Parents FAQ

When someone has received notification of acceptance to BSC, what happens next?

My son/daughter was not accepted into their program of choice or into a College English or math course because their ACT scores did not meet the requirements. I know he/she can do better. Is there another option?

What are academic advisors and do all BSC students have one?

Why should a student see an academic advisor?

What should a student bring to an advising appointment?

Can students change advisors?

How do students know which courses to take each semester?

If a student has not chosen an academic program and doesn't know what he/she wants to do, is there someone who can help?

What is a typical course load for a freshman at BSC?

Should students work while in college?

If a student had an IEP in high school, what services are available at BSC?

What financial aid is available for BSC students?

How do students apply for financial aid?

How are students notified of the amount owed for tuition and fees and what payment options are available?

What should students do if they are registered for classes and decide not to attend BSC?

What happens if a student does not withdraw/drop from classes by the deadline to withdraw without record?

How do students know what textbooks are needed for class?

When and how do students buy textbooks?

How does a BSC student find and print their class schedule?

How and where do students get a Mystic Card (Student ID)?

A student needs to withdraw from BSC.  What needs to be done?

How can I track my son's or daughter's academic progress?

How do students keep track of their academic progress throughout the semester?

Can I find out how my son or daughter is doing in his/her classes?

Is there guidance for undecided students?

If struggling with coursework, where can students seek help?

What does it mean to be named to the President's List?


When someone has received notification of acceptance to BSC, what happens next?
Students who have been accepted for the fall semester will be mailed a registration packet from the Academic Records Office. This registration packet will contain information about setting up a new student registration appointment and registering for fall courses. These packets will be mailed to accepted students starting in May. Students accepted for spring semester will be sent registration packets starting in December.

My son/daughter was not accepted into their program of choice or into a College English or math course because their ACT scores did not meet the requirements. I know he/she can do better. Is there another option?
When a student does not meet the required scores for a specific program or course, they can take the ACCUPLACER Placement exam to improve on their placement scores. ACCUPLACER is a computerized adaptive placement exam, it's purpose is to provide students with useful information about their academic skills. It is not pass/fail; instead, scores will be used to help place students in the level where they will find the most success. Students will have their scores screened for proper placement in English (Writeplacer), Math, and Reading. With no time limit, typically students will spend around 1 1/2 - 2 hours to complete the full exam. Even though the placement exam is computerized, computer skills are not necessary. Schedule an appointment to take the exam, and visit Testing Services for more information regarding placement testing.

What are academic advisors and do all BSC students have one?
An academic advisor is assigned to each student enrolled at BSC based on their program of study. This advisor may be a faculty member or a professional staff member. Students can find their advisor's name and contact information under Student Center in CampusConnection.

Why should a student see an academic advisor?
Academic advising is an important step towards achieving academic success. A relationship with an academic advisor provides students with an educational plan that fits life goals and objectives. Most of all, an advisor helps students select appropriate courses for the degree selected.

What should students bring to an advising appointment?
Students should bring a list of courses they would like to enroll in as well as a list of questions or topics they would like to discuss with their advisor. The advisor should be able to answer questions relating to services available to assist students in being successful in college. They will have answers to questions relating to the career your student is interested in pursuing.

Can students change advisors?
Yes.  By submitting a program/advisor change form located on the Academic Records website, students are allowed to change advisors. Program/Advisor Change Form

How do students know which courses to take?
Students should schedule an appointment with an academic advisor to determine the appropriate classes for the next semester. It is the student's responsibility to schedule advisor appointments.

If a student has not chosen an academic program, and doesn't know what he/she wants to do, is there someone who can help?
Yes. Counseling and Career Services offers free counseling for students who are uncertain about their academic goals. The office is located in the Mystic Advising and Counseling Center (MACC) located in the lower level of the Student Union, across from the bookstore. A variety of assessment tests and occupational information are available. Students should begin career planning early in the academic year.

What is a typical course load for a freshman?
To be considered a full-time student, a student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester. However, an average course load for a full-time student is usually 14-16 credits per semester. If a student has a weak academic background, or is working part-time for 15-20 hours a week, or is involved in time consuming extra-curricular activities, they will be advised to take a reduced load. A student should expect to spend at least 40 hours a week for class time and studying when taking 15 credits per semester.

Should students work while in college?
There is no simple answer to this question. Much depends on the student's credit load, financial need, involvement in extracurricular activities and family responsibilities. Being a full-time student is the equivalent of working full time. To do well academically, students must get plenty of rest in order to be alert and receptive during class and studying. The more outside work a student has, the less time is available for academic study. If a student must work 40 hours a week, then it would be best to take only one or two courses per semester. If a student must work while maintaining full-time student status, he/she should not work more than 20 hours a week.

If a student had an IEP in high school, what services are available at BSC?
A student who has been on an IEP or 504 Plan in high school, should contact the Student Accessibility Office (701-224-2575) for accommodation services that may be available. An individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan, if you have one, may help identify services that have been effective for you. However, this is generally not sufficient documentation because of the differences between postsecondary education and high school education. Additional information is available here.

