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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 can transfer. 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 $25 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.
  • 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 RL-Cares ANY question. ALL questions are valid!
  • Librarians are willing to help with research projects.
  • The Student Code of Conduct found in the Student Handbook binds all students.
  • 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 request an official transcript be sent to my transfer college.
  • That A.A.S. degrees can transfer to a university.

Student Services
Phone Number: (618) 437-5321 Ext. 1343
Email Student Services
Address: 468 N. Ken Gray Parkway, Ina, IL 62846 Attn: Student Services
Fax Number: (618) 437-5677 Attn: Student Services