Skip Navigation

Credit Admissions

All students applying for admission to Howard Community College (HCC) are required to provide specific information whether they are applying for standard admission, selective and competitive admission, or readmission. Selective and competitive programs may require additional information. While an open access institution, HCC reserves the right to refuse or revoke admission to individuals who pose a current or future safety risk to students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors. All applicants must agree to comply with the college’s policies and procedures and the student code of conduct.

Selective and Competitive Admissions Programs

Howard Community College has selective and competitive admissions requirements for certain programs. Information pertaining to admissions into these programs is available in the office of admissions and advising, in the college catalog, program publications, other publications as appropriate, and on the college’s web site. Application fees vary based on the program.

Secondary School Students

Various enrollment options are available to secondary school students. In addition to general state laws and college policies regarding admission to the college, specific policies and procedures apply regarding the admission of dually enrolled eighth through twelfth grade students. As with all other students, admission to the college is not a guarantee that a student can enroll in specific courses unless appropriate prerequisites are fulfilled. HCC reserves the right to grant admission to secondary students, including home-schooled students, on an individual basis. Consent to enroll is dependent on fulfillment of specific application requirements and on what the college determines to be in the student’s and its own best interests.

Articulation agreements exist between the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) and HCC that enable students who have completed specific high school courses or programs to receive college-level credit at HCC. These credits are based on the specifications and requirements stated in these agreements, and the HCC learning program the student selects.  These agreements are subject to change and do not guarantee transfer of any credit awarded for high school coursework to other colleges and universities.

The award of high school credit based on HCC coursework is arranged through a student’s high school and does not involve the college in any way.

Dual Enrollment

High school juniors and seniors may enroll part-time (up to two classes per term) at the college during the academic year and the summers prior to the junior and senior years. The early entrance program has been designed to facilitate the enrollment process. Students who participate in this program must complete early entrance application procedures. Public and private schools also have their own procedures that must be followed.

Gifted and Talented Students

Students in the eighth, ninth, and tenth grades may be considered for enrollment at the college if they have completed the seventh grade and are enrolled in a public or private school’s gifted and talented program or can otherwise demonstrate exceptional abilities. Home-schooled students must demonstrate completion of seventh grade coursework in all academic areas and otherwise demonstrate exceptional abilities. Application procedures include completion and submission of the early entrance application form, submission of middle school grade reports or high school transcripts, and test scores as appropriate, an appropriate score on the college’s placement exam, and demonstration of social and emotional maturity. An interview with an admissions advisor is required at which at least one parent or guardian must be in attendance. Parents of eighth, ninth, and tenth graders must complete an early entrance application addendum agreeing to specific conditions related to their child's enrollment. Enrollment decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and enrollment is limited to a maximum of two classes per term. Students in the eighth, ninth, and tenth grades may not enroll in developmental math or English classes.  Exceptions to this rule include: eighth grade students who are eligible to enroll in MATH-070, Intermediate Algebra, because this class is not available in the middle school curriculum, and students placing at the college-level who are interested in the review provided by taking developmental courses.

Early Admission

This full-time enrollment option is available for high school seniors only. It enables them to complete high school graduation requirements through full-time enrollment at the college, including at least one college-level English course, under strict circumstances. The college’s application procedures include completion of the early entrance program application, appropriate placement testing, and an interview with an admissions advisor during which at least one parent or guardian must be in attendance. Students must consult with their high school guidance office for specific high school procedures and for the courses required to satisfy high school graduation requirements. Consent from the appropriate high school officials is required.

Graduating High School Students

The college has a variety of programs designed to benefit graduating high school students who will be incoming freshmen. While these students can matriculate via standard application procedures, the programs for incoming seniors, including Freshman Focus, James W. Rouse Scholars, STEM Scholars, and Silas Craft Collegians, offer specific advantages. Some of these programs are selective or competitive. Application fees vary based on the program.

Home-Schooled Students

The same general policies and procedures, including restrictions that apply to public and private dually enrolled students, early admissions students, and students who have graduated high school also apply to home-schooled students. Due to the unavailability of traditional high school transcripts, placement test and college entrance exam scores have a greater importance to admissions decisions. An interview is required for eighth, ninth, and tenth graders. Parents or guardians of eighth, ninth, and tenth graders must also complete an addendum to the early entrance application agreeing to specific conditions related to their child’s enrollment. Whenever recommendations are required, at least two of the recommendations must be provided by individuals other than the student’s parents or guardians. As is true for other dually enrolled and gifted and talented students, the primary purpose for the enrollment of home-schooled students must be for academic enrichment and not to supplement or substitute for coursework that comprises the student’s secondary school curriculum. HCC reserves the right to grant admission to home-schooled students on an individual basis. Consent to enroll is dependent on fulfillment of specific application requirements and on what the college determines to be in the student’s and its own best interests.

Transfer Students

Transfer students follow general application procedures. Specific procedures apply for transfer students seeking credit for prior college-level coursework.

Military Personnel, Veterans, BRAC Personnel, and Dependents

The application fee for initial admission to the college is waived for active duty military personnel and their dependents and for honorably discharged veterans of the United States Armed Forces.  See procedure 50.03.01, State and County Residency Requirements, for further information on residency/domicile provisions.

International Citizens

Admission eligibility and tuition rates vary for international citizens based on immigration and residency status and federal and state laws. All applicants who are not United States citizens are required to verify their immigration status with specified official documents. Photocopied credentials are not acceptable. Students who believe they may qualify for in-state rates should consult the office of admissions and advising.

I-20s and F1 Students

International citizens seeking admission to credit learning programs with F1 immigration status must consult the office of admissions and advising regarding the college’s specific requirements for the issuance of the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. Requirements include completion of the college’s application for F1 student status; submission of the associated application fee; proof of English proficiency by submission of an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)score report, or the appropriate score on the college’s English placement test demonstrating required proficiency, or completion of English developmental coursework through the English Institute (EI); certification of adequate finances; and official secondary or postsecondary transcripts translated into English.  F1 students admitted to HCC must show proof of health insurance that covers health care in the United States. Specific application deadlines apply based on the term for which students are seeking admission. F1 students must consult the office of admissions and advising whenever they plan to leave the United States during the period of time covered by their I-20; or they seek an extension of stay; apply for employment authorization or optional practical training; or transfer to another institution.

F1 students attending other colleges or universities may attend HCC if they have satisfied specific admissions requirements, including adherence to standard application procedures, presentation of proof of their immigration status (I-94); and submission of a letter of consent from the institution that issued their I-20 granting consent to enroll at HCC.

F1 students seeking to change their academic level from the EI to credit degree or certificate programs must apply for a new I-20 from the office of admissions and advising and must meet all specified credit F1 admissions requirements. An additional application fee is required when applying for a change of academic level.

International citizens seeking admission as F1 students to the college’s English Institute must consult with the EI.

Undocumented Immigrant Students

Under the Maryland Dream Act, undocumented immigrant students seeking enrollment to credit programs may pay in-state or in-county tuition under certain conditions as identified by Maryland law.   Undocumented immigrant students must contact the office of admissions and advising regarding the specific requirements of this law.  Students who attended high school in the State for at least three years beginning with the 2005-2006 school year or who earned the equivalent of a high school diploma (e.g. by passing the GED exam or completing the requirements for the National External Diploma Program (NEDP) beginning with the 2007–2008 school year may not be eligible for in-state or in-county tuition. To be eligible for the tuition reduction benefit, students must attend HCC within four years of high school graduation.  Eligibility for in-county or out-of-county tuition is based on the location where the immigrant student completed high school, or in the case of earning a diploma, where they last attended high school in Maryland.  Requirements under the provision of the law include completion of the college’s admissions application; verification of attendance for at least three academic years and graduation from a Maryland High School or equivalency; documentation that the immigrant student or the student’s parent or legal guardian has filed a Maryland income tax return through specified periods; submission of an affidavit  stating that the student will file an application to become a permanent resident within 30 days of becoming eligible to do so; and proof that eligible individuals have registered with the selective service system.

Students Seeking Readmission

Students who previously attended the college may need to update admissions information. This step is generally required if a student has not been in attendance for two or more years, but may also be required for other reasons. When necessary, a new application must be completed and proof of residency submitted upon request; the application fee will be waived.

Students who are suspended for academic reasons are entitled to appeal their suspension. The notification regarding academic suspension provides detailed information about the appeals process. Students who are suspended for academic reasons as of a specific term, who also seek readmission for that term, must submit a letter to the readmissions committee through the office of retention services requesting readmission approval. Students who have not been enrolled for five or more years may be eligible for academic amnesty.

The accelerated nursing program does not include a readmission option. Former accelerated nursing students should instead seek readmission to clinical coursework through the traditional registered nursing program. Readmission to all other nursing program options is contingent on specific criteria, submission of a new supplemental nursing application by the stated deadlines, and available space. Readmitted students may have to complete various curricular components, a nursing assessment exam, and demonstrate other competencies. Students seeking readmission to clinical nursing classes must consult the nursing student handbook to determine the most current re-entry procedures.

Readmission procedures for the clinical coursework in all nursing and allied health clinical programs are subject to change. Students should contact the office of admissions and advising for further information.

Applicants Involved in Prior Disciplinary Actions

Any applicant involved in previous, current, or pending disciplinary action at another school or postsecondary institution is required to indicate this information on the application for admission to HCC. Applicants involved in previous, current, or pending disciplinary action at another school or postsecondary institution may be required to:

  • complete the required sanctions applied by the sanctioning school or institution;
  • meet with a representative of the student conduct review committee; and
  • provide requested documentation to the student conduct review committee.

Noncredit Admissions

Anyone 16 years old or older may register on a first-come, first-served basis for noncredit classes offered through the division of continuing education and workforce development using noncredit registration processes.  Students under 