Student Services exists to serve and support the academic purpose of the College and its students through outstanding personalized services.
General Conditions for Admittance
Polk State College (PSC) maintains an open-door policy for admission to the College. Prospective students with qualifying high school diplomas or equivalency are eligible to apply. Generally these are standard high school diplomas, general education development (GED) diploma, and College Placement Test-eligible certificates of completion. For information on other completion codes on high school diplomas, students should contact the Registrar’s Office. Home-schooled students who have met the school attendance policy as defined in Florida Statute 1002.41 and have completed all curriculum requirements for graduation as defined by Florida Statute 1003.43 must submit a completed Home School Affidavit in lieu of a high school diploma.
Students can apply for admission at any time and may begin taking courses in the fall, spring, or summer sessions. Correspondence concerning admissions, student records, or registration may be addressed to:
Polk State College
999 Avenue H NE
Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299
Prior to registering for courses, a student must have the following on file in the Registrar’s Office: a completed admission application (this can be submitted in person or online at www.polk.edu), an official high school transcript (or GED transcript or Home School Affidavit), all placement test results, official transcripts of all previous college work, and an affidavit of residence. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Registrar’s Office. Transfer and baccalaureate students should submit all requirements six weeks before the term in which they expect to begin attending classes.
Determination of placement in courses and the necessity of prerequisite classes are based on recent scores earned on the SAT and/or ACT, on the College Placement Test (CPT) administered at the college, and/or on previous college course work.
General Admission Procedures
General admission for the Bachelor of Applied Science, Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science, College Credit Certificate programs, and non-degree seeking students are as follows:
Applications for admission are processed year-round; however, to complete all admission requirements and be well prepared for course registration, prospective students should apply at least six weeks before the start of the term in which they expect to begin attending classes.
Students may apply for admission online at www.polk.edu or www.facts.org. Students should read the information online under the Admissions links and download an admission checklist that gives step-by-step instructions of the admission process. Students may also apply in person at any campus.
A $20 non-refundable application fee will be assessed when students first register for classes. Applicants are notified of their application status by mail. All forms may be submitted in person to one of the following campuses: Winter Haven, Lakeland, or JD Alexander/Lake Wales.
- Affidavits of residency must be completed with two valid proofs of Florida residency according to Florida Residency for Tuition guidelines found at www.facts.org.
- The Home School Affidavit can be submitted in person or mailed.
- It is the student’s responsibility to request that official transcripts be sent directly to the Registrar’s Office from a high school or state GED office and from all colleges attended. Students may be admitted without official transcripts, but may not be placed into college-level courses until official transcripts have been received and evaluated.
- First-time-in-college and new PSC degree-seeking applicants should visit a Student Services office to obtain a College Placement Test (CPT) admission ticket after the application is submitted. Testing tickets are available in the Admissions Office on the following campuses: Winter Haven, Lakeland, or JD Alexander/Lake Wales. Based on test results, students are placed into appropriate level courses in English, reading, and mathematics. Transfer students may be exempt from this requirement.
- Students whose first language is not English must provide documentation of English proficiency. The “International and Visa Student” section of the catalog provides more details regarding this requirement.
- It is highly recommended that students complete academic advising prior to registration. No appointment is required. The “Advising” section of the catalog lists the hours of operation.
- Students should consult the College’s website for important registration dates.
- Students can hear helpful recorded messages by dialing these phone numbers:
|Transcript Request Information
For additional information, please visit the Polk State College (PSC) website at www.polk.edu.
First Time in College Students
Admission may be granted to those who have completed the following:
- Graduated with a standard high school diploma or international baccalaureate (IB) diploma from a secondary school, including Florida public, private, and out-of-state schools, in accordance with Florida statutes.
- Earned a general education development (GED) diploma through any state Department of Education or the military, as long as the test was administered in the English language.
- Completed a Home Education Program pursuant to the requirement of Florida Statutes 1002.41 and 1003.43. The student must submit the PSC Home School Affidavit signed by a parent or legal guardian.
Applicants who have received a Certificate of Completion, but have not passed the FCAT, are eligible for admission and should contact the Registrar’s Office for more information. Some additional high school diplomas qualify for college admissions under the Florida state guidelines. For information on other high school diploma completion codes, contact the Registrar’s office at 863-297-1016.
Students who have previously attended a college or university accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations, or whose non-regionally accredited transfer work has met the rigors of course-by-course evaluation, may be admitted as transfer students under the following conditions:
- The high school diploma requirement may be waived, provided a PSC transcript evaluation determines that the student has completed a minimum of 12 academic credits with an overall grade point average of 2.0.
- Students will enter PSC with the equivalent academic status they held at the transferring institution. Students with a warning or probationary status will hold this status at PSC. Students on academic suspension or dismissal will not be admitted during the term immediately following the imposition of the academic suspension or dismissal status.
- Degree-seeking students will receive an evaluation of transfer credits once all admission requirements have been met. These students can access the completed evaluation in their PASSPORT accounts. Details regarding this can be found in the “Transfer of Credit to PSC” section of the catalog.
