Choosing the right college can be the most important decision for your student. At FVCC, we encourage parents and families to be involved. Your support and encouragement is important to your student’s success in college. Here are a few of the more common questions from families whose students are considering FVCC…

What is the value of an associate degree?

FVCC offers Associate degrees to meet the needs of both students who are interested in entering the workforce as soon as possible as well as those who intend to transfer to a university for a bachelor degree:

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or Certificate of Applied Science (CAS) or Certificate of Technical Studies (CTS): One semester to two year career and technical degree programs designed to lead you directly into a career in your field of study

Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) in General Studies: AA and AS degrees earned at FVCC are in general studies (with the exception of Registered Nursing and Substance Abuse Counseling). The suggested courses are designed to help students transfer easily into bachelor degree programs in their chosen fields of study. FVCC graduates have been accepted to universities in Montana and beyond such as Stanford University and have gone on to top graduate schools at such schools as Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University.

Approximately 50% of FVCC students are full time, new high school graduates, the other half are students returning to the classroom after spending time in the workforce.

What distinguishes FVCC from other colleges?

Our programs prepare students for success immediately following graduation and are respected by area, state and national business and industry. Our outstanding instructors come from some of the finest institutions in the nation because of FVCC’s excellent reputation and because of the unbeatable quality of life the Flathead Valley offers. Our classes are taught by expert faculty, not teaching assistants, in small-sized classes, allowing our students to receiving the help and attention they need to succeed.

About the Area

FVCC is located in Kalispell, MT( our setting) just 30 minutes from Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness and two of Montana’s best ski and summer resorts providing limitless opportunities for world-class recreation. Learn more >


Nearly 75 percent of FVCC students receive some form of financial assistance. Families have access to  diverse merit and need-based scholarships, as well as a number of grants, loans, and student employment programs to help fund their education.

  • FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA applications are done online. Aid is based on tax information. Aid packages may include Grants, Student Loans and Work Study.
    Parents – Please be advised: If your child is under age 24 and you claim them as a dependent on your Income Taxes, they will need your tax information in addition to their own to apply for federal financial aid. This applies even if your student plans to pay for college on their own. Even if ineligible, having applied helps when students seek other scholarships.
  • Scholarships: The FVCC Foundation manages several hundred local scholarships. Students apply online.
  • Student Employment: Students may also find part time employment on campus. See HR.
  • Honors Program: Students who apply and are accepted into the Honors program at FVCC are offered a tuition waiver. See details.
  • Tuition Scholarship: Students who reach 30 credits and earn a 3.5 GPA or better, earn two semesters tuition free.
Supporting your Student

FVCC’s welcome week brings new students together with current students, faculty and staff to familiarize themselves with everything we have to offer. Each student also is assigned an advisor who will assist them in developing class schedules, registering for classes, preparing for graduation or transfer and making the most of their FVCC experience.

The FVCC Student Support Center (link) will be a valuable resource to your student. Professional advisors will meet with students to help them connect to the programs, opportunities and services available to them on campus so they may maximize their college experience.

Tips for Supporting Your Student:

  • Preparedness: College is not high school. College is not like their job.
    • STUDY TIME – College will require more out of classroom study time than high school. Unlike the working world, when your student leaves the classroom, their job is not done. Being a full time student is a full time commitment, though a student may only spend 15 hours a week in the classroom.
    • $$$ – Students and families are making a considerable financial investment in their education.
    • Balance – Time management the key to success. Balancing classes with work, family and other interests will require students to make some adjustments and carefully prioritize their commitments. Encourage your student to keep a calendar/planner and map out time for classes, studying, work, family and socializing/de-stressing.
    • Other skills your student may need to adjust? –
  • Check-in during the semester: Ask your student about their assignments, tests, quizzes, lecture, but don’t simply ask about grades. Important: don’t be punitive if your student admits to doing poorly or they may not tell you in the future.
    • How do you like the lectures?
    • Where do you sit?
    • What are your professors’ office hours?
    • Where do you study?
    • How is the reading?
    • What are you learning?
    • Do you need help with anything?
  • Only student and the course instructor have access to grades throughout the semester: this includes grades on assignments, projects, quizzes and exams.
    • FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. When your student begins college, all rights afforded to parents Under FERPA transfer to the student. This means parents (and families) no longer have access to their student’s financial or academic records unless the student provides a Release of Information to the Admission and Registration Office, or the Financial Aid Office and the Business This is likely a big change, as many parents have had the ability to monitor their high school student’s records closely. FVCC will provide Releases of Information to students upon request to share their school records with you.
  • Your student should know their approximate grade in every class by mid-October
    • every syllabus explains the grading for the course
    • Parents and family CANNOT contact instructors, only the student can advocate for him/herself