Open registration for the fall semester at Polk State College begins June 16.
Currently enrolled students may register for the fall term through the College’s student portal, Passport. Students who are pursuing the Associate in Arts degree must declare a transfer major and transfer institution. Students who have 12 or more credits hours and have not declared their transfer intentions will have a registration hold.
Prospective new students should first submit an online application to the College. After doing so, students will receive an admission letter with information on how to complete orientation and register for their first classes.
New for the fall semester is a completely online orientation that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The online orientation includes videos on all the standard new-student topics, such as financial aid resources and campus security contacts.
Online orientation can be found by clicking “Student Orientation” at polk.edu/admission-aid.
Orientation is required for all new students. Students may still opt to complete orientation in person, if they choose.
In addition to the online orientation, the College has also developed an online academic advising “snapshot,” also found under the “Student Orientation” tab at polk.edu/admission-aid. The new snapshot helps students assess their abilities in math, reading and writing, as well as their responsibilities outside of the classroom, such as work and families.
The snapshot is intended to help students make more informed decisions about how they start their college careers. Based on their responses, students may be advised to take the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test to determine if they could benefit from developmental courses.
Under state legislation passed last year, Polk State can no longer require students to take developmental courses, even if placement testing shows they need help. Some students — including veterans and students who began at a public Florida high school in 2003-2004 or later and earned a standard diploma — are exempt from placement testing altogether.
“Ultimately, it’s the students’ decision to take developmental courses or not,” said Kathy Bucklew, director of student enrollment and registrar. “But the College wants them to make those decisions from an informed perspective, with a clear picture of where they stand, where they may need some help, and where they may run into problems later in the semester.”
In addition to the online application, orientation and academic snapshot, the College’s Admission Guide is also available at polk.edu/admission-aid. The guide provides students with information such as how to apply for financial aid and how to request transcripts, as well as a step-by-step checklist of everything students need to do to enroll in college.
Fall classes begin Aug. 18 and end Dec. 10.
In planning for the fall semester, students are encouraged to begin the financial aid process as soon as possible. The first step is to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), said Student Financial Services Director Marcia Conliffe. The form can be completed at fafsa.ed.gov.
Students must submit all financial aid documentation by July 21, Conliffe said. After that date, students will have to pay for their classes, and if they qualify for aid, they will be reimbursed later.
Throughout the financial aid process, students should regularly check Passport and their institutional email addresses. The College sends important financial aid information to students via Passport and College-issued email accounts. Delays most commonly occur because students don’t respond to those messages.
Polk State College, an open-access institution, was established in 1964, and serves more than 20,000 students annually. Its offerings include the Associate in Arts, which is parallel and fully transferrable to the State University System, and the Associate in Science, which is designed to lead directly to the workforce. The College also offers bachelor’s degrees in Supervision and Management, Nursing, Criminal Justice, and beginning fall 2014, Aerospace. For more information, visit polk.edu.