Getting Started


North Idaho College’s open-door admissions policy reflects a commitment of access to higher education. We welcome students with diverse backgrounds and experiences regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, and/or disability seeking to benefit from our educational programs and services. Enrollment in some courses require placement or demonstrated proficiency. NIC also has selective and limited enrollment programs with specific admission requirements.

General Admissions

Students who are pursuing a degree or certificate, or who are applying for financial aid, must submit an admissions application. The application steps are:

  • Complete the application for admission (available online at
  • Submit one of the following:
    Official high school transcript showing graduation OR
    Official home school transcript showing high school/secondary school graduation OR
    Official GED test scores.
  • Submit valid ACT or SAT score no more than four years old or results from NIC placement for English and Math, found at English placement is required for admission, Math placement is used for initial coursework placement, not for admission unless required by a selective entry program.

Former Students

Students who have previously attended NIC but have not been enrolled for one or more semesters, excluding summer, need to reapply at

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Students interested in taking classes for personal enrichment, to improve job skills, or for other educational purposes may attend as non-degree seeking students by filling out a non-degree application at Non-degree seeking students are:

  • Not admitted to an academic program.
  • Not eligible to receive financial aid.
  • Not eligible to graduate with a degree or certificate.

Non-High School Graduates

Students without a high school diploma may be admitted as a degree-seeking student after passing the General Education Diploma (GED) tests.

International Students

North Idaho College welcomes the enrollment of qualified international students. International students must have graduated from a secondary school and have the minimum English language proficiency to succeed in college. International students who are transferring from a college or university must have a minimum 2.0 grade point average.

All application materials from students living abroad should be sent to Cardinal Central at least six months prior to registration in order to allow time for evaluation and notice of acceptance. International students applying from within the United States need to submit all materials no less than one month prior to registration. The college will issue an I-20 to accepted students who provide the appropriate admissions and financial documentation.

The following items are required for all international applicants:

  1. International Student Application for Admission found at
  2. Official secondary (high school) transcript and confirmation of graduation (an original, certified English translation must accompany those documents that are not in English).
  3. Official transcripts from all colleges attended (an original, certified English translation must accompany documents that are not in English).
  4. Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Scores of at least 500 (paper-based), 173 (computer-based), and 61 (Internet-based) or official International English Language Testing (IELTS) scores of at least 5. Information about the TOEFL is available at Information about IELTS is available at
  5. Certificate of Health signed by a recognized medical agency which includes complete immunization records.
  6. Proof of health insurance.
  7. Financial Declaration:
    International students must submit proof from a financial institution demonstrating sufficient financial resources to fully cover the costs of tuition, books, fees, room and board, and all personal expenses for one academic year. North Idaho College does not offer financial assistance to international students. For the current tuition and fees schedule, visit

Send all materials to:
Cardinal Central
North Idaho College
1000 West Garden Avenue
Coeur d’Alene, ID  83814 USA

Programs with Special Admission Requirements

Limited Enrollment Career and Technical Education Programs

Certain career and technical education (CTE) programs with limited capacity have specific admission requirements.

The limited enrollment CTE programs are:

  • Aerospace Technology
  • Automotive Technology
  • Carpentry and Construction Technology
  • Autobody and Paint Technology
  • Computer Aided Design Technology
  • Construction Management
  • Culinary Arts
  • Diesel Technology
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning/Refrigeration
  • Industrial Mechanic/Millwright
  • Machining and CNC Technology
  • Mechanical Design Engineering Technology
  • Mechatronics
  • Outdoor Recreation Leadership
  • Welding Technology

Applicants to these programs should submit all required materials three to six months prior to the start of the term. Offers of acceptance are made on a space available basis for qualified applicants only after the college has received the following items:

  • An application for admission to NIC and the specific program.
  • Assessment materials in the form of English and Math placement found at, SAT, ACT test scores, or transcripts of previous college coursework in math and English.

Students must have made satisfactory academic progress or have the permission of the division chair to begin a limited enrollment CTE program.

For more information, contact Cardinal Central at (208) 769-3311 or the Career and Technical Education Student Support Services Office at (208) 769-3468.

Selective Enrollment Programs

The following programs are selective entry and have specific admission requirements. Application packets for these programs, with the exception of Law Enforcement, are available online at during the application period. Additional information may be found in the catalog Program Guidelines.

