Things Parents Should Know

Preparing for college can be a challenge not only for students but also for you as a parent. We want to make sure that your student’s experience at RVC is a positive, enjoyable, and successful one.

We know that you will have questions and concerns along the way and we hope this page can answer many of them and help make your son or daughter's transition to RVC a smooth one.

Your feedback on how we can make this page even more helpful is certainly welcome!


When should my son or daughter enroll at Rock Valley College?

Your son or daughter can enroll  at any time to Rock Valley College.  The Enrollment Information Form can be obtained through high school guidance offices, on the RVC Web site, or in the Admissions office at RVC.  If your son or daughter has taken RVC courses while still in high school, the Enrollment Information Form has already been completed.

How do we get a tour or a chance to visit Rock Valley College?

Please contact the Information Center at (815) 921-4636 to make arrangements for a campus tour.  The Information Center is located on the first floor of the Student Center and is the place to go to get many of your questions answered.  The Information Center also offers a variety of services for students including check cashing, ticket sales, student ID’s and online service support.

Campus tours are also part of our New Student Orientation event.

How does Placement Testing work?

All new students must complete placement testing to assess their knowledge in the areas of English, math and reading. Students with specific ACT scores (English 19, math 18, reading 19) or who have previously attended another college/university may have all or portions of the placement test waived.  For waiver consideration, a student should submit their ACT scores and/or transcripts to the Records office as soon as possible. Walk-in testing is available in the Testing Center, Monday – Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Appointments can be made for evening or Saturday testing by calling (815) 921-2380.  The Testing Center is located in the Student Center on the ground floor.

Is there an orientation for new students?

The orientation process at Rock Valley College is comprised of three parts:

  • Getting Started Session:  The purpose of this session is to familiarize students with pertinent information needed to assist with their transition to RVC.    Students can register online for the Getting Started Session at or by calling (815) 921-4080.
  • Fall/Spring New Student Orientation:  This orientation activity takes place the week before school starts and is an excellent way to get connected to RVC.  Students will have an opportunity in a fun relaxed atmosphere to meet with faculty, student leaders, tour the campus and learn about student clubs and activities.
  • Planning For Success 100 (STU 100):  STU 100 is an interactive, one credit hour college level course designed to help new students learn the basics of college, get familiar with RVC offices and services, and develop the skills necessary for success.  All new students are expected to enroll in this course, which counts towards graduation and is transferable.

How much is tuition at RVC?  What other expenses can I expect?

Tuition: Tuition for college courses is charged per credit hour. 

How do we apply for Financial Aid?

All students should complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible since this is the first step you need to take to determine your eligibility for financial aid.

These applications are available in the Financial Aid office or online at  The Financial Aid office is located in the Student Center on the second floor. Please contact the Financial Aid office for more information at (815) 921-4150.

When can I buy textbooks?

The best time to buy books is about three weeks to one month prior to the start of a term.  The earlier a student purchases their books the better chance they have of selecting used textbooks which are less expensive.
The bookstore is located on the ground floor of the Student Center.  Call or go online for extended hours at the beginning and end of each semester.  Telephone: (815) 921-1680.  Website:

Payment for books can be made by using cash, check, credit cards, debit cards or Barnes and Nobles gift cards, and Financial Aid (contact Financial Aid office for details).  

Can I access my child's grades?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal mandate that is in place to protect and maintain the privacy and confidentiality of your child's academic record.  Therefore, grades and other information are not released to parents without a student's written consent.  For more information on this policy please contact the Records office at (815) 921-4250.

Is there an attendance policy?

Students are expected to attend classes regularly.  If they do need to be absent it is the student's responsibility to contact the instructor and make arrangements to complete any work they may have missed.

Each instructor has his/her own specific attendance policy which will be outlined in their course syllabus.  It is again the student's responsibility to become familiar with each instructor's policy.  If an instructor feels that the number of absences is interfering with the student's progress and ability to be successful in the course, the student may be withdrawn without notice.

What does "general education" mean?

General Education courses are specific courses that every degree seeking student must complete regardless of the transfer degree (AA or AS) they are seeking.  Please refer to our catalog under Transfer Degrees for more information. 

What exactly is a credit hour?

Each course at RVC is offered for a certain number of credit hours.  The number of lecture, laboratory, or field experience hours needed to complete the class determines the exact number of hours.

A credit hour is the measure of time that your child will be in class.  If your child is full-time and taking 12 credits they will be in class approximately 12 hours per week. 

What does it take to be a full time student?

To be considered full time a student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours during the fall and spring semester (during the summer 6 credit hours is considered full- time).  Anything less than 12 credit hours is considered part time.  Students may need to be full time if they are participating in RVC Athletics, if they are covered under their parent's health insurance or if they are receiving scholarships that require full time status. 

The majority of classes at RVC are assigned 3 credits.  A student could be full time taking 12 credits with four classes.

Is there a fee for parking at RVC?

Parking at RVC is free!  Parking areas are located throughout the campus and are in close proximity to the classroom buildings.  Handicapped parking is available in every parking lot.  Parking along the roadways is illegal and may get you a citation.

Is there food available on campus?

Yes, at the present time we have the following food vendors on campus:

  • Papa John's:  Located on the first floor of the Student Center, Papa John's offers small pizzas, cheese sticks, individual slices, chicken strips, and soft drinks.
  • Subway: Located on the first floor of the Student Center, Subway offers sandwiches, soup, wraps and more.
  • Meg's Daily Grind: Located in the Educational Resource Center (ERC), Meg's serves up hot and cold coffee drinks, tea, chai, juice, soda, muffins, bagels, cookies and sandwiches.

Vending: Vending machines are located in the Student Center, ERC, and Woodward Technology Center.  A microwave oven is available for student use in the Student Center near the Atrium.