May 27, 2024  
Catalog/Handbook 2023-2024 
Catalog/Handbook 2023-2024

Admission - Procedures and Requirements

Polk State College maintains an open-door policy for admission. Any prospective student with a qualifying high school diploma or the equivalent is eligible to apply. Generally, a 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 completion codes related to high school diplomas is provided through the Admission and Registrar’s Office ( 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 applying student is strongly advised to follow the Admission Steps on the College website. These steps help the student navigate the admissions 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 the Admission and Registrar’s Office online ( or in person at:

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

Transcripts from all previously attended postsecondary 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 for prerequisite Mathematics or English coursework are based on scores earned on the SAT, ACT, or on a college placement test (e.g. PERT) administered at an authorized location, as well as on qualification for placement exemption, previous college coursework, and the exemption policy per Florida Statutes. All test scores must be earned within two years of application 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, which is activated within two business days of acceptance. Forms and documents required by the Admission and Registrar’s Office may be submitted in the following ways:

  • Delivered in person to the Winter Haven Campus, Lakeland Campus, or the JD Alexander Center.
  • Mailed to Polk State College, 999 Avenue H, N.E., Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299.
  • Scanned and emailed to the Admission and Registrar’s Office ( 
  • Imaged via smart phone and emailed to the Admission and Registrar’s Office (

Residency documentation is submitted via the College’s electronic storage system, Etrieve. Instructions for submitting residency documentation can be found on the Admissions and Aid page under Admissions Steps: (

Detailed communications are sent to the student upon submission of an application to guide the individual through the admissions process. 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 the College website (

Note: There are specific additional steps for special populations such as Veteran Students, International Students, and Dual-Enrollment Students.

The following are the steps for admission:

  • 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 as completed within two workdays. A student benefits from the Polk State College Orientation in many ways, as it introduces College resources, provides interpretation for college placement test scores, assists in developing a personalized Educational Plan, and describes how to search and register for classes online. There is no cost for the Orientation and it is accessible 24 hours per day, seven days per week via 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 (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.
  • The Declaration of Residency must be completed with two valid items that serve as proof of Florida residency, according to the Florida Residency for Tuition Guidelines found at The student receives instructions and a link to the residency declaration that must be completed and submitted before the drop deadline of the term in which the student seeks in-state residency.
  • The Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT) is available at the following facilities: the Winter Haven Campus, Lakeland Campus, or JD Alexander Center. Beginning March 6, 2023, all PERT testing will be done in-person at one of the College’s testing locations. ; or it is also administered online through PERT Remote Testing. 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. 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 seek 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. If the student does not pay for a course by the published deadline, he or she is dropped from the section and may be unable to reenroll within a given course.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to request that official transcripts be sent directly to the Admission and Registrar’s Office from the high school (or state GED office) and from all post-secondary institutions attended. Transcripts must be current with a print date of six months. 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 coursework 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 use the exact same supplies and texts. The Shop Textbooks button available through PASSPORT and during registration can also assist with identifying the correct textbooks needed.
  • 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 page on the College website provide the hours of operation.
  • An enrolling student should consult the College’s Academic Calendar for important registration dates.

Additional information is available at the Polk State College website (