- It is the student’s responsibility to assure that transcripts from other colleges are sent directly to PSC’s Registrar to complete admission requirements. If transcripts have not arrived at PSC by the registration date of the student’s second term, the student will be prohibited from registering.
Students attending other regionally accredited institutions, who wish to earn credits at Polk State College (PSC) to fulfill degree requirements at their home institutions, must meet the following requirements for enrollment:
- Submit a PSC Admission Application. A $20 application fee is assessed at registration.
- Submit an official Transient form or statement from the home institution, certifying good standing and indicating the particular courses to be taken. If the student is from a state or participating private institution, the transient request must be submitted through www.facts.org.
- Assume responsibility for selecting the appropriate courses that the home institution will accept toward the program of study.
- Request an official PSC transcript to be sent to the home institution at the end of the term.
PSC students wishing to attend other colleges as transient students must:
- Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
- Have met any prerequisites for the desired courses.
- Be in good academic and financial standing with PSC.
- Must have attended PSC the term immediately preceding the transient request term.
- Take courses that meet requirements for the student’s degree program.
- Complete a Transient form 2 weeks prior to registration through www.facts.org or with a PSC Academic Advisor, if attending a private institution that does not participate in electronic transient submission though www.facts.org.
- Request that the college send an official transcript to the PSC Registrar’s Office immediately after grades are posted at the end of the term.
Readmission to PSC
A student will maintain an active application status, provided a break in enrollment does not exceed one year. Students returning after an absence of one or more academic years and those students who applied but did not attend within one or more academic years must complete the following:
- Complete an Application for Readmission at no cost.
- Submit transcripts from all colleges or universities attended since last attending or applying to PSC.
- Retake the CPT if it has been more than two (2) years, for those who have not completed 12 transferable hours with an overall grade point average of 2.0.
- Submit high school transcript and all previous college transcripts, even those previously submitted to PSC, if returning after five (5) years.
- Meet the graduation requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of readmission.
Currently attending students changing from a non-degree to degree-seeking program status must submit an application for readmission and submit any required documents to the Registrar’s Office to become eligible.
Previously dual-enrolled students who attend PSC after high school graduation must submit an application for readmission as a degree-seeking student.
Early Admission and Dual Enrollment
Polk State College (PSC) provides accelerated opportunities to academically talented students from all Polk County public secondary schools and most area private high schools. The application process begins with the high school counselor. Home-schooled students are also eligible to participate. Home-schooled students must complete the Home School Dual Enrollment Application Packet.
For more information, contact the Dual Enrollment Coordinator on the Winter Haven campus at 863-292-3758 or the Dual Enrollment Coordinator on the Lakeland campus at 863-669-2822 or e-mail: email@example.com. Application packets are available from high school guidance offices, the advising areas on each PSC campus, or may be downloaded from the website at www.polk.edu.
Acceleration is available to high school students through two dual enrollment programs: Full-time Early Admission and Dual Enrollment.
- Full-time Early Admission:
Full-time early admission can be a suitable choice for high school seniors with the social maturity and academic motivation needed to succeed in a college environment. A student seeking full-time early admission must be a high school senior, have an unweighted grade point average of 3.2 or higher for all courses completed in grades 9 through 11, and must have earned a grade of “B” or better in either Algebra II or a higher level math course to qualify for enrollment. Full-time early admission candidates are required to complete and pass all sections of the College Placement Test (CPT), register and successfully complete 12 or more credit hours per semester, and maintain a 2.0 or higher grade point average at PSC.
The Early Admissions program will pay for one attempt at a course. Any subsequent attempts of the same course will be at the expense of the student.
- Dual Enrollment:
Dual enrollment is available to high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who meet the minimum qualifications. Requirements to qualify for dual enrollment are based on the number of credit hours in which the student wishes to enroll.
- 1 to 7 credits – minimum 3.0 unweighted high school grade point average in all courses up through the end of the previous semester and a passing score on the sections of the College Placement Test that are relevant to the courses in which the student wishes to enroll.
- 8 to 11 credits – minimum 3.2 unweighted high school grade point average in all courses up through the end of the previous semester, a grade of “B” or better in either Algebra II or a higher level mathematics course, and a passing score on all sections of the College Placement Test.
Sophomores may qualify for one course per semester, and juniors may qualify for up to two courses per semester. Seniors may take up to 11 credit hours per semester, depending on the College Placement Test results and their high school GPA.
Dual enrollment courses may be taken in a variety of ways: on a PSC campus, at a high school in a class taught by a PSC-approved instructor, or via the Internet through Polk State College’s (PSC) PAL website. Courses may be taken as part of students’ regular high school curriculum or in addition to their high school load. Students are required to maintain a 2.0 college GPA and a 3.0 high school GPA to remain eligible for dual enrollment.
The Dual Enrollment program will pay for one attempt at a course. Any subsequent attempts of the same course will be at the expense of the student.