  • Computer Information Technology
  • Graphic and Web Design
  • Healthcare Computer Technician
  • Law Enforcement  
  • Medical Assistant
  • Network Security Administration
  • Pharmacy Technology
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Practical Nursing
  • Radiography Technology
  • Registered Nursing
  • Surgical Technology

Students accepted into selective Health Professions and Nursing programs are required to pay a $100 non-refundable deposit within two weeks of acceptance. The deposit will be applied toward tuition and fees.

Dual Credit for High School Students

Dual credit allows eligible high school and home school juniors and seniors to enroll in NIC courses on campus, online, or at their high school. Credit can be earned for both high school and college requirements. Official NIC transcripts can be requested through the National Student Clearinghouse at NIC credits transfer to other colleges and universities across the nation. It is the student's responsibility to contact the transfer institution and ensure their NIC credits will transfer.

Dual credit students are not eligible for financial aid. Some scholarships are available. Complete details about the Dual Credit program are available through high school counselors, the Dual Credit Office, and

To be eligible students must be at least 16 years old or have successfully completed at least half of their graduation requirements as approved by their high school counselor.

Dual Credit Application and Registration Process:

  1. Meet with a high school counselor to determine eligibility.
  2. Complete the application for admission available at
  3. Submit a completed Dual Credit Authorization Form, with high school counselor and parent signatures.
  4. Take the NIC placement assessment for English and Math, found at or submit valid ACT or SAT scores, no more than four years old, for course placement.
  5. Meet with a Dual Credit advisor to plan a pathway of courses.

For more information, contact the Office of Advanced Opportunities at (208) 625-2329 or go to

Dual Credit Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Dual Credit CTE is an advanced learning opportunity that links approved high school technical courses to technical certificate and degree programs at the college level. Students enrolled in approved high school programs throughout the state may receive credit from North Idaho College that is counted toward a career and technical education certificate or degree. This allows students to begin working on an Associate of Applied Science Degree or Technical Certificate while still in high school. CTE credits can be paid for by Fast Forward funds.

For more information about CTE opportunities, contact the Regional Transition Coordinator at (208) 769-5964 or go to  

Placement Assessment

Placement assessment is used to identify the first courses students need to begin their studies at NIC. Students without placement based on valid ACT or SAT score no more than four years old are required to complete the NIC placement assessment for English and math. Enrollment in other courses with an English or math prerequisite (or equivalent placement scores) may also require completion of the placement assessment.

Math Placement

ALEKS PPL (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces, Placement, Preparation, and Learning) must be taken at an approved, proctored location such as the NIC Testing Center. ALEKS results will be used to determine appropriate NIC math course registration.

English Placement

TWC (The Write Class) is an online, unproctored instrument for NIC English course placement. TWC may be accessed from any Internet browser at

If you have questions about placement assessments, contact Cardinal Central at (208) 769-3311.

Outreach Centers

NIC has outreach centers in Bonners Ferry and Sandpoint. These centers offer a variety of services, including admissions and academic advising, proctored testing, credit and non-credit courses, Adult Education courses, and GED instruction and testing. Transportation to outreach centers and other off-campus college facilities is not provided by North Idaho College. To learn more about the specific services and courses offered at the outreach center near you, go to or call or visit:

NIC Bonners Ferry Center *
6791 Main Street, Suite B
Bonners Ferry, ID  83805
(208) 267-3878

NIC at Sandpoint
102 South Euclid Street
Sandpoint, ID  83864
(208) 263-4594

Aerospace Center
1845 Dakota Avenue
Hayden, ID  83835
(208) 625-2344

Parker Technical Education Center
7064 W Lancaster Rd
Rathdrum, ID  83858
(208) 769-3448

Workforce Training Center
525 South Clearwater Loop
Post Falls, ID  83854
(208) 769-3333

* Bonners Ferry Center open through December 2020.

Residency Status

Residency for tuition purposes is governed by Idaho State Code. Under current Idaho State Code 33-2110A,

“…a student in a community college shall not be deemed a resident of the district, or of a county, or of the State of Idaho, unless such student shall have resided within said district, county, or state, for at least one (1) year continuously prior to the date of his/her first enrollment in said community college.”

