Jul 14, 2024  
Catalog/Handbook 2019-2020 
Catalog/Handbook 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission - Procedures and Requirements

Polk State College maintains an open-door policy for admission. Any prospective student with qualifying high school diploma or an the equivalent is eligible to apply. Generally, the qualifying student has earned a standard high school diploma, General Education Development (GED) diploma, or a college placement test-eligible certificate of completion. Information on other completion codes on high school diplomas is provided through the Admission and Registrar’s Office at registrar@polk.edu. The student must submit all official transcripts to the College. 

Any home-schooled student who has met the school attendance policy as defined in Florida Statute 1002.41 and who has completed all curriculum requirements for graduation as defined by Florida Statute 1003.43 must submit a completed Homeschool Affidavit. A newly admitting student is strongly advised to follow the Admission Steps on the College website. These steps help the student walk through the admission process. 

A student may not qualify for financial aid or use the Developmental Education Exemption without submitting all official high school transcripts. A high school transcript is required unless the student has an associate, baccalaureate, or higher degree.

A student can apply for admission at any time and may begin taking courses in the fall, spring, or summer sessions. A student who is attending fully online must report the state of residence each semester while taking online classes. Correspondence concerning admission, student records, or registration may be addressed to registrar@polk.edu or:

Admission and Registrar’s Office
Polk State College
999 Avenue H, N.E.
Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299

Transcripts from all previously attended post-secondary institutions are required, unless the school is in a foreign country. Foreign college-level credentials are required if the student wishes to transfer credit. The College may use the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to research postsecondary institutions previously attended. If a student omits a school on the application, that school is later added to the student record, and the student is required to obtain a transcript and provide an explanation in writing about the omission from the Polk State application. If for any reason a student cannot obtain a transcript due to a school closing, moving, or losing the student’s record, the student may contact the Polk State College Registrar and petition to remove that school from his or her admission requirements. In such a case the student is required to document his or her efforts to order a transcript. 

Note: A transfer student should submit all requirements six weeks before the open registration period for the term in which he or she expects to attend classes. The Academic Calendar on the College website provides registration dates.

Determination of course placement and the need of prerequisite Mathematics or English coursework are based on scores earned on the SAT, ACT, or on a college placement test (e.g. P.E.R.T.) administered at an authorized location, as well as on qualification for placement exemption, previous college coursework, and the exemption policy per Florida Statute. All test scores must be within two years to be valid for placement purposes.

There is no application fee to apply for admission to Polk State College. An applicant is notified of his or her status through the personal email account provided on the application, as well as through the newly assigned Polk State College institutional email account at my.polk.edu, which is activated within two business days of acceptance. All forms and residency documentation may be submitted in the following ways:

  • Delivered in person to the Winter Haven or Lakeland campus or at the JD Alexander Center
  • Mailed to Polk State College, 999 Avenue H, N.E., Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299
  • Scanned and emailed to registrar@polk.edu 
  • Imaged via smart phone and emailed to registrar@polk.edu

Detailed admission communications are sent to the student upon submission of an application. Communication is sent to the personal email address entered on the application. The student can expect communication within three business days of submitting an application. 

General admission procedures for Baccalaureate, Associate in Arts, and Associate in Science degree programsAdvanced Technical and College Credit certificate programs; Applied Technology diploma programs; and non-degree seeking students include the following Admission Steps found online at polk.edu.


There are specific additional steps for special populations such as veterans, international, and dual-enrollment students.

Admission Steps in Detail:

  • The student should submit a Polk State College Application free of charge.


  • Any student who is new to Polk State College (including dual-enrolled students) must complete an Orientation Session once the application is submitted online. Orientation is registered completed within one work day. A student benefits from the Polk State College Orientation in many ways, as it serves as an introduction to College resources, interpretation of college placement test scores, assistance in developing a personalized Educational Plan, and describes how to search and register for classes online. There is no cost for the Orientation which is accessible 24 hours per day, seven days per week vis the Student Orientation link.


  • The student should spend time reviewing the Polk State email, PASSPORT, and Canvas functions. Each student has access to resources such as the student portal called PASSPORT, student email, Canvas (the College’s online learning management system or “classroom”), and others. It is important to be familiar with these tools prior to the start of classes.



  • Testing is available at the following campuses: Winter Haven, Lakeland, or JD Alexander/Lake Wales. Based on test results, the student is placed into the appropriate-level courses in English, reading, and mathematics. Testing, if required, should be done prior to Orientation. Polk State encourages any individual who has not taken college-level English and mathematics coursework to take the placement test, as it is an inventory of what concepts the student has mastered and guides the student in making an informed decision about the chances of success in given levels of coursework for reading, writing, and mathematics. A transfer student may be exempt from the testing requirement if he or she has successfully completed college-level English and mathematics. The Admission Steps to Polk State, available through the College website, provides more information on testing.

  • After testing is complete the student can see financing through financial aid, the Tuition Payment Plan, or other payment assistance. The student must pay for his or her registered classes by the due dates published through the PASSPORT student portal.


  • It is the student’s responsibility to request that official transcripts be sent directly to the Admission and Registrar’s Office from high school (or state the GED office) and from all post-secondary institutions attended. Transcripts must be current with print date within one year. A student may be admitted without an official transcript, but he or she may not be placed into college-level courses until all official transcripts have been received and evaluated. A student may also not exercise exemption from developmental education until all official high school transcripts has been received and evaluated. The student must provide all transcripts before registration for the second term of enrollment. Without submission of all transcripts at that time, the student may not continue enrollment.

      Note: The Homeschool Affidavit may also be submitted via the aforementioned methods of document submission.   


  • To purchase books it is important to take the class schedule to the bookstore to ensure the purchase of the correct text and materials. Not all sections of a given course is the exact same supplies and texts.


  • A student 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.


  • Each student must complete academic advising prior to registration. No appointment is required to see a student success advisor. The Advising Services section of the Catalog and the Admission Steps on the College website provide the hours of operation.


  • All enrolling student should consult the College’s Academic Calendar for important registration dates.


Additional information is available at the Polk State College website; polk.edu.