Limited Admission Programs
Special standards and procedures are established for admission to certain Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science, and Certificate Programs. The “Programs of Study” section of this catalog provides details on these criteria.
The non-degree seeking student is not intending to complete a degree at PSC. This student attends for a variety of reasons such as to enhance a job skill, meet several prerequisites for an advanced degree, or for personal enrichment.
Non-degree seeking students complete an application for admission in-person. They are not required to submit official transcripts from previously attended institutions. They also are not required to take the College Placement Test (CPT). However, students must demonstrate that all prerequisites to a course have been met before registration is permitted. This may require copies of transcripts or passage of all or portions of the CPT.
Non-degree seeking students must apply and register in-person each term.
Teachers and public school employees who want to take courses for teacher certification or recertification must meet the same admission requirements as non-degree seeking students.
Concurrent Admission Program
Polk State College (PSC) participates in the United States Army Concurrent Admissions Program (ConAP). As a ConAP member, PSC admits eligible new soldiers upon enlistment, and guarantees full admission during their enlistment and for two years after they complete their active military service.
ConAP also applies to soldiers enlisted in the Army Reserve. Admission for qualified Reserve soldiers is deferred until completion of the initial active duty training (about six months). Students are subject to the catalog in effect at the time of class registration at PSC.
International and Visa Students Admission
International students interested in attending PSC should request an International Student Application packet by calling the International Student Coordinator on the Winter Haven campus at 863-292-3758 or the International Student Coordinator on the Lakeland campus at 863-669-2822. International students may also request information to be sent via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The International Student Admissions Guidebook is available on the PSC website at www.polk.edu/SERVICES/intst.htm.
PSC is authorized to enroll nonimmigrant alien students. Nonimmigrant alien students are classified as either international students (F-1) or other nonimmigrant visa students. Anyone in the United States with a B1/B2 Tourist visa, an M-1 Vocational Student visa, or a J-1 Exchange Student visa is not eligible to attend PSC until the following requirements have been met: 1) completion of the admission requirements for International students and 2) obtainment of an F-1 visa or a United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved change of status to F-1.
B1/B2 visa holders and J-1 Exchange Student visa holders may submit a new application for an F-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy in their home country or other foreign country, or they may submit a Change of Status Application to the USCIS while in the United States to change their visa status to F-1.
M-1 visa holders must travel to their home country with their SEVIS I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for nonimmigrant F-1 student status) to apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy abroad. M-1 visa holders may not change their status while they are still in the United States.
International students enter the United States with F-1 visas specifically for the purpose of obtaining an education. All international students holding F-1 visas are required to attend PSC on a full-time basis and pay out-of-state tuition and fees during their entire enrollment. Anyone who enters the United States with a visa other than F-1 is here for purposes other than obtaining an education. Most visa holders are eligible to attend school while in the U.S. as long as attending school does not interfere with their original purpose for being here. Many visa students are required to pay out-of-state tuition and fees during their entire enrollment at PSC. Some visa students are eligible for Florida tuition rates after one year of residency in Florida. Students should check with the International Student Advisor to determine their eligibility to attend school and with questions regarding Florida tuition rates.
International and visa students must submit all required documents and meet all conditions of admission by the following deadlines:
- Fall Semester or Term I (Aug.-Dec.): May 15
- Spring Semester or Term II (Jan.-early May): Oct 15
- Summer Semester or Term III (May-early Aug.): March 15
- In the event the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the deadline will be extended until the next business day.
In addition to the regular admission procedures, international and visa students are required to complete additional admission requirements. International students should begin the admission process three to six months prior to the beginning of the semester in which they wish to enroll.
International students who complete the international student admission requirements by the semester deadline will be issued a SEVIS Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) student status.
For academic and language students, the SEVIS I-20 form is used to show acceptance to PSC and to apply for an F-1 visa at the U.S. Embassy or consulate office in foreign countries. It may also be used to apply for a change of status to F-1 for those already in the United States.
International Student Admission Requirements:
These admission requirements apply to international students seeking admission to degree-granting programs and to those seeking admission to the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program. All requirements must be completed before the SEVIS Form I -20; Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status will be issued.
Degree-seeking international students must show proficiency in English by meeting one of the requirements listed below. International students who do not demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English may enroll in Polk State College’s (PSC) English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program. These students will need to take the Levels of English Proficiency exam (LOEP) for placement in a reading, writing, and grammar course in the EAP program. EAP Communications is also highly recommended to improve speaking and listening skills.
The following steps should be taken:
- Submit an Application for Admission to PSC, including the $20 application fee that must be paid in U.S. dollars at the time of registration. International admission cannot be done via PSC’s online application.
- Submit an International Student Application.
- Submit an Affidavit of Financial Support, including the student’s or sponsor’s most recent bank statement, showing finances are available for the student’s education. A letter of employment may be requested from the sponsor’s employer to verify employment and income source.
- Submit a Health Certification Form, certifying good physical and mental health, which is required before an I-20 form is issued.