“Counties in Idaho are liable for the out-of-district tuition so long as the student is duly enrolled and attending the college. This liability shall be for six (6) semesters or the term of the curriculum for which the student is enrolled, whichever is lesser. Liability shall terminate if the student’s domiciliary residence changes and that change occurs for twelve (12) months.”

Residents of Idaho

Residency status is determined when a student applies for admission and remains unchanged until the student supplies evidence to the contrary. To be classified as a resident the student, or for a dependent student the parent or legal guardians, must have established a domicile in the state of Idaho for 12 months prior to the beginning of the semester of enrollment.

For tuition purposes, a student who is a permanent resident of the United States may be classified as a resident of the district by meeting one or more of the following qualifications:

  1. Any student whose parents or court-appointed guardians are domiciled in the college district and provide more than 50 percent of his or her support. (Domiciled means an individual’s true, fixed, and permanent home and place of habitation. It is the place where he or she lives without intending to establish a new domicile elsewhere). To qualify under this section, the parents or guardian must have resided continuously in the college district for 12 months preceding the opening day of the term for which the student matriculates.
  2. Any student who receives less than 50 percent of his or her support from parents or legal guardians, who are not residents of the college district for voting purposes, and who has continuously resided in the college district for 12 months preceding the opening day of the term for which the student matriculates.
  3. The spouse of a person who is classified or is eligible for classification as a resident of the college district for the purpose of attending the college.
  4. A member of the armed forces of the United States, stationed in the college district on military orders.
  5. A student whose parents or guardians are members of the armed forces and stationed in the college district on military orders and who receives 50 percent or more of his/her support from parents or legal guardians. The student, while in continuous attendance, shall not lose his/her residency when his/her parents or guardians are transferred on military orders.
  6. A person separated, under honorable conditions, from the United States armed forces after at least two years of active service, who, at the time of separation, designates the college district as his/her intended domicile or who has the district as the home of record while in service and enters the college within one year of the date of separation.
  7. Any individual who has been domiciled in the college district, has qualified and would otherwise be qualified under the provisions of this statute, and who is away from the district for a period of less than one calendar year and has not established legal residence elsewhere, provided a 12-month period of continuous residence has been established immediately prior to departure.

A student’s residency status remains unchanged unless the student can provide evidence that he or she has established a permanent domicile in Idaho and has resided there for 12 consecutive months. To challenge a residency determination a student must complete a Residency Determination Worksheet along with documentation and submit it to Cardinal Central within 10 days of the start of fall or spring term or 5 days of the summer session. The evidence must prove convincingly that residency was established 12 months before the beginning of the term. Students may appeal the residency re-determination decision by submitting a written appeal to Cardinal Central.

Idaho Residents – In-District

Idaho residents who reside in Kootenai, Ada, Bonneville, Canyon, Jerome, and Twin Falls counties are classified as in-district residents. Residency for these counties is determined by NIC. In-district residents pay the “district” tuition rate.

Idaho Residents – Non-District

Idaho residents who do NOT reside in Kootenai, Ada, Bonneville, Canyon, Jerome, and Twin Falls counties are classified as non-district residents. Non-district students may qualify for county support from their county of residence to cover the additional non-district tuition fees. To qualify for county support, non-district residents must file a Certificate of Residency with their home county auditor’s office each academic year or each semester depending on the residence county. Certificate forms are available from Cardinal Central or the county auditor’s office. The counties will notify NIC if the Certificate of Residency has been approved.

If verification is not received from the student’s home county, the student must pay non-district fees. (Exception: Students from Kootenai, Ada, Bonneville, Canyon, Jerome, and Twin Falls counties are not required to complete the Certificate of Residency.)

Students who exceed the tuition benefit will be charged non-district tuition. Check with your county for further details. The county is obligated by state code to pay the out-of-district charge pursuant to Idaho State Code 33-2110A. 

Tuition Reduction Programs

Washington State Residents

Washington residents qualify for a reduction of a portion of the out-of-state tuition rate. Residency status is determined at the time of application to the college (see for the current tuition and fees schedule).

Western Undergraduate Exchange

The Western Undergraduate Exchange Program (WUE) provides financial assistance to individuals interested in attending college out of their home states. The tuition rate is 150 percent of the non-district tuition rate. Students may not use any of the time accrued under the WUE program to establish residency in the state of Idaho. Residents from the following states are eligible for the WUE tuition rates (see for the current tuition and fees schedule).

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Wyoming