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College Survival Guide

This mini-survival guide has been prepared especially for YOU in an attempt to make your transition into the college environment a smooth one. RLC Student Services understands your frustration! We have been listening . . . and we know you often have found yourself saying, “NOBODY TOLD ME!” So, we put together a list that hopefully will answer many of your questions about life at Rend Lake College.


Nobody told me...

  • I need to fill out an application form. (In-State residents can complete our New Student Enrollment Form)
  • I need proof (such as a driver’s license or a utility bill) that I am a resident of District 521 (RLC’s District) to be eligible for in-district tuition.
  • I must have my high school and college transcripts sent to RLC’s Student Records Office.
  • If I decide to use my Social Security number as an identifying number, I need to make sure that I use my correct Social Security number on all documents.
  • It is acceptable to NOT have a major during my freshman year.
  • RLC’s nursing programs are selective admissions programs and have specific admission requirements. If I am interested in the nursing program, I should contact the Allied Health Division, Ext. 1251.


Nobody told me...

  • It is a good idea to see an advisor before registration each semester. (Complete list of academic advisors)
  • Classmates are not advisors.
  • The catalog contains information about ALL classes and programs of study offered at RLC. (The catalog is available online.)
  • Withdrawals will not affect my GPA, but they may affect my financial aid.
  • The Associate in Arts (AA) and the Associate in Science (AS) degrees are different.
  • The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree is completely different from the AA and AS degrees. Check with your advisor for transferability to a four-year institution.
  • I need to fulfill the constitution requirement to complete my Associate Degree, including the AAS.
  • I need to APPLY FOR GRADUATION the semester before I plan to graduate. (Apply for Graduation)
  • My GPA can affect many things . . . graduation, future college enrollment, scholarship applications, jobs, etc.

Registration / Enrollment

Nobody told me...

  • The first time I register, I need to complete all enrollment procedures in person.
  • I need RLC placement test scores or ACT scores and any college transcripts on file with RLC before enrolling in classes.
  • Schedules are available before enrollment begins, both in paper copy and online.
  • Students are responsible for enrolling, dropping, and withdrawing from classes.
  • Dropping a class and withdrawing from a class are two different things.
  • I will be dropped from my courses for non-payment. Students receiving aid should always contact the Financial Aid Office when registering to be certain that their paperwork is complete.
  • I should not assume that I will be dropped from my courses for not attending.
  • All of my fines and balances must be paid before I can enroll.
  • If I get dropped for non-payment, I will have to pay a $15 service charge before I can re-enroll.

Financial Aid

Nobody told me...

  • I need to apply for financial aid each year, preferably early in the year.
  • I do not need to be a full-time student to be eligible for financial aid.
  • I need to go to the Financial Aid Office to check how withdrawals affect my aid before withdrawing.
  • Non-attendance in my classes will affect the amount of financial aid that I will be eligible to receive.


Nobody told me...

  • There are free tutors available for all students in the Learning Enhancement Center.
  • I am responsible for requesting official transcripts to be sent to other schools. These requests should be made through written permission slips or through my Online Student Records System account. Transcripts will not be sent based on phone calls.
  • Assistance is available for veterans.
  • I can receive credit for volunteerism and cooperative work study programs.
  • To receive my diploma, I must apply for graduation and pay a graduation fee. The diploma will be mailed 4-6 weeks after the end of the semester. (More information:Graduation)
  • I can ask my academic advisor or counselor ANY question. ALL questions are valid!
  • Librarians are willing to help with research projects.
  • The Student Code of Conduct found in the Student’s Rights and Responsibilities Handbook binds all students.
  • To receive my grades, I must create an Online Student Records System account. Grade cards are not sent through mail.
  • I need a Rend Lake College Student ID.

Transferring to a Four-Year University

Nobody told me...

  • I need to be considering attendance at a university early in my college career.
  • I need to contact the universities and ask them to send me their catalogs, applications, scholarship information, program specific information, housing information, etc.
  • While RLC advisors will assist me in choosing the appropriate transfer courses, I should contact the university where I plan to transfer and confirm these choices.
  • I will need to contact Student Records, either by sending a letter or completing a form, to have an official transcript mailed to my transfer college.

Student Services
Phone Number: (618) 437-5321 Ext. 1343

Address: 468 N. Ken Gray Parkway, Ina, IL 62846 Attn: Student Services
Fax Number: (618) 437-5677 Attn: Student Services

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