- Demonstrate English Proficiency via any one of the following:
- Affidavit of English Language – Students from a country where English is the native language are required to complete the Affidavit of English Language. Check with the International Student Advisor for a list of countries exempt from English proficiency requirements.
- Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) –Students should submit passing scores from Educational Testing Services. Information about TOEFL can be obtained at www.ets.org/toefl.
- For admission to degree-seeking status: A paper-and-pencil exam score of at least 500 or an Internet-based exam score of at least 61 or higher is required.
- For admission to the EAP Program: Proof of English proficiency is not required to be admitted to the program. The College’s Levels of English Proficiency exam (LOEP) will be administered to assess the appropriate level of instruction in reading, writing, and grammar. EAP Communications is also highly recommended to improve speaking and listening skills.
- An Advanced Placement (AP) score – A score of 4 or higher on the International English Language exam will be accepted in lieu of a TOEFL score.
- Completion of the highest level of an accredited intensive English language program. Documentation is required.
- Five or more years of successful study in an accredited institution where English is the only language of instruction, as demonstrated on a transcript.
- Provide Proof of Medical Insurance:
Insurance must include basic medical coverage. Also highly recommended is coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation services. Polk State College (PSC) recommends “Student Secure Select” for non-U.S. citizens offered through International Student Insurance. Applications are available from the International Student Office on the Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses and from the website at: www.InternationalStudentInsurance.com. Students should apply for medical insurance after the F-1 visa has been approved.
- Possess a Valid Passport:
A passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended length of study in the United States is required.
International Student Transcript Requirements:
Students must provide official high school, upper secondary, and postsecondary transcripts from accredited high schools, colleges, and universities they have attended. If transcripts are in a language other than English, a certified English translation must also be provided. A certified translation service in the United States or the Ministry of Education in the home country may provide the translation. Students should request two official copies of their transcripts: one should be sent to Polk State College (PSC), and one should be sent directly from the foreign institution to an evaluation service, as explained below.
Transcripts from international institutions must be evaluated for equivalency to U.S. high school graduation for consideration of college transfer credit. The student must pay the cost of the transcript evaluation. Specific instructions for obtaining this evaluation are included with the International Student Admission packet, or they can be obtained from the Registrar’s Office. The application for evaluation may be downloaded from an evaluator’s website. Go to www.naces.org to select an approved evaluator. PSC most commonly uses Josef Silny & Associates or World Education Services.
I-901 SEVIS Fee
Prior to visa application, and once an I-20 form is issued, the student must pay a $200 SEVIS fee to the Department of Homeland Security. Form I-901 information and an application are available at www.fmjfee.com. The fee should be paid at least two weeks prior to visa application. A receipt must be presented at the time of visa application. This I-901 fee is in addition to the visa application fee.
The international student must present a valid visa, SEVIS I-20, I-94 card, and valid passport to the International Student Advisor showing proof of eligibility to attend school upon arrival at PSC. Photocopies will be made for the student’s file. This process must be completed before the end of the third week of the first semester.
International Students Holding Other Visas
Admission requirements for those holding nonimmigrant visas other than B1/B2 tourist visas, M-1 vocational student, J-1 exchange student, and F-1 international student visas must meet the following admission requirements:
- Students must submit an Application for Admission to PSC, including the application fee of $20 paid in U.S. dollars at time of registration.
- Students must submit official high school, upper secondary, and postsecondary transcripts from accredited high schools, colleges, and universities. If transcripts are in a language other than English, a certified English translation must also be provided. A certified translation service in the United States or the Ministry of Education in the home country may provide the translation. Students should request two official transcripts: one should be sent to the PSC International Student Office on the campus that the student expects to attend, and one should be sent directly to an evaluation service, as explained below.
- Foreign transcripts from international institutions must be evaluated for either equivalency to U.S. high school graduation or for consideration of college transfer credit. Students must pay the cost of the transcript evaluation. Specific instructions for obtaining this evaluation are included with the International Student Admission packet, or they can be obtained from the Registrar’s office.
- Students must present a passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended length of study in the United States.
- Within the first three weeks of the semester, students must present a valid visa and I-94 card as proof of eligibility to attend school. Photocopies will be made for the student’s file.
- For admission to college-credit courses, students must demonstrate English Proficiency using the criteria listed under the section titled “International Student Admission Requirements.” International students who do not demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English may enroll in PSC’s English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program. These students will need to take the Levels of English Proficiency exam (LOEP) for placement in a reading, writing, and grammar course in the EAP program. EAP Communications is also highly recommended to improve speaking and listening skills.
Transfer of Credit to PSC
Polk State College (PSC) will accept college credit earned at other institutions as transfer credit if the institution is regionally accredited or accredited by an accrediting body approved by the U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in accordance with specific guidelines:
Credits earned at regionally-accredited institutions within Florida’s State University System (SUS), Florida community colleges, and non-public accredited institutions participating in the Florida Statewide Course Numbering System (SCNS) for which there are comparable courses at PSC are posted to the student’s PSC academic record. When appropriate, this credit is applied toward degree requirements or electives. In some cases, however, it is recorded as credit earned in excess of degree requirements.
