Enrollment and Registration

Enrollment Requirements

Students who are admitted will receive a letter of admission. Upon receipt of the letter, the admitted student should submit his or her tuition deposit. The tuition deposit:

  • Reserves a place in the University and confirms the student’s intention to enroll at NLU
  • Is applied directly to the student’s first term of enrollment
  • Is nonrefundable, except under three-day right of cancellation in those states which have a consumer right of rescission law
  • Remains on the account and may be used for later terms should a student decide to postpone enrollment

Catalog of Entrance

National Louis University anticipates that students entering the University during the effective term of this catalog will be governed by the degree requirements and other policies and procedures set forth herein. If a student has been continuously enrolled in his or her program and the degree requirements change due to a program revision, the student may choose to meet either the requirements for the term they were admitted or the new requirements. Students may have to meet new requirements if the program revision is a result of certification or licensure changes at the state level. A student who has been away from the University for more than one year but fewer than five, upon re-entry, must meet the degree requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of their re-entry. Students who have been away for more than five years, upon readmission, will be governed by the catalog at the time of their readmission. 


The undergraduate unit of college credit is the quarter hour. Degree-seeking students are classified as follows:

  • Freshman – Fewer than 45 quarter hours completed
  • Sophomore – At least 45 but fewer than 90 quarter hours completed
  • Junior – At least 90 but fewer than 135 quarter hours completed
  • Senior – At least 135 quarter hours completed

The graduate unit of credit is the semester hour.

In defining a credit hour, National Louis University complies with the Department of Education policy as articulated by our regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission: http://policy.ncahlc.org/Federal-Regulation/assignment-of-credits-program-length-and-tuition.html.

Full-, Three-Quarter- and Half- Time Status

NLU defines full-, three-quarter- and half- time status as follows:

  • For undergraduate students, full-time status is 12 quarter hours, three-quarter-time status is nine quarter hours and half-time status is six quarter hours
  • For graduate students, full-time status is six semester hours, three-quarter-time status is four and one-half semester hours and half-time status is three semester hours

Degree-Seeking Students

Degree-seeking students are those who have been admitted with the expectation that they will complete the requirements for any degree or certificate for which they have enrolled. They are expected to make regular and steady progress toward the completion of their degrees or certificates in consultation with their academic or program advisors. Time limits vary by program.

Non-Degree-Seeking Students

Requests for permission to enroll as a non-degree-seeking student should be addressed to Academic Advising.

Undergraduate students may apply for enrollment with non-degree status if they do not wish to pursue a degree or certificate. Students holding at least a baccalaureate degree are eligible to enroll for graduate courses as non-degree-seeking students. Students with non-degree-seeking status may transfer NLU credits elsewhere or take courses for personal enrichment.

Students enrolled with non-degree seeking status:

  • Are subject to all regulations of the University
  • Are not eligible for financial assistance
  • May not register in advance
  • Are not assured of admission to the University
  • Who wish to be admitted to a degree or certificate program must apply through the Office of Admissions, at which time any credit accrued will be evaluated in accordance with prescribed limits. Coursework taken as a non-degree-seeking student is not automatically applied to degree programs at the University.


A student may audit a course, participating in any and all requirements of the course including examination. Auditors will not receive academic credit for the course and must indicate “Audit” at the time of registration. Change to a credit enrollment may be made only during the first week of class. Auditors pay regular tuition.

Registration Regulations

  • Registration is not complete until financial arrangements have been made
  • Undergraduate registrations cannot be processed without the signature of the appropriate academic advisor
  • A student will receive credit for only the courses for which she or he is registered
  • Enrollment in courses is not permitted after the last registration date published on the University Academic Calendar
  • Students must be officially registered for courses before they sit or participate in the class

Students may register:

Some programs require students to register at a designated registration meeting. Those students will be notified of the locations and times prior to the registration meetings. Students will receive confirmation of registration through their NLU and personal email accounts.

Enrollment Reporting and Loan Deferments

National Louis University participates in the National Student Clearinghouse. The University submits reports of students’ enrollment status to the Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse supplies verification of enrollment to lending institution as well as to the Department of Education. Once a student is registered on at least a half-time basis, the student’s outstanding student loans may be deferred. A deferment is the temporary postponement of payments of the loan principal, and in the case of a subsidized loan, the interest. Consolidated loans may be eligible for deferment as well.

A student enrolled half time may be entitled to a student deferment and may request a deferment from the lending institution. If the lender provides a deferment form to the student, this form should be submitted to the Office of Admissions and Records after the first week of classes. All deferment forms are forwarded to the Clearinghouse.

Skills Assessment

All students admitted to NLU undergraduate programs must take skills assessment tests during orientation or by the end of their first term of enrollment. The COMPASS Writing and Math examinations must be taken prior to registration for the second term.

Test results are used in academic advising to ensure that students possess the requisite skills needed for academic success. If some skills are lacking, academic advising will help students select the appropriate developmental courses.

Only 5 quarter hours of NLU developmental coursework may be applied toward degree requirements.

Academic Credit Load Policy

An undergraduate student in good academic standing (not on warning or probation) who has no outstanding in-progress (incomplete) courses is permitted to register for up to 21 quarter hours in any term, except in certain professional sequence terms.

Any student who wishes to register for more than 21 quarter hours must submit a written petition to the appropriate department or program administrator for approval.

Undergraduate Registration in Graduate Courses

A graduate course may be taken for graduate credit by a junior or senior in good standing. It cannot apply toward the baccalaureate degree requirements and graduate tuition will be charged.

A student must complete the Petition to Register for Graduate Courses form, obtain the required signatures and present the form at the time of registration.

Transfer between Graduate Programs

Students wishing to transfer from one graduate program to another within the University must request permission to do so. A written request should be directed to the Office of Admissions and Records. The student must meet any special admission requirements for the program. Admission to the new program is not guaranteed.

Registration for Thesis or Dissertation

Students who are writing theses or dissertations must first register for all the thesis or dissertation hours required by their programs. Upon completion of all of the required hours, students must maintain continuous registration each term, via the appropriate thesis continuation or dissertation continuation course, through and including the term in which they graduate.

Each thesis continuation (599X) or dissertation continuation (699X) non-credit course has a $250 per term fee.

Course by Arrangement/Independent Study

With the approval of his or her advisor, appropriate program coordinator and the Dean’s office, an admitted student may take a course by arrangement or an independent study. Only a full-time faculty member may work with a student on a course by arrangement or an independent study.

Withdrawal Policy

Dropping a Course

How to Drop a Course:

Requests to drop classes are processed through the Academic Advising Center. Students must officially drop in writing. These requests can be submitted via email to advising@nl.edu from your NLU portal email account or you can submit the Drop/Add form. Questions about dropping courses can be directed to 888.NLU.TODAY (888.658.8632), option 2.

Drop Deadlines:

Students must drop classes prior to the start of the term or during the first week of class in order to not incur any tuition charges for the course(s). For classes that begin during the second part of the term, students have the first week of class to drop without financial penalty. Students who are enrolled in workshops must drop the class at least one day prior to its scheduled start date to receive a tuition refund. If the request to drop the workshop is received after the course start date the student will be charged the full tuition cost for the course.

Please also see the Policy on Course Non-Attendance.

Tuition Refund Eligibility: 

After the first week of class, students who withdraw from a course(s) will receive a "W" grade and will not receive any tuition refund unless they completely withdraw from all courses in the term. Drop periods are set by University policy and are based on the student type and level. For more information regarding when a "W" grade applies, see the Grading section.

Withdrawal from the University and Refund Policy

For tuition refund purposes, a student is determined to have withdrawn from the University when that student drops or withdraws from ALL coursework in a term. National Louis University adheres to a fair and equitable refund policy for students who withdraw from the University. In states that have a Consumer Right-of-Rescission Law, the University abides by the state law. To receive a full refund, the student must execute the Right-of-Rescission Law within three business days of signing the enrollment agreement and prior to the first class session.

After the first week of the term, a student must withdraw from all of his/her courses to be eligible for a tuition refund.

Please note that a student may have courses in a term that fit more than one of the policies noted below. Proration policies are specific to the length of each course.

For students enrolled in classes ten, eleven, or twelve weeks long the tuition is prorated on the following basis:
  • Withdraw prior to the start of the term: 100% refund
  • Withdraw during the first week: 100% refund
  • Withdraw during the second week: 80% refund
  • Withdraw during the third week: 70% refund
  • Withdraw during the fourth week: 60% refund
  • Withdraw during the fifth week: 50% refund
  • Withdraw during the sixth week or later: no refund

For students in classes that are between five and six weeks long the tuition is prorated on the following basis:

  • Withdraw prior to the start of the term: 100% refund
  • Withdraw during the first week: 100% refund
  • Withdraw during the second week: 70 percent refund
  • Withdraw during the third week or later: no refund

For students in classes that are four or fewer weeks* the tuition is prorated on the following basis:

  • Withdraw prior to the start of the term: 100% refund
  • Withdraw during the first week: 100% refund
  • Withdraw during the second week or later: no refund

*Please note that students who are enrolled in workshops must drop the class at least one day prior to its scheduled start date to receive a tuition refund. If the request to drop the workshop is received after the course start date there will be no tuition refund.

Non-standard length terms:
For students in non-standard term classes (classes that are longer 12 weeks) the refund is determined by the percentage of the term completed. Refunds are issued up to a 50% completion rate after which the student is responsible for all of the tuition and fee charges incurred. The percentage of the term completed is rounded to the nearest 10%. 

Tuition Refund Appeal

This policy pertains only to a course or courses from which a student withdrew and appeal is being made for a refund beyond the established university refund policy.

Note that all appeals where a grade (A, B, C, D, F, N) has already been submitted must go through the academic appeals policy.

Appeals Process:

Students may submit an appeal for a refund beyond the university refund policy by submitting a request in writing. The appeal must be submitted within 30 business days of the withdrawal date noted in the Student Information System (Banner). Appeals for charges for withdrawals of courses older than 30 business days cannot be considered and all charges apply.

Appeals should be submitted in writing or via email to Steve Neer, Assistant Vice Provost of Advising and Retention at Stephen.neer@nl.edu or by fax to 312.261.3044.

The Refund Appeal Committee will meet monthly during the final week of the month. All appeals must be received at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting in order to be considered.

Appeals are limited to exceptions to the refund policy based on a factor related to National Louis University. Appeals may be submitted for extenuating circumstances. In cases where the appeal is based on extenuating circumstances, documentation must be included with the request for appeal. 

The Refund Appeal Committee will notify the student via their NLU and personal email address of the outcome within one business day of the meeting. Students dissatisfied with the decision may appeal by submitting their request in writing within 60 business days to the Vice President of Student Services.