First Gen - What to Ask

What to Ask

staff member talking to studentThe friendly and supportive staff and faculty at Northern Michigan University are ready to help you in any way. Sometimes, you may not know exactly what questions to ask or who you should ask. Here’s a list of resources on campus and the types of questions students commonly ask. 

Academic Department/Academic Adviser
Center for Student Enrichment
Health Promotion Office
International Programs Office
Research/Library 
HelpDesk
TLC Laptop Program
Studying/Tutoring
Recreational Sports
Multicultural Education and Resource Center (MERC)
Commuter and Non-Traditional Students
First Year Experience (FYE)
Disability Services
Financial Aid
Veteran Student Services
Public Safety and Police Services
Student Conduct Program


Academic Department or Academic and Career Advisement Center

Are there differences in how professors run their courses, differences in class policies or how rigorous a course is?
How do you balance all aspects of life as a student (academics, family, work, etc.)?
How do you talk to your parents about the importance of your academic experience?
How do you talk to your professors about how important your family is?
Why do I care about myself and my own academic experience more than anyone else does?
How do I figure out what to do with my life and/or what to major in?
Is it too late to change my major or intended career path?
How do I ask someone to be my academic adviser? What criteria do I use to figure out who I want to ask?
How do I connect with professionals in my field without imposing?
How do I drop a course without feeling like I’m offending the professor?
How do I know if I’m going to graduate ‘on time’ or if I’ve met the requirements for my degree?
How do I ask for a course substitution or independent study?
Do my credits transfer from a previous institution or a study abroad?
How do I connect my need for a directed study with a professor’s interest in the topic?
Are there any courses to suit my interests that will be offered in the future?
Am I too far along with my degree to change academic programs? Would it be more effective to complete my current program and then return to university for a post baccalaureate or masters degree?
What transferable skills will I gain when I am finished with my academic program?
Are there any grants or other financial aid opportunities unique to this academic program/department?
How do I get an internship in my intended academic or professional field?
Is it okay to have a summer job that’s not related to my academic major or intended career path?
How do I balance a demanding job with academics?
What grade do I want or need to earn in this course?
How do I survive earning a lower grade than I wanted?
Who do I ask for support when I’m on academic probation or am returning after an academic suspension?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a W grade as opposed to a D or F grade?
How do I know when I should decide to take a W in a course?
Are there opportunities to connect with professionals in the field or alumni of this program?

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Center for Student Enrichment

When and how much should I get involved outside of class?
What types of things can I join or participate in?

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Health Promotion Office

I don't need counseling, but is there an office on campus where I can get non-judgmental information, support, and referrals for issues related to alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, dating/relationship violence, safer intimate relationships, and gambling for me or someone I know?

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International Programs Office

What are the benefits of a study abroad?
Will studying abroad help me get a job or be accepted to a graduate program? 
How can study abroad fit with my NMU degree? How about graduate school and my career?
Can financial aid help?
Are there scholarships available?
Is it easy to talk with other NMU students who have studied abroad?
Will the classes count towards my degree at NMU?
Can I take classes for my major, minor, or liberal studies requirements during a study abroad?
What different kinds of study abroad programs are available?

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Research/Library

How do I find a book, website or article on my topic?
How do I get a copy of something that our library doesn’t have?
What can I use other than Google to find information on my topic?
Can you help me with citations in my papers? I learned MLA in high school but my psychology professor wants us to use APA instead.
Can the library provide me with stuff to read for fun? Or movies?
How do I use the library’s databases? What if I’m not on campus?
What kinds of equipment are available at the library to check out?
What kinds of computing services are available in the library?
How do I print in the library?
How do I reserve a study room in the library?

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​HelpDesk

What do I need to do to get the computer programs that I need for class? What software can I have installed on my computer?
What happens if I break my NMU computer? Who should I contact for help? What is the charge for fixing?
Can I get help with getting my phone and other devices connected to the NMU network?
Who do I call, where do I go to get help with my NMU account?
Can I take my NMU computer home over break? Over the summer?
What should I do when my computer gets a virus?
How do I use the NMU network when I’m off campus?

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TLC Laptop Program

How much is the NMU laptop?
Is it taken out of my tuition?
Do I get my money back when I return it?
Do I still get charged for the NMU laptop if I use my own?
What if I use my own laptop?
Can I get help with a computer I brought from home?

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Studying/Tutoring

Where are the best places to study?
Is there a quiet place?
Where can I go on campus to study late at night?

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Recreational Sports

How do I sign up for a PEIF recreation membership?
How many credits do I need to be eligible for a student membership rate?
How do I apply to work in the recreation center?
What does the membership get me access to?
What is the difference between Intramural Sports, Sport Clubs and Athletics?

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Multicultural Education and Resource Center (MERC)

Can anyone come to MERC?
What does the name of this office mean?
Is this where I can get free printing?
What is the Jump Start program?
Can anyone be in Jump Start?
Why would I need to learn about diversity in college?
Is Northern Michigan University diverse?
What else is there to learn about diversity other than races, ethnicities, and sexual identities?
What are the ways that I can learn about diversity?
Can I take classes that will touch on diversity issues?
What services does the office provide for students?
Is the area welcoming to people of all gender identities?
Is the area welcoming to people of all religions?
Is the area welcoming to people of all races (physical characteristics)?
Is the area welcoming to people of all ethnicities (cultural factors)?
If I have a question relating to diversity, who can I ask it to?
Are the grocery stores and dining facilities accommodating to various dietary restricitions?
Are there hair stylists who are familiar with different types of hair?
Will I be able to find haircare products that I prefer in local stores?
Are there ethnic foods in town?
Are there places to worship close to campus?