- An award will be made provided that the credit earned is in an appropriate area, is on a level normally included within the first two years of college, and if a grade of “D” or higher has been achieved. However, some courses require a grade of “C” or better for degree purposes.
- Failing grades are recorded and are included in the student’s grade point average if earned at a Florida state university, college, or community college. Failing grades are not recorded from private institutions.
- Credits earned at regionally-accredited institutions that are not participants in the Florida Statewide Numbering System are evaluated and those found to be equivalent are posted to the student’s record following the award policies listed above.
- PSC will accept transfer credit from other institutions if the institution’s accrediting body is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation(CHEA), and the school and each course meets the evaluation rigors followed by PSC. Requests for evaluation must be initiated by the student 12 weeks prior to the beginning of the term but no later than the Drop/Add deadline of the graduating term. Students will play an active role in collecting required data for evaluation. Only courses with grades of “D” or higher are considered for evaluation according to the award policies listed above.
- Transcripts from international institutions, including those in the English language, require an official evaluation at the expense of the student from an external agency, as recommended by PSC. Students may find qualified agencies at: www.naces.org.
- Credits earned at Polk State College are based on semester hours; therefore, all transfer work is converted to equivalent semester hours.
- Credits at the upper-division college level are not generally accepted for transfer for associate degrees. Upper-division courses are accepted for transfer toward baccalaureate degrees and for associate degrees if the course meets a specific lower division requirement, such as select common course numbers used in the SUS System.
- PSC recognizes that valid learning can take place in non-traditional and non-collegiate environments. PSC generally follows the credit-granting recommendations of the American Council of Education (ACE) but reserves the right to exercise its own judgement. PSC maintains articulation for credit based on various credentialing, certifications and licensure in addition to state-mandated agreements. For more information on non-traditional credit awards contact the Registrar’s Office at 863-297-5016.
Credit for Armed Services Traning
In recognition of the advanced academic and technical content of many military education experiences, Polk State College (PSC) may grant appropriate credits for military education experiences that are evaluated by the American Council of Education (ACE) as suitable for postsecondary credit. It is at the discretion of Polk State College to award this credit; recommendations in the ACE Guide are advisory only and not binding on PSC. Credit will be granted in those areas that are appropriate for the degree or certification sought. The Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services will serve as the basis for PSC’s acceptance of such training and the awarding of college credit.
- When applying for admission, degree-seeking students can initiate the request for credit by providing appropriate supporting documents.
- All required documents must be submitted with the DD214, if separating from the military, or with the DD295, if a current member of the service. One of these two documents is required.
- Documents should be mailed to:
Polk State College
999 Avenue H NE
Winter Haven, FL 33881
- All requests for military credit awards must be made in the student’s first semester of attendance with PSC.
- Once evaluation is completed, students will be able to view results on the degree audit in the student’s account in PASSPORT.
The DD214 for veterans or DD295 for active duty military personnel should be submitted to obtain credit for HLP 1081 Wellness Concepts. All other credit requests require an official transcript from the registry associated with the student’s branch of service as follows:
- Active Duty Military Personnel should submit a certified copy of the Application for the Evaluation of Learning Experiences during Military Service, Form DD295, as well as certified copies of any course completion certificates. A notary public must certify that any copies submitted are true copies of the original documents.
- Army Veterans should request that an Army/ACE Registry Transcript System (AARTS) transcript be mailed directly to PSC. Prospective students may request an AARTS transcript by writing directly to: Manager, AARTS Operations Center, Ft. Leavenworth, KS 66027-5073. Each request must include the veteran’s name, basic service date, Social Security number, and current mailing address. The e-mail address is email@example.com.
- Air Force Veterans may request that a Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcript be mailed directly to PSC. Prospective students may request a transcript by writing directly to: CCAF, 130 W. Maxwell Blvd., Maxwell Air Force Base, AL 36112-6613; the telephone number is 334-953-7848.
- Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Navy Veterans should request a transcript from: The Naval Education and Technical Center, 6490 Saufley Fld. Rd., Pensacola, FL 32509-5204, ATTN: Code N2A5. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org; information can also be accessed through this toll free number 877-253-7122
Information and advising is available for those veterans eligible for educational benefits under the various laws aiding veterans and their dependents. Veterans eligible under Chapters 30, 106, 32, and 35 of Title 38, U.S. Code are required to be degreeseeking, but they may attend college part time. It is important for veterans to meet with an Academic Advisor prior to registration each term.
The Financial Aid Office completes the Veteran’s Certification for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Benefits are paid on a sliding scale:
- Full: 12 or more credit hours
- 3/4: 9 to 11 credit hours
- 1/2: 6 to 8 credit hours
- Tuition only: 1 to 5 credit hours
All veterans and dependents, except those on vocational rehabilitation, are responsible for paying all college fees within the appropriate deadlines. Registration fees may be deferred, when necessary, up to sixty days or if the term is less than sixty days long the deferment is ten days less than the length of the term, whichever is earlier. Fees may be deferred only once per academic year.
