?

You can expect to spend as much time in your online course as the traditional campus course, and most courses require weekly participation and completion of assignments. We recommend new students only take one or two courses their first semester until they get used to the technology and online learning environment. More experienced students take 3, 4 or more classes each semester, but much of this is based on your job, family, and other commitments, as well as the difficulty of the courses.

The average time commitment for Fall and Spring semester courses is 3-4 hours per credit per week. Example: for a 3 credit course, you can expect 9-12 hours per week of study time in order to successfully complete the course.

Because the summer term is an 8 week condensed term, the average time commitment for a summer course is 6-8 hours per credit per week. Example: for a 3 credit course, you can expect 18-24 hours per week of study time in order to successfully complete the course.

8. When do classes start and how long do they run?

UMC’s online courses are offered on a semester basis. There are three semesters each year: a 16 week Fall semester, a 16 week Spring semester, and a condensed 8 week Summer semester. See our Academic Calendar for specific dates.

9. Are your programs completely online?

Yes. The only time you will need to come to campus is if you choose to participate in the graduation ceremonies on campus; however, attending graduation is not a requirement for studying online.
*Some courses may require a proctor for the tests.

10. Do I have to be online at a certain time? What does an online class look like?

UMC’s online programs allow you to study at your convenience. Course outcomes and class deadlines for homework and tests are outlined in the class syllabi. Online learning is meant to be flexible and available 24/7. UMC utilizes Canvas as a Learning Management System. Canvas is available for enrolled students to access, engage and participate electronically.

11. Does the diploma earned from an online program look like a traditional diploma earned on campus?

Yes. Online courses and degrees are fully accredited by the University of Minnesota and are equivalent to on-campus courses and degrees. Your diploma will read and be awarded by the University of Minnesota campus in which you achieve your degree and does not indicate that courses were taken online.

12. Do I get a UMC laptop computer?

You must physically attend classes on the Crookston campus as, at least, a half time student in order to qualify for a laptop.

13. Can I qualify for some kind of financial aid?

Yes. Degree seeking students who are taking at least 6 credits per semester and who meet all other federal eligibility requirements, may be eligible to receive federal student aid. See our Finances section. Your first step in finding out what you qualify for is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit our school code 004069. Once admitted, and as long as you have shared your FAFSA with us by submitting our school code, our Financial Aid Officers will be able to view your eligibility and go over it with you in detail.

You can also apply for additional Specialty Scholarships. View our Scholarships web page for more information. 

14. How much will it cost?

Tuition information can be found on our Costs webpage.

15. If I am studying online, do I have to pay student fees?

As an online student you are required to pay the online per credit fee. You will not need to pay the traditional student fees you would accrue if you were on campus. In addition to tuition and the online per credit fee, the only other cost you will be liable for is the cost of your textbooks.

16. Do I need to purchase textbooks for my online classes?

Yes. Most courses require textbooks. Books can be purchased online or over the phone from the UMC Bookstore. Financial aid can be applied toward the purchase if you request a student U Card prior to ordering your textbooks, but you must be registered for classes before you can order a U Card.

17. When do I pay my tuition?

You can find the Billing & Payment dates and deadlines schedule here. For additional information about where to view your bill and how to pay it, see here.

18. Can I set up a payment plan?

Yes. For billing and tuition inquiries please contact the Business Office: 1-800-862-6466 ext. 8325 or 218-281-8331.

19. Is there a maximum number of credit hours allotted for financial aid if a student is working on completing a bachelor's degree?

Yes. Financial aid for students who have approached the maximum number of credit hours required for their bachelor's degree; if they have attempted 150%: "The regulation states 150% of credits required to graduate." Here at UMC, that number is 180 credits. Students are placed on warning at 150 credits. At that time, while working with the Financial Aid Office, the student can fill out the appeal form, for consideration and have a plan for finishing up keeping that 180 credits in mind. There is a limited number of exceptions when the committee considers an appeal and may approve the proposed appeal beyond 180 credits. Please contact Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships for further assistance and information.

See these additional resources for more information: Getting Started - Newly Admitted Online Students and Frequently Asked Questions - Current Online Students