What financial aid is available for BSC students?
The Financial Aid office assists students in securing adequate funding for their educational related college expenses from a variety of sources. Financial Aid and Scholarship information is available in the Financial Aid office located in Schafer Hall. Additional financial aid information

How do students apply for financial aid?
The student will need to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at fafsa.gov. The priority deadline each year is April 15th.  Both parent and student will need a PIN number which can be obtained at pin.ed.gov. When completing the FAFSA form we recommend for the student and parent to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool that is available on the income part of the FAFSA.  Bismarck State College's School Code is 002988.  Visit step by step instructions to applying for financial aid.

How are students notified of the amount owed for tuition and fees and what payment options are available?
Answers to these types of questions can be found at the BSC Student Finance website.

What should students do if they are registered for classes and decide not to attend BSC?
If a student has decided not to attend Bismarck State College, it is the student's responsibility to withdraw to zero credits prior to the first day of class to avoid payment obligations. For more information visit Withdraw to Zero Credits.

What happens if a student does not withdraw/drop from classes by the deadline to withdraw without record?
Students are responsible for the balance due for any courses they enroll. If they do not withdraw from college, they will need to pay for the courses and they may receive failing grades if they have not attended or turned in assignments. Students have the ability to review their account and class schedule through CampusConnection to verify accuracy of any transactions they have completed. Non-attendance and non-payment of the student account balance does not eliminate the debt. For more information, visit our Billing & Payment Information web page.

How do students know what textbooks are needed for class?
The bookstore website has a list of textbook name and ISBN required for each class.  Students can access this list, and check various sources for pricing information prior to purchasing the books at the BSC Bookstore.  Some textbooks are available for rental through the BSC Bookstore as well.

When and how do students buy textbooks?
Textbooks will be available to purchase with cash or credit card starting about two weeks prior to classes starting. Books can be charged to excess financial aid or third parties starting the Thursday before classes begin.  Students MUST have a student ID and class schedule in order to purchase textbooks at the BSC Bookstore.  Students can also purchase books online - check the BSC Bookstore website for more information.

How does a BSC student find and print their class schedule?
Students have access to all their academic records information through CampusConnection.  Click here for CampusConnection help sheets.

How and where do students get a Mystic Card (Student ID)?
The Mystic Cards are printed at the BSC Bookstore during regular bookstore hours.  BSC students must present photographic proof of identification (e.g. current driver's license or passport) and proof of their NDUS (North Dakota University System) EMPLID number. For further information go to www.bismarckstate.edu/students/resources/mysticid/.

If a student needs to totally withdraw from BSC, what needs to be done?
To totally withdraw from all BSC courses, the Withdrawal to Zero Form should be completed by the appropriate school calendar deadline.

How can I track my son's or daughter's academic progress?
We encourage parents to be supportive of students and to talk with their daughter or son about their academic progress. We also recognize that college is an important time for students to realize their independence and sense of personal responsibility. Due to confidentiality laws, we are unable to share personal academic information with parents unless the student has formally instructed us to do so.

How do students keep track of their academic progress throughout the semester?
It is the responsibility of all students to remain in contact with their instructors regarding progress in enrolled courses. Only final grades are posted in CampusConnection.

Can I find out how my son or daughter is doing in his/her classes?
Yes…by asking them.  The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guarantees privacy for all students. Educational records contained in student records will not be otherwise released without written consent from the student. For student records purposes, the college assumes that all students are independent. Students who would like to release educational records to a 3rd party must complete the FERPA Release Form. The completed form must be submitted to the Academic Records office for processing. The release remains in effect until the student revokes such consent in writing.  However, faculty and staff are still limited in the amount of information they can share with you.

Is there guidance for undecided students?
Many first-year students are not sure about a major. The college experience is an important time for students to explore and discover new interests, strengths and possibilities. Career Counseling Services personnel offer assistance to help BSC students make informed decisions about career and educational goals, using a variety of resources to explore possible careers.

If struggling with coursework, where can students seek help?
Students can obtain help from a number of individuals or resources, depending on the problem:
  • An advisor.  Advisors are able to discuss options with the student.  By talking through the issue they can recommend the appropriate resources.
  • The professor teaching the course. Faculty post and keep office hours and may also be available before or after class. Contact information (email address and telephone number) should be listed on the course syllabus, but can also on the BSC Employee Directory.
  • Free tutoring is available to help students in selected courses (chemistry, computer science, math, accounting, sciences, English). Tutoring services are available on a walk-in basis in the Sykes Student Success Center located on the 3rd floor of the Jack Science Center.
  • Forming study groups with classmates help students get to know one another and to develop friendships and opportunities for studying together.


What does it mean to be named to the President's List?
It means your student is doing well academically.  The President's Honor Roll is compiled at the end of each semester to give recognition to students who have maintained at least a 3.50 grade point average while enrolled in at least 12 semester credit hours during the semester. Students on the list receive notification from the President in recognition of their achievement. It is also indicated on your student's transcript.