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Commuter and Non-traditional Students

How do I register a vehicle with the University?
What academic resources are available to help me with classes?
How do I get involved with a student organization?
How do I find/schedule appointment with my advisor?
Where do I go with financial questions about my student account?

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FYE Students

What is FYE?
How does it "work"?
Why am I participating in the FYE program?

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Disability Services

(This resource serves students who have a diagnosed disability, a diagnosed medical condition or had an IEP or 504 plan in high school)
Will Disability Services seek me out to provide services like my counselors did in high school?
How do I sign up with Disability Services?
Do I need to provide documentation?
Who will monitor my medication once I arrive?
How do I talk to my professor about my disability?
Does Disability Services provide tutoring?
How do I get to know other students with disabilities?

Parent Questions
Can I request accommodations for my son/daughter?
Is there financial assistance for students with disabilities?
Is there a charge for receiving accommodations from Disability Services?
Does NMU provide testing in order to diagnosis learning disabilities and ADHD?
Can I speak with someone regarding my son’s/daughter’s situation?

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Financial Aid

How and when do I apply for financial aid?
I have a campus visit scheduled, can I meet with a financial aid counselor?
How do I view my financial aid award and know if additional information is needed?
I don’t have enough aid and money to cover my bill.  Are there other resources available?
Where do I look for scholarships?
Do I need to repay my financial aid?
I’m worried about student loans. Do I really need to borrow so much?
Can my parents call with questions about my financial aid?
There has been a change in my parents’ household income, is there anything I can do?
I have the Tuition Incentive Program from the State of Michigan, what do I need to do to use it?
I am unable to provide parent information on the FAFSA.  What can I do?
Can I schedule an appointment with a counselor?
Have I done everything that I need to do?

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Veteran Student Services

How much credit will I receive for military training/experience?
Who can assist me in transitioning to college life from military life (this could actually be number one)?  What’s the usual age difference between the student-veteran and the "typical" student?
Which career field is best matched to the experience/training I already have achieved?

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Public Safety and Police Services

Where can I register my vehicle?
How long do I have to register my vehicle?
Where can I appeal a parking citation?
I will be using a different vehicle on campus for a few days; can I still park on campus?
How do I obtain a temporary handicap permit if I am temporarily disabled?
I didn’t have the money to purchase a parking pass and now I have received three tickets for Failure to Register.  What should I have done?
I drove through every parking lot on campus and couldn’t find a place to park.  What should I do in this situation?
Where can I find a copy of the Wildcat Shuttle schedule?
Is lot 11 and lot 36 open to residents for overnight parking?
Can I park in the commuter and faculty/staff lots after 5:00 p.m.?
Is lot 8 outside of the University Center a free parking lot?
The lot I normally park in was full so I parked on the grass.  Why did I get ticket?
My vehicle broke down in the parking lot so I just left it there until I could get it fixed/towed and I got a ticket.  What should I have done?
What do I do if I will be having a guest on campus?
I was using a different vehicle other than the vehicle I have registered.  I displayed my parking permit in this vehicle, why did I get a ticket?
I have a project due for a class and I have a lot of things to carry.  Can I park close to the building to load/unload my vehicle?
I will be graduating in December and bought a parking permit.  Can I get a refund in December?
I didn’t think you needed a parking pass to park at the PEIF, Dome and Berry Events Center.  Why did I get a ticket?
I live in the residence halls and I work until 11:00 p.m.at night and when I get back to campus, lot 16 is full.  I don’t want to walk back to the residence halls from the other resident lots this late at night. What should I do?
What are the hours of operations of Public Safety and Police Services?
How do I register my bicycle?
I no longer have my bicycle, how do I remove it from the registry?
I would like to bring my weapon to campus, what are the procedures for storing my weapon?
When can I check my weapon in and out?
I have lost/found an item, where do I report to inquire about it?
How do I find out if classes are canceled?
I brought a kayak, boat, or snowmobile to campus. Is there anywhere to store it?

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Student Conduct Program

Who can file a report? How?
What are my options if I want someone else's behavior to stop?
I was documented. What do I do?
What is the difference between a conduct meeting and hearing?
What happens during a conduct meeting or hearing?
What happens if I'm responsible for violating the student code?
What if I was accused for something I didn't do?
This happened off campus. Why is the university involved?
What is the standard of proof in the conduct program? Is it different than the legal system?
Can someone attend the conduct meeting or hearing with me?
What is the role of the witness?
At what point will I need an attorney?
What does warning probation or disciplinary probation mean?
What if I disagree with the sanction?
Will my parents be notified?
Are there fines? How much is this going to cost me?
Does this go on my student record?
Will this keep me from getting a job/internship or getting into graduate school?
Will I get kicked out of the residence halls for being found responsible for this? 

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