VA regulations require veterans to progress at a regular rate toward graduation. Details regarding current Polk State College (PSC) policy for meeting this requirement are available in the Financial Aid Office on both campuses.
Veterans should contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance with completing the appropriate paperwork.
PSC recommends that all degree-seeking students, whether first-time-in-college or transfer, meet with an Academic Advisor to establish their program of study, plan the sequence of course work toward their degree, and determine what prerequisite course work may be necessary. The advising staff provides assistance to all enrolled and prospective students in making educational and career decisions. Students are strongly encouraged to continue to meet with an advisor prior to each new registration to review their options as they select courses toward their degree.
Academic Advisors are available in Student Services at both campuses during regular operating hours:
|Monday - Thursday
|8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
|8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
|Saturday (Winter Haven Only)
|9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Through the use of advising tracks, PSC offers preparation for over 130 majors in the State University System (SUS) of Florida. The advising tracks are not distinct majors in the traditional sense or areas of concentration. Rather, each advising track is designed as an advisory guide for a student who plans to earn the Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts from PSC and transfer to one of the state universities in Florida as a junior to complete a bachelor’s degree in a specified university major. Each advising track includes the courses to satisfy PSC’s General Education requirements for the AA in Liberal Arts degree and the statewide common course prerequisites for the specific university major (which count as the elective credits for the A.A. degree). Through this advising for transfer mechanism, students can plan their A.A. degree program more effectively while minimizing the potential for excess credit hours.
Services for Students with Disabilities
PSC adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. All services, degree programs, and classes are open to eligible disabled students, and reasonable accommodations are provided based on individual needs. Students with documented disabilities may be eligible for extended testing time, special computer equipment, tutoring, recorded texts, note-taker services, interpreters, course substitutions, and other necessary and reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access.
The Coordinators of Academic Advising will work with any rehabilitation agency, such as the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation or the Division of Blind Services, to coordinate student services. Disabled parking spaces are available on campus with state-approved permits; additional parking permits are not required.
Students are encouraged to contact one of the Coordinators of Academic Advising in Student Services to request special accommodations or auxiliary aids. All information provided is voluntary and kept strictly confidential.
NOTE: The College does not provide personal attendant care, transportation, or housing assistance.
Polk State College (PSC) has a Student Ombudsman on each campus who facilitates understanding, communication, and conflict resolution among students, faculty, and staff. The office serves as a prompt, impartial, and confidential means of facilitating dialogue and resolving differences between parties on campus apart from the formal grievance procedures. The mission of the Ombudsman is to ensure that all students receive fair and equitable treatment at PSC.
The Ombudsman helps students by:
- Listening to grievances.
- Clarifying college policy.
- Answering questions.
- Assisting with problems that have not been resolved by other offices.
- Making referrals to individuals with more expertise in a specific concern.
- Helping define available options.
- Recommending changes/improvements to College policy, rules, or procedures that are outdated, unclear, or ineffective.
- Opening avenues of communication.
- Offering a safe place to discuss concerns.
Contact the Dean of Student Services Office for more information.
PSC wants students to succeed. To achieve that goal, each campus has a Teaching/Learning/Computing Center (TLCC) that offers computers, educational software, and tutoring. All services are free for any student attending PSC. For hours of operation and a detailed description of TLCC services, students may visit www.polk.edu/it/tlcc.
Also, faculty members have office hours for students to obtain help with their course work.
In addition to TLCC services, the TRiO Student Support Services is a federally-funded program designed to offer free individual, academic, and personal support to qualified students. To qualify, students must be first-generation college students (neither parent has a baccalaureate degree), low income according to federal guidelines, and/or have a documented physical, mental, or learning disability. Additionally, they must be full-time students at PSC who are seeking to continue a baccalaureate at PSC or transfer to a four-year college or university and complete a bachelor’s degree. Services include academic and career guidance, mentoring, textbook lending, transfer counseling, and visits to local four-year colleges and universities. The Student Support Services program is available to students on the Winter Haven Campus in WAD 167 and the Lakeland Campus in LTB 1293.
Students are advised to use the up-to-date course schedule that is available online at www.polk.edu in planning their registration and schedules.
- Students should complete the admission process, take placement tests, provide transcripts, and meet with an Academic Advisor.
- Students should consult the PSC website for priority online and in-person registration dates, fees, and payment deadlines.
- Students should be prepared to pay for classes by the posted deadline for payment. Otherwise, the registration reservation is canceled, and students may not be able to re-register for the class they originally selected. Students may pay online with Visa or MasterCard through the PASSPORT registration system at the PSC website: www.polk.edu.
Students with unmet obligations (overdue library books, financial obligations, or outstanding requirements such as student record documents) will be blocked from registration for future terms.
