Frequently Asked Questions
Polk State College offers 25 associate degrees, six baccalaureate degrees, and 32 certificate options, as well as other educational programs. The College’s most popular degree is the Associate in Arts (AA), which is designed for students interested in pursuing a four-year baccalaureate degree. The Polk State AA is transferable to any institution in the Florida University System. A complete listing of Polk State’s degree and certificate programs is available at www.polk.edu/academics.
The first step is to complete a free online application for admission. Detailed information about admission is available at www.polk.edu/admission-aid/admissionsteps.
No! It is FREE to apply to Polk State!
Maybe. Most students are exempt from taking the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT). To determine exemption status and obtain more information about the test, students can visit www.polk.edu/admission-aid/admissionsteps/pert.
Yes. ACT or SAT scores can be used in lieu of, or in combination with, PERT scores for college-level math and English placement. AP or IB scores can be used to earn credit-by-exam for certain courses at the College (i.e., depending on the exam scores). A full list of the AP/IB/CLEP credit options is available at www.polk.edu/experiential-learning-credit-pla.
This depends on the type of program a student is enrolled in (e.g., certificate, associate, or baccalaureate) and how many credits a student enrolls in during each semester (full-time or part-time). Attending as a full-time student (i.e., 12-16 credits a semester), an Associate in Arts degree usually takes two years, or four to six semesters (i.e., two years including the summer term(s)). Polk State’s advisors are available to discuss each student’s specific situation, evaluate goals, and help plan a customized academic pathway and timeframe to completion.
Note: A student does NOT have to enroll full-time to attend Polk State College. Many working students choose to attend part-time.
There is no GPA requirement to enroll; however, there is a minimum 2.00 GPA requirement to maintain satisfactory academic progress and be eligible for graduation from the College.
Polk State offers a variety of flexible start dates each semester. In general, fall semester classes begin mid-August, spring classes begin in early January, and summer classes begin in early May; however, there are late-start offerings during each term. A detailed term schedule is available at www.polk.edu/academics/academic-calendars.
A student can register for classes once registration is open and he or she is cleared to do so. A new student is able to register for classes as soon as the open enrollment period begins; however, the student may first need to complete the onboarding process (e.g., admission application, orientation, and pre-advising steps) before registering for desired classes.
Current students – specifically those who have completed at least 50 percent of their program requirements – have additional windows of opportunity to enroll in classes, including a priority registration period. A detailed term schedule is available at www.polk.edu/academics/academic-calendars.
Courses are offered in a variety of formats and timeframes including days, nights, and weekends, as well as fully online and blended online and in-person formats. This allows students to select from a variety of options including:
- Traditional in-person classes.
- Hybrid classes that feature both face-to-face and online components.
- Fully online courses with some live virtual meetings required.
- Fully online courses with no live virtual meetings required.
Not all courses are offered in all formats and at all times. A student can create a schedule combining different formats and options.
The first step is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov. More information is available at www.polk.edu/admission-aid/financial-aid.
No! In general, enrolling half-time makes you eligible to receive federal financial aid. However, some scholarships and other programs may require that you only enroll in a single class.
Absolutely! Information about scholarship opportunities is available at www.polk.edu/admission-aid/financial-aid/scholarships and foundation.polk.edu.
You declare your program of study when you complete the free online application for admission. Note: Some limited access programs (such as health sciences programs) require admission to that program before you can begin taking program courses.
The Associate in Arts (AA) degree requires 60 credit hours that includes 36 credits of general education requirements and 24 credit hours of electives. This degree is traditionally completed in two years and prepares students to transfer to four-year universities or one of Polk State’s six bachelor’s degree programs. Associate in Science (AS) degrees also are traditionally completed in two years but prepare students for employment in specific occupational fields or transfer into specific Polk State bachelor’s degree programs such as Nursing or Aerospace.
Yes! Polk State offers six bachelor’s degree programs: The Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management and Bachelor of Science degrees in Aerospace Sciences, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Nursing. More information is available at www.polk.edu/academics.
Students can access their degree audit and other advising resources in PASSPORT. Each student is given a PASSPORT account and is familiarized with navigating the online portal during the admissions and orientation processes.
Yes! All first-time-in-college students are required to complete the First-Year Seminar course (SLS1122) in their first semester. The course is designed for first-time-in-college students to acclimate to Polk State, integrate into the campus community, and achieve academic success through exploration of college resources, self-reliant strategies, and critical thinking.
Counseling & Disability Services
Submit documentation of your disability, along with the Identification and Disclosure form, by email to Kim Pearsall at email@example.com or Dionne Formey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Documentation must meet the College’s guidelines. More information about documentation guidelines and the Identification and Disclosure form are available at www.polk.edu/disability-services. Once the office has received all documentation, it will be reviewed and processed. The student is notified by letter of the status of their accommodations request, and the student’s instructors are notified of the request by the Office of Disability and Counseling Services.
Yes! Every student MUST first identify with the Office of Disability and Counseling Services and register for accommodations to receive any accommodation services. Accommodations do not automatically apply for a student coming from high school.
All requests are processed in the order in which they are received and may take up to three business days to process.