Dual Credit - Counselors


North Idaho College’s Dual Credit program provides the opportunity for high school students to earn college credits at a reduced rate while still satisfying high school graduation requirements. NIC offers many challenging classes, all of which are available to dual credit students as long as they satisfy the prerequisites for the class. NIC classes typically cover as much material in one semester as most high school classes cover in one year. Often, classes require up to two hours of out-of-class study, per course credit, per week. All dual credit grades become part of a student's permanent college transcript. Students are also responsible for completing all high school graduation requirements, and have the opportunity to earn an associate's degree and high school diploma at the same time.

Steps To Apply To Become A NIC Student

The high school counselor can determine eligibility and help develop a plan. To qualify a student must be at least 16 years of age and/or have completed one-half of your high school graduation requirements. A 3.0 GPA is recommended. There are some exceptions, noted on the Dual Credit Authorization Form (#3 on the Admissions Steps).

Please follow Admissions Steps to help your student be successful.  The more they do themselves, the better their college experience will be.

Dual Credit students pay a reduced tuition rate which can be viewed on the tuition rate page.

Test Requirements

Test scores are required for dual credit students for courses that require a placement scores to register. If students do not have an ACT, SAT or COMPASS test score on file for a course that requires a score, they will not be able to register. To sign up for a COMPASS testing time through NIC’s Testing Center, go to https://www.nic.edu/signup/default.aspx?type=compass.  Click on the time best for you and sign up.

COMPASS is the computerized reading, writing, and math placement exam at NIC. No previous computer experience is necessary. The Testing Center will provide a calculator, scratch paper and pencil. A Photo ID Must Be Presented Before Testing! It is important to not rush through the test. Free practice tests are available online. Search for COMPASS practice test and pick one.

Registering for Classes

Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree
Effective fall 2015, NIC has a new framework for general education that has drawn from and embeds the nine abilities. NIC has adopted the principles and requirements outlined in Idaho’s Statewide General Education (Policy III N). NIC’s faculty met with colleagues from across the disciplines at each of the two-and four-year higher education institutions in Idaho to write competencies in six areas of general education. These are Written Communication, Oral Communication, Mathematical Ways of Knowing, Scientific Ways of Knowing, Humanistic and Artistic Ways of Knowing, and Social and Behavioral Ways of Knowing. The courses listed in the GEM requirements represent the thoughtfully considered review by faculty of the content and learning outcomes for the general education core at NIC.

Paying for Classes

Idaho State Department of Education - Office of Advanced Opportunities
Beginning July 1, 2016 the Fast Forward program provides every student attending an Idaho public school an allocation of $4,125.00 to use towards Advanced Opportunities in grades 7-12. The program was expanded by the Legislature in 2016 through the passing of House Bill 458. The fund can be used for:

Dual Credits 
Dual credits are courses taken by high school students that are transcribed on their high school and college transcripts. Through dual credit, students enroll in NIC college-level classes at a significantly reduced tuition rate.

The Fast Forward program can pay the cost of $65.00/credit. However, students are responsible for the cost of lab and other fees, books, supplies, non-course related fees, and transportation to and from college. These fees can be paid through your student’s MyNIC account (Student Menu, Student Accounts, View Account and Make Payments). Traditional federal financial aid is not available for dual credit students.

NIC also requires parking permits for parking on campus. Permits for 2016-17 are now available for purchase online through MyNIC, as well as in person at the Parking Services office in the Student Union Building. Under Bookmarks, click Parking Services (https://mynic.nic.edu/sites/facilities/parking if you are already logged on) and choose from the button options. You will need your vehicle's license number and students will need their student ID number.

Dual Credit courses can be taken face-to-face, online (internet), by virtual conferencing, or in some high schools. 

Students can utilize Fast Forward funds to pay for a variety of college-credit bearing or professional technical exams. These include Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), or Career Technical Education (CTE) exams. 

Overload Courses 
An overload course is a high school level course that is taken in excess of the student’s regular school day. These courses are offered online, during the summertime, and after school. In the event that student incurs a cost for such courses, the Fast Forward program can pay up to $225.00 for the cost of the course. Overload courses must be above and beyond the full course load offered by the student’s local school.

Parents can save hundreds of dollars in tuition by their students moving ahead with completing high school requirements early and when your student is 16 years old, by starting college early through dual credit!

An Advanced Opportunities Participation Form allows students to participate in the Fast Forward program through the Idaho State Department of Education as authorized by Idaho Code 33, Chapter 46: Advanced Opportunities. By signing this form, the student and parent/guardian agree to the conditions and provisions of the program. The participation form needs to be signed and sent to your participating high school counselor and will be retained by the student’s school district.

The Idaho State Department of Education Advanced Opportunities website link: http://www.sde.idaho.gov/student-engagement/advanced-ops/index.html
Portal registration instructions are as follows:
Registration is a two-part process.
Step 1: The student must create an account with the State Department of Education.

  • Go to www.sde.idaho.gov/sectr/adv-opp/
  • Choose “Apply for Advanced Opportunities” (blue button in the middle of the page)
  • Select “Create an Account” in the top right corner
  • Fill in all the information (if you don’t know your EDUID, leave it blank)
  • Choose “Enroll New Student” to submit
  • Verify the account, using the confirmation email sent to the student. (Sometimes these go to student spam folders. If they aren’t received instantly, there is a problem.)

From here, your school will verify your account. Once this is done, you may sign up for funding.

Step 2: Sign up for course or exam funding, once you know the account is active.

  • Go to https://advancedops.sde.idaho.gov and login
  • Choose “Student Landing” in the top left corner
  • Apply for funding
    • Choose Exam or Course
    • Register the information for that course/exam
      • Most courses or exams are available in a drop down menu. If you don’t see your course or exam, contact your counselor. He or she may need to enter the course for you.
      • Choose Fast Forward
    • Submit your registration

Reasons Students May Not Be Able to Register

  • Dual Credit Authorization Form (DCAF) not submitted
  • Placement test scores may not satisfy requirements for class
  • Outstanding tuition or fees on Student Account from previous semester
  • If a student applies to NIC but does not take a class, their account becomes dormant or inactive. To reactivate their account, student must re-apply as a Dual Credit High School Student - www.NIC.edu/Apply (It takes about 5 minutes). Their application will be updated and processed. 
  • High School class may overlap NIC class between semesters


The Dual Credit Coordinator or a NIC advisor may approve retesting of the COMPASS test (either partial or full) for dual credit students who have tested within the last two years. Please call the dual credit office to request a retest form. Students must bring a completed retest form and a $10 retest fee to be paid by cash or check (payable to North Idaho College) at the time of the test.