Hello from Jackie!

Hello to my admitted students for fall 2017!

First of all, I’m so excited that Northwestern is on your radar. We’re so blessed by your interest in a faith-based education, and we are praying that God will guide you this year as you determine where he is leading you, whether that’s to UNW or not!

A little about me: I’m a 2003 graduate of Northwestern. I studied creative writing and LOVED IT. These days, I work in UNW admissions by day, and I write novels for teenagers with HarperCollins Publishers by evening and weekend. It is a busy, full, fun life. Northwestern really set me up for success, both professionally and spiritually. I grew so much in my faith during my time at UNW, and it launched me after graduation into continued spiritual growth.

My job at Northwestern is to help you navigate the enrollment process. I’m here to answer your questions, make sure you stay on top of deadlines, and be a sounding board as you make your college decision.

Please let me know how I can help. My office hours are generally noon to 8 pm on Mondays and 8 am to 4:30 on Tuesday-Friday. My contact info is here.


UNW Parking

Students with 30+ credits …

Students who have 30+ college credits may have a car on campus. Details are here. Vehicle registration is on the campus services tab of theROCK. Registration for 2017-18 will open mid-July.

Note: Make sure your college transcripts have been sent! You will not be able to fill out the parking permit form until your 30 college credits have been processed.

Students with fewer than credits …

Freshmen are welcome to complete a parking appeal form for special circumstances (i.e. medical reasons, primary caretaker for a family member, etc.). Students coming from far distances will be considered. Students wanting a car in order to work off-campus are less likely to be approved.

Changing Your Schedule

After classes start, if you’d like to change your schedule, stop into your advisor’s office during their office hours (which are usually posted outside their door).

Prior to the start of classes, this is how to change your schedule:

Log into theROCK, click the Academics tab. There should be a square on the far left where it asks your term. Choose Fall 2017, and then it will refresh and load with your major, etc. It will also list your summer advisor and have a little envelope next to his/her name. If you click the envelope, it will open an email to that person.

As a new student, you need advisor clearance to change your schedule, so send him or her an email and hang in there. Most advisors are not on campus for most of the summer, so you likely won’t hear back immediately. No worries. Just sit tight. 🙂

Buying Books at UNW

First things first, you need to have a copy of your schedule—your schedule is found on theROCK.

Click the Academics tab, then “Registration Tools.” Click “View Registration Information,” and change the term to Fall 2017.

Next, go to http://campusstore.unwsp.edu. In the first drop-down menu, select “Fall Day School 2017” and click GO.

campus store 1

There you will use your course codes to look up your classes, using your schedule.

Ex: if you were in BIB1005 section 2 with Mark Muska, it would look like this:

campus store 2

Note that used copies are less expensive than new ones; these will go first!

Some benefits to purchasing through the campus bookstore:

  • No shipping costs (you can select to have them held at the bookstore, and you can pick them up during orientation)
  • Price is usually comparable to online stores like Amazon, Half.com, etc.

You are welcome to price-shop, of course. But if you do, I recommend using the ISBN number listed. You want to make sure that you get the EXACT right book. You don’t want to be working out of edition one when your classmates are using edition eight!

Books will not be in stock at our campus bookstore until July, but you can order before then if you choose. Some of your classes might not yet have books listed, in which case you can check back.

You’ll need to create an account to make a purchase, just like you would if it was your first time on Amazon. Your regular username and password are not used here.


How Will My Credits Transfer?

These days, the vast majority of our incoming students are bringing some college credits in with them, whether through PSEO (post secondary enrollment options), Early College, AP (advanced placement), CIS (college in the schools), or CLEP (college level examination program).

If you want to know how your credits will apply toward your chosen major, be sure to fill out this form to request a free transfer credit evaluation. 

Note: If your college credit is from before high school graduation, you’re a new student.
If your college credit is from after high school graduation, you’re a transfer student.


If you’d like, you can also ask to see how the credits apply to two separate majors so that you can compare!


Why Pay the Enrollment Deposit?

Your enrollment deposit of $200 officially secures a place for you at Northwestern.

The fully refundable (until May 1, 2017, for fall students) money goes directly towards your first semester bill, while also allowing you to sign up for campus housing. Because Northwestern has integrated housing (freshmen can live anywhere on campus), the earlier you pay your deposit, the better priority you’ll have when it comes to getting the dorm you want.

All housing assignments are done on a first come first serve basis based on the date students pay their $200 enrollment deposit.

To pay your deposit, click here.



Applying for Financial Aid


Applying for financial aid is actually pretty easy. There is just one form you need to fill out– the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA), available now at www.fafsa.gov. First, you and one parent will each need a Federal Student Aid ID, which you can get here. Your FSA ID will be your electronic signature, so keep it safe!

UNW recommends using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which will link your FAFSA to your taxes and help populate the form. This cuts down on errors and makes you less likely to be selected for verification.


Verification is a simple audit that 1/3 of the families (nation-wide) need to go through. If you are selected, UNW will let you know what we need from you. Don’t delay on sending those materials in– we cannot award you until you have completed the verification process, if you are selected for it.


FAFSA uses your financial information from 2015, so if your family’s situation has changed since then, Northwestern wants to know. In addition, the FAFSA is a very vague document, so if there is anything extra that Northwestern should know about, please file an appeal.

Some common appealable situations:

  • A lost job or reduction in income
  • Owning a business
  • Elementary/secondary private school tuition
  • Out of pocket medical expenses
  • Support for an extended family member
  • A parent in college.

The appeal form can be found here.


Please schedule a phone call with me so that we can go over the award letter together. I love it when you have your parent(s) in on the same call, so that we can all be on the same page. I like to make sure you know what everything means, answer any questions you might have, explain work study, discuss payment plan options. It might seem self-explanatory, but I really do appreciate getting the chance to discuss it with your family. I try to set up a phone call with you, but you’re more than welcome to set one up with me. Email me at jlsommers@unwsp.edu and let’s get something on the calendar.



For a list of UNW majors, click here.

Did you know we offer a customizable major? It’s true.

Undecided? Join the club. (It’s a big club!)

If you’re playing around with a couple different options, I recommend scheduling class visits and/or meetings with those departments during a personal visit or coming to Major Discovery, a spring event where every department presents (students can attend two separate presentations that night).

If you’re completely undecided, think about scheduling a meeting with our Center for Calling & Career. They are happy to meet with prospective students at the recommendation of admissions, so just let me know. (Honestly, every family I send to the CCC comes back to me and says THANK YOU. The CCC has some of the most helpful people on our campus!)

UNW Housing Opportunities

First things first, housing at UNW is awesome. The dorms are air-conditioned, carpeted, completely furnished, and each room has its own bathroom– no need for flip-flops, shower caddies, and waiting in line for a shower.

There are a variety of different style dorms, from studio apartments to suites to traditional apartments. Check out your options here. Remember that UNW has integrated housing, which means that freshmen through seniors live in every building. Your roommates will still be your age, but you might have older or younger students on your hall too.

Our housing policy is that full-time students are required to live on campus or with a parent until they are 21. If you’re going to live with a parent or if you’re older than 21 and planning to commute, email housing@unwsp.edu to indicate that! There is a housing policy appeal form available; if you need one, talk to me first.

Know someone else who will be a student at Northwestern whom you’d like to live with? No problem. Once you’ve both paid your deposits, you can request each other in the housing software (step #2 on theROCK).