Students may also be restricted from registering for certain courses for which they have not met the prerequisite requirements. Students who pre-register for the next term but fail a prerequisite course, must drop the class requiring the prerequisite, but they may add another appropriate course. Students who fail prerequisite courses, but do not drop the next course in the sequence, may be dropped from all classes that they have registered for in the next semester.
Once the Late Registration Drop/Add period has ended, Registrar staff and academic advisors are no longer permitted to handle student requests for changes to the student schedule. Schedule change requests after the Drop/Add has ended must be submitted to a Dean of Student Services or an Academic Dean.
Degree program students are considered to be continuously enrolled, provided a break in enrollment does not exceed a year. Students failing to maintain continuous enrollment must apply for readmission (no fee required) under the catalog in effect at the time of their next enrollment. This must be done before registration can take place.
- Registration fees are due by the fee payment deadline as published online at www.polk.edu. Payment may be made in person at the Polk State College (PSC) Cashier’s Office on the Winter Haven or Lakeland campus or online through the PASSPORT Registration system.
- Failure to pay fees by the published deadline results in cancellation of registration. The student may not be able to re-register for the original classes selected.
- Registration is not complete until the student has received (or printed from PASSPORT) a fee sheet or receipt showing that all fees have been paid in full.
- Financial aid recipients who do not receive a printed paid fee sheet at the time of registration must see a representative in the Financial Aid Office for verification of award coverage.
Defining a Florida Resident for Residency Fee Purposes
At PSC, Florida residents pay lower fees than out-of-state students. Florida State Statutes define a Florida resident for tuition purposes as:
“…a person or, if that person is a dependent child, his parent or parents must have established legal residence in this State and must have maintained legal residence in this State for a least 12 months immediately prior to this qualification.” Residency Guidelines have been developed by state committee to assist colleges in the administration of Florida Statutes.
The Residency Guidelines document was adopted by the Articulation Coordinating Committee to assist college and university administrators in implementing Section 1009.21, Florida Statutes; Rules 6A-10.044 and 6A-20.003, Florida Administrative Code; and the Board of Governors (BOG) Residency Regulation. The guidelines, as maintained by the Statewide Residency Committee, are used to determine residency status for tuition purposes in public community colleges and universities. Updated guidelines can be found at www.facts.org. PSC recommends that all new students review these guidelines as there are many ways to meet the residency requirement.
If you believe you qualify for a special classification, after reviewing The Residency Guidelines, you may bring documentation to the Admission office in Winter Haven, Lakeland, or JD Alexander/Lake Wales. Persons unable to provide documentation according to the state guidelines indicating they have met the definition of a Florida resident are charged at the non-resident rate.
Books and Supplies
The cost of books and supplies varies with the program and courses that students select. Books and other school supplies are sold in the college bookstores located at the Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses. Polk State College (PSC) contracts with Follett, Inc. to provide bookstore services. Follett accepts most major credit cards, debit cards, and local checks with proper identification. Many students buy books online at our bookstore’s website www.efollett.com.
- To be eligible for a fee refund for a dropped course, a student must complete the drop action no later than the “Last Day for Refund” deadline, also known as the Drop/Add deadline published on the PSC website.
- Full refunds are made for courses canceled by the College.
- Late Registration fees are refunded only for canceled classes.
- Information about withdrawals and fee refunds for non-credit courses are available at registration.
PSC maintains a permanent record of academic information with supporting and relevant documents for each student. The Registrar is designated as the custodian of student records and is responsible for maintaining accurate and readily-available student academic records.
Students may order official transcripts by submitting a transcript request through the student’s PASSPORT account or in writing to the Admissions office. The transcript request must include the student’s name while at PSC, Social Security number or PSC Student ID number, dates of attendance, address of the transcript recipient, and the student’s signature if the request is not made through the PASSPORT system. PSC does not charge a fee for transcript requests.
Other Changes and Requests
Degree Verifications and Enrollment Certifications
PSC uses the services of the National Student Clearinghouse to process requests for degree verifications and enrollment certifications. Students, employers, insurance providers, or others are directed to the website at www.studentclearinghouse.org. PSC does not charge a fee for these services, but a small transaction fee is charged by National Student Clearinghouse.
Student’s Personal Information
Changes to a student’s name, Social Security number, or other vital information require proof. To request the change, the student should complete a Vital Statistics Change form and bring the new Social Security card or other document to Student Services, along with a driver’s license or other picture ID.
The Registrar is also responsible for the use and release of information contained in those records. The College is committed to the protection of student rights to privacy. It complies with the provisions of the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), State of Florida law, and State Department of Education rules. PSC may release directory information to requesting parties.
Notification of Students Rights Ubder FERPA
Student Rights Under FERPA
Annually, Polk State College (PSC) will inform currently attending students of their rights under The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the regulations relating to FERPA Public Law 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99 promulgated by the Department of Education and Florida Statute 1002.22. These rights are as follows:
- Each student has a right to inspect and review his or her education records by contacting the Registrar’s office. The inspection will be scheduled within 45 days of receipt of the student’s request. A written request must be submitted to the Registrar identifying the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Registrar will notify the student of the time and place where records will be available for inspection.
- Each student may request that such records be amended if he or she believes those records to be inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of his or her privacy rights by following PSC’s procedures to request a change in records. Procedures vary depending on the change requested. A request to amend record(s) should be submitted in writing to the Registrar clearly identifying the record and the requested change. If the request is denied, the student will be notified along with instructions on how to appeal.
- The College will obtain the student’s written, notarized consent prior to disclosing personally identifiable information about the student from his or her education records unless such consent is not required by FERPA.
- Each student has the right to assurance that his or her records are protected from access by persons who do not have a legitimate educational interest.
- Each student has a right to file a complaint with the Family Policy and Regulations Office of the Department of Education if he or she feels the College has failed to comply with the requirements of FERPA and the FERPA regulations. The address is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
- Each student may obtain the College’s compliance information and FERPA rights information from the Registrar’s Office.
Students will be notified of their FERPA rights annually in one or more of the following Polk State College publications: College Catalog, Student Handbook, handouts and PSC website.
Notice Designating Directory Information
Pursuant to FERPA regulations (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) and Florida Statute 1002.22, PSC hereby designates the following categories of student information as “directory information” which for college purposes only may be made public unless the student is in an exempt category as defined by Florida Statute 119.071 (4(d)1).
- Student name
- Student’s primary address
- Dates and status of enrollment
- Classification (Freshman, Sophomore, etc)
- Previous institutions attended
- Student’s current primary program objective
- Awards received
- Degree(s) conferred (including dates and any graduation honors)
- Past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities
- Physical factors of athletes
Such information may be disclosed at the discretion of the College for any legitimate purpose, except as provided below. Students may refuse to permit disclosure of this information.
To do so, a student must complete, sign and submit to the Registrar a FERPA Non-Disclosure Request form. Students must meet with the Registrar to learn the ramifications of non-disclosure. Students who qualify as exempt from disclosure of directory information by Florida Statute 119.071 (4(d)1) are required to notify the Registrar by completing, signing and submitting the FERPA Non-Disclosure Request form. The request may be made at anytime and will remain in effect unless and until the student submits to the Office of the Registrar a request for it to be removed or the student becomes deceased.
If the student does not complete and submit the appropriate form requesting the withholding of directory information the College will assume he or she consents to the disclosure of such information.
The College disclaims any and all liability for inadvertent disclosure of directory information designated to be withheld.
Accelerated Credits From Testing
AP, CLEP, Excelsior College, and IB
Florida law and the State Board of Education rules provide for PSC to award credit for satisfactory scores on the nationally standardized College Level Examination Program (CLEP), College Board Advanced Placement Program (AP), the Excelsior College Examination Program (Excelsior College), and International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations. Credit is awarded in accordance with the State Board Rule 6A-10.024, allowing students to proceed toward their educational goals as rapidly as possible.
Minimum satisfactory scores for CLEP, AP, Excelsior College, and IB are set by the State Board of Education and are subject to change (see Appendices). Credit is not awarded in areas for which a college-credit course has already been earned or in which the course has been attempted.
Examination scores must be submitted on an official score report from the organization administering the examination. CLEP, AP, Excelsior College, and IB credit is posted to the academic record along with the source of the credit. Students planning on transferring to schools outside of the Florida State University System (SUS) are responsible for determining the acceptability of this credit.
A maximum of 45 semester hours of combined CLEP, AP, Excelsior College, or IB credit may be applied toward an associate degree.
Advanced Placement (AP) examinations are taken prior to enrolling in college and are administered in high school following the completion of high school Advanced Placement classes (see the Appendices for subjects and minimum satisfactory scores). CLEP exams are administered on the Winter Haven campus in the Teaching/Learning/Computing Center. Exams are administered on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Students may take CLEP exams while in high school or after admission to college. Once a college course is attempted, CLEP scores for that subject will no longer be accepted. Students may contact the TLCC at 863-297-1033 to register.
Excelsior College examinations are administered at: Florida Southern College Testing Center, 142 Ordway Building, Lakeland. Students should contact the Testing Center at Florida Southern College by phone at: 863-680-4299, for registration materials or more information. Students may refer to the Appendices for exam names, minimum scores required for credit, and equivalent PSC courses.
International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations are taken prior to enrolling in college and are administered in high school following the completion of high school IB classes. See the Appendices for additional information, exam names, minimum scores for credit, and equivalent PSC courses.
Special arrangements may be made for Credit-by-Examination in certain courses by consulting the Academic Dean’s Office on the Winter Haven or Lakeland campuses.
- Students may be eligible to take an exam provided they have never enrolled in a college-level course equivalent to the exam subject matter.
- A fee is assessed whether the student passes or fails the exam.
- Successful completion of the exam results as credit posted to the academic record.
- Students planning to transfer to other institutions are responsible for determining the acceptability of all transferred credit.