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Start College Now

What is Start College Now?

The Start College Now program allows public high school juniors and seniors who meet certain requirements to take post-secondary courses at a Wisconsin technical college. The program provides opportunities for high school students to get a head start on a technical certificate or an associate or bachelor’s degree, to learn more about a field or career of interest, and/or to develop specific skills for entering the workforce immediately after high school graduation. Through the Start College Now Program, a school board will determine if a desired college course can be taken for high school credit and is not comparable to a current course offered by the district. In such cases, and unless the student fails to complete or get a passing grade in the course, the district will pay the cost of tuition and fees and the student will receive both high school and college credit. This high school credit will then count toward the student meeting high school graduation requirements needed to earn a high school diploma.

Who is eligible for Start College Now?

The Start College Now Program is available to Wisconsin public school juniors and seniors who meet the following requirements:
• Have completed the 10th grade
• Are in good academic standing and have an acceptable disciplinary record.
• No later than March 1 for a course to be taken in the fall semester or October 1 for a course to be taken in the spring semester, submit WTCS Start College Now Form notifying the school board of the student’s intention of enrolling in a postsecondary institution.
• Not a child at risk, as defined in s. 118.153 (1) (a)

What steps should students take next?

1. Talk with a high school counselor about their interest in earning early college credit and learn what classes are available to take at their high school.
2. Fill out and submit WTCS Start College Now Form to the school district (due by March 1 for fall semesters, October 1 for spring semesters).
3. Fill out and submit the Dual Enrollment Form to Nicolet College.
4. Have their high school send their transcript to Nicolet College.
5. Set up and activate a MyNicolet account.
6. Buy any required books from the Nicolet Bookstore.
7. Take care of all class prerequisites, if necessary.
8. Attend the class at Nicolet College.
For more information visit here.

If you are unable to access documents here, please contact the Office of Compliance at or 715-365-4615.


FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)

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Who is eligible to enroll in Start College Now (SCN) courses?

SCN is available to high school students in grades 11 and 12 who are in good academic standing and have an acceptable disciplinary record.


When do students apply for SCN?

A: Students should apply to their local school board by March 1 for the fall semester and October 1 for the spring semester. Completed SCN applications should be submitted to Nicolet College by June 1 for fall semester and January 1 for the spring semester.


Will students need to complete the technical college application in addition to the Start College Now application?

No, students will not need to apply to the college to participate in Start College Now.  


Can students enroll in SCN for summer classes?

Students enrolling in summer classes beginning prior to June 30, 2018 may still do so through the Course Options program. Beginning July 1, 2018, students wanting to enroll in summer courses should consult with their high school about options for a separate contract. Start College Now is not an option for summer courses.


Can high school districts require students to reimburse the cost of a dropped or failed SCN class?

This decision is up to the high school district. It is recommended the high school develop a policy and communicate the expectation to the student(s)/parent(s).


Is there a limit to the number of courses a student can take through SCN?

There is not a limit to the number of courses a student may take per semester. The high school district may establish a policy limiting the number of credits; however, they must offer a minimum of 18 credits per student over the duration of their eligibility for SCN. (38.12 (14) (d), Subject to s. 118.55 (7t): (7t) Limitations on participation and payment. (a) A school board or the governing body of a participating private school may establish a written policy limiting the number of credits for which the school board or governing body will pay under sub. (5) and s. 38.12 (14) (d) to the eq

Who is responsible for the cost of textbook and/or materials?

Per 38.12(14), the school district is required to pay the cost of tuition, course fees, and books. The district may require books to be returned to the district at the end of the course. Additional costs such as testing fees, background checks, and supplies are up to the discretion of the high school district. The expectation of who will pay these expenses should be communicated to student(s)/parent(s) in advance.


Who is responsible for covering transportation costs?

The student is responsible for any transportation costs to attend courses held at the college campus or other location.


Is there a direct relationship between Act 59 (Technical Incentive Grants), Start College Now, and Early College Credit Program?

Funds have not been redirected from Act 59 for these new programs. At this time, completion of a single course through SCN or ECCP do not qualify for Technical Incentive Grant funds. Courses that qualify as a technical diploma through Nicolet College (Nursing Assistant or EMT, for example) will continue to qualify for grant funds.


How much high school credit will be earned through SCN?

The high school credit earned will be up to the discretion of the high school district.


Can students take courses through SCN and ECCP (Early College Credit Program through the UW’s) at the same time?

No, per 118.55, 2(a), sub. (7t) (c), students can alternate by semester but cannot participate in both programs during the same semester. Students may still enroll in contracted courses and/or dual credit with the technical college while enrolled in ECCP. This statute only refers to enrollment in SCN and ECCP.