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PSEO: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is PSEO?

Post-Secondary Enrollment Options is a state-sponsored program that allows qualified sophomores, juniors and seniors to take college-level courses that apply to both high school graduation requirements and a college degree. It is intended to increase the range and depth of academic options for high school students.

How can PSEO benefit me?
Is PSEO right for me?
When do I have to decide if I want to do PSEO?
What classes can I take?
When do I register for college classes?
Do I follow the high school calendar or the college calendar for the first day of classes?
Can I participate in college activities?
How much does it cost?
How often do I meet with my high school counselor?
How often do I meet with a Minnesota West counselor?
Do I have to maintain a certain GPA?
What is the maximum number of credits I can register for each semester?
What if I haven’t taken the ACT or SAT yet? 
Will I be treated differently because I am a PSEO student?
What about Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses? 
What is FERPA, and how does it apply to PSEO students?
Additional PSEO Resources

  How can PSEO benefit me?
  1. College credits taken while in high school may be counted toward high school and college graduation, once these credits are accepted by the post-secondary institution.

  2. PSEO lets you take courses that may not be available at your high school.

  3. Save money on your college education: your tuition, books, and lab fees are covered as part of your high school education.

  4. Try your hand at college level courses without having the added stress of adjusting to life post high school.

  5. Potentially reduce the time (and money) required to earn a post-secondary credential.

  6. Explore a career path: either get a head start on the course requirements for a specific career, or narrow down which field of study is right for you.

  7. Getting a jump on your undergraduate credential allows earlier entry into more advanced courses, facilitation of double majors, or permitting additional electives.

Is PSEO right for me?

With a wide variety of courses - in terms of both content and delivery method – many students will be able to find an option that is right for them. Successful students often demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • Maturity.
  • Self-discipline.
  • A strong academic background.
  • Good study skills.
  • Intellectual curiosity.
  • Flexibility.
  • Good time management skills.
  • Independence.
  • Motivation to get a head start on college.
When do I have to decide if I want to do PSEO!

Enrolling in the PSEO program is a very important decision. Make an appointment with your high school counselor to discuss your career plans and review your high school graduation requirements. Take the time to seek out information about becoming a PSEO student from college counselors, fellow students, faculty, and staff. When you have decided, be sure to follow our PSEO Application Process. May 30 is the deadline to notify your school that you plan to participate in PSEO.

What classes can I take?

Visit with your high school counselor to determine what kind of courses you need to complete your requirements for your diploma. After those requirements are met, you can take electives in areas of interest to you. The Minnesota Legislature established this program on a "space-available" basis. This means you will register after regularly admitted students, so you may not always get your first choice. Developmental - courses numbered beblow 1000 - as well as some major-specific classes, are not available to PSEO students.

When do I register for college classes?

The first day to register for fall semester is April 1 each year; the first day to register for spring semester is November 1 each year.

Do I follow the high school calendar or the college calendar for the first day of classes? 

You must follow the college academic calendar for all dates - first day of class, holidays, last day of the semester.  Even though your high school classes may start at a later date, you must attend your classes at the college beginning with the first day of the college semester.  This includes online classes - you must log in and start your online class(es) on the first day of the college semester.

Can I participate in college activities?

All Minnesota West activities (such as art, music, campus clubs) are open to PSEO students. If interested in inter-collegiate athletics, you must visit with the Minnesota West Athletic Director about eligibility. You can also continue to participate in your high school's extra-curricular activities if you prefer.

How much does it cost?

You will not be charged for tuition, fees, or required textbooks. These expenses are covered as part of your high school education. Private music lesson fees and other additional course fees are the responsibility of the student.

How often do I meet with my high school counselor?

You must meet with your high school counselor every semester to complete the notice of student registration form. You need to work closely with your high school counselor to ensure that the college courses you take will meet your high school graduation requirements.

How often do I meet with a Minnesota West counselor?

You are required to meet with a Minnesota West counselor at a PSEO orientation session and again during your first semester prior to registering for your second semester. After completing your first semester, you must meet with a Minnesota West counselor every semester or as needed.

Do I have to maintain a certain GPA?

You are responsible for maintaining satisfactory academic progress and adhering to all college policies. To remain in good standing in the PSEO program, a PSEO student must maintain satisfactory academic progress according to College Policy 2.9 Satisfactory Progress Standards.

“1. Qualitative Measure
All students are required to maintain an acceptable grade point average (GPA). The minimum standard is progressive based on cumulative registered credits and is detailed below.

Grades of A,B,C,D, and F will be included in calculating a student's GPA.

Cumulative Registered Credits . Minimum Required GPA
0 - 5   0.00
6 - 15   1.60
16 - 30   1.80
31+   2.0

 
2. Quantitative Measures
A.   Required Completion Percentage:  Students are required to complete a minimum of all attempted credits as follows:

Cumulative Registered  Credits . Minimum Completeion Percentage
0 - 5   0.00%
6 +   67%


The completion percentage will be reviewed after the end of each term. Grades of Incomplete (I), Failing (F),Ceased to attend (FW), Withdraw (W), No Credit (NC) or No Grade Assigned (Z) do not count toward satisfactory completion but as attempted credits.”

What is the maximum number of credits I can register for each semester?

Each semester you may register for up to 16 credits. And you must be enrolled less than full time in high school while participating in the PSEO program.

What if I haven’t taken the ACT or SAT yet?

ACT & SAT scores will be taken into consideration if available, but are not required for PSEO admission. You are required to take the Accuplacer assessment test to determine readiness for college-level classes.

Will I be treated differently because I am a PSEO student?

In short, no. We consider you to be no different from any other new student on campus. You are not identified to our instructors; therefore you will be treated as any other college student at Minnesota West. You are entitled to the same privileges as our Minnesota West students; all campus activities, programs, and clubs are available to you. No one will know that you are a PSEO student unless you decide to tell them.

What about Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses?

AP and IB courses are offered at many high schools and provide a rigorous curriculum that prepares students to take college level courses. They are not true PSEO options, but may still be beneficial for your educational journey. Students who achieve a 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement test can have that score evaluated by a college or university for a college credit. Students who attain an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma shall be granted six (6) lower division course credits for scores of 4 or higher on each Higher Level IB. Talk to your school counselor to see if these options are available in your school, and a good fit for you.

What is FERPA, and how does it apply to PSEO students?

View our FERPA FAQs for PSEO Students for more information on this law and how it applies to PSEO students.

Additional PSEO Resources

Minnesota Department of Education - PSEO Program
Minnesota State colleges and universities Procedure for PSEO