Be Admitted and Get Enrolled into Community College (page 3)
Now that you understand some of the basic information you'll need to apply to and be admitted to college, as well as some of the resources available to help you select your courses and develop a schedule, you'll be ready to fill out the paperwork for admissions, register, and enroll in your courses.
Remember you will need to register to take classes each semester and enroll in each course. You will be considered a full-time student if you take 12 credit hours a semester (usually 3 to 4 classes). You will be considered a part-time student if you take fewer than 12 credit hours a semester. Because community colleges are flexible, you can take the number of courses each semester that suits you.
Admissions & Registration Countdown
- Get a college catalog with program requirements and course descriptions; obtain a schedule of classes. Check the college calendar for the semester (or quarter) start dates. Almost all colleges have this information available online as well as in print.
- Contact the admissions (enrollment) office for an application and program information. You can download an application form from the community college Web site, email the admissions office for a form, pick up an application form in person, or call and have one mailed to you. Visit or speak with a counselor in the admissions office if you have concerns or questions.
- Start the ball rolling with the financial aid office by contacting a counselor in that office even before you decide to apply for admission. Apply for financial aid. Explore scholarship opportunities and apply for those for which you are eligible.
- Submit an admissions application (in print or online) with the one-time application fee to the college (usually the fee is minimal, but not refundable). Make sure all the necessary documents, such as high school transcripts or immunization, have been submitted or are in hand.
- Speak with a counselor in testing and assessment (or the appropriate office at your community college) about assessment and placement tests (or if you may be exempt).
- Check your mail for an acceptance letter and assessment and placement testing information
- Take any assessment or placement tests that are required.
- See an academic advisor who can assist you with understanding academic requirements for various programs of study and help you select your courses and plan your schedule.
- Register for classes in person, by telephone, or online. Check with the college about registration periods (also see the schedule of classes). Enroll as early as possible to ensure you get the class schedule and courses you want. Online enrollment, if available, sometimes starts a week or so earlier than in-person registration. You must register for each course! If you have any questions, contact the registration office (sometimes called the "Office of the Registrar," who is the person who handles the registration process and all student records).
- Pay your tuition and fees. Watch your mail for a tuition bill from the bursar's office (the office that collects fees for the college). Send full payment for your courses or
participate in the college's payment plan.
- Receive a confirmation of your course schedule. Review it carefully to be sure that you have the courses, days, and times that you selected, and that you know where your classes will be held (that is, which campus if it is a multi-campus community college).
- Get a student identification card. This card will allow you to use the facilities on campus.
- Buy your books and get a parking pass. The campus bookstore will have a list of the texts that you will need for the courses for which you signed up.
- Start class! Remember to keep consulting with academic advisors about courses you'll take in future semesters and if you run into any type of trouble"academic or personal.
- If you're new to college, sign up for a college survival skills class. You'll learn a lot of useful study tips and get a good understanding of what you need to do in the classroom to be successful.
"Remember to pay your bill on time! Whether you're paying yourself or getting financial aid, if the bill isn't paid, you risk losing the schedule of classes you so carefully constructed."-Dale Smith, Associate Professor and Counselor, Office of Admissions, Westchester Community College (New York)
TIP: If your community college has dorms, as some of them do, and you want to live on campus, be sure to apply early for space. By April, you might find only a waiting list for a space in the fall.
Registration for Non-Credit Courses
You should register as early as you can prior to the start of the class that interests you. Otherwise, it might be fully enrolled and you'll have to wait until the class is given again. Registration is usually on a first-come, first-served basis, and payment for the class must be completed before you'll be allowed to attend. Signing up is usually easy. You will be able to register in person, on the Web, by fax, or through the mail.
Remember that non-credit courses will not count toward a degree or transfer any credits to another institution. Some colleges co-list continuing education and workforce development courses as non-credit and for-credit courses so if you can choose what's best for you.
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