What's Trending in OSAS?

What's Trending in OSAS?


Through meetings with students and data collected through various retention initiatives, the Office of Student Academic Success notices common questions and concerns that students may have throughout the academic year. Check this page often to see what current questions and concerns students are mentioning to our office, as well as resources to help you answer these questions.

1. How do I find out who my academic advisor is?
2. Why can't I register for classes?
3. Where can I go for tutoring on campus?
4. Going to school is really expensive. Are there resources on campus that can help me pay for my education?
5. Are there places on campus that can help me with my test anxiety?

1. How do I find out who my academic advisor is?

Generally, if you are looking for advising regarding your specific program, visit the faculty advisor for your academic department. If you are looking for advising on general education courses, you can visit the advising office for the college in which your major is located. However, some colleges and majors may have different procedures for academic advising.

If you are an undecided student (have not declared a major), visit the Academic Advising Center for your advising.

For more information on academic advising at NIU and who to contact for your specific program, visit the Who is My Advisor Page. If you are still having difficulties finding your advisor, contact our office and we will assist you.

2. Why can’t I register for classes yet?

Initial registration dates are determined based on the number of cumulative credit hours you have earned. For general information on these dates, visit http://www.niu.edu/regrec/registration/reginfo.shtml.  Log-in to myNIU to view your specific registration date and time.

If you have passed the date in which you are allowed to register and still cannot register, you may have a hold placed on your account. This means that there is something you must complete before you are allowed to register.

Common holds placed that will not allow you to register include:

  • Student Financial: If you have not paid off the balance on your Bursar account to less than $500, you will not be allowed to register for classes. If you are having issues paying your bill for this semester, contact the Office of the Bursar, Student Financial Aid, or the Scholarship Office to get information on financial resources available to you.
  • Advising: Some majors or colleges require students to meet with their academic advisor before registering for courses. Please contact your academic advisor for more information.
  • Health Services: Students who have not submitted their immunization forms when required will not be allowed to register. For information on how to complete this process, contact Health Services.
  • Admissions: If you are a new student and have not submitted your final/official high school transcript or final/official ACT or SAT score, you will not be allowed to register for courses. For more information, please contact Admissions.

You can view any holds that may be placed on your student account through myNIU. If you have any additional questions or concerns or need help determining what to do to lift the hold on your account, feel free to contact the Office of Student Academic Success.

3. Where can I go for tutoring on campus?

ACCESS provides a variety of tutoring services for students on campus. The cost of these services are included in your tuition, so be sure to take advantage of these opportunities. While many students utilize ACCESS, you should easily be able to meet with a tutor or staff member. There are several types of tutoring and other services offered by ACCESS:

  • A+ Program: Provides one-on-one or small group instruction on a by-appointment basis for helping with study, reading, time management, and other academic strategies and skills.
  • PAL: Peer-Assisted Learning is one-on-one or small group tutoring offered by a trained peer tutor.
  • SI: Supplemental Instruction provides tutoring from peer tutors for specific general education courses.

For  more information on these services or to sign up for free tutoring, visit  http://www.niu.edu/access/index.shtml

4. Going to school is really expensive. Are there resources on campus that can help me pay for my education?

There are plenty of resources at NIU to help you plan and pay for your education! Here are a few of them:

  • The Huskie Installment Plan (HIP) is a payment option designed to provide budgetary assistance in meeting NIU students’ semester educational expenses. Through HIP, instead of making a lump sum payment at the beginning of each term, students can spread their NIU semester expenses over four equal monthly payments.
  • The Student Financial Aid office offers resources to help students complete their FASFA applications by the deadline and other initiatives to help you and your family plan for your educational expenses. Your options are not always exhausted, so make sure to visit a financial aid counselor to discuss what options may exist for you.
  • The NIU Scholarship Office, in coordination with Student Financial Aid, connects students with various scholarship resources. Their website has a scholarship search engine that allows you to search for NIU scholarships based on major, class standing, and other areas of interests.
  • Financial Cents offers worksheets, websites, presentations, and other resources to help students plan for expenses related to their education.

5. Are there places on campus that can help me with my test anxiety? 

Test anxiety is a common concern among many NIU students. According to this year’s Mapworks survey, 1 out of every 3 NIU students struggle with some form of test anxiety. You are not alone!

There are several different offices on campus that provide services and strategies to help students overcome test anxiety, including ACCESS, the Office of Student Academic Success, and the Counseling & Student Development Center.

Need additional help getting resources for these concerns? Have other topics you feel should be covered on this page? Please contact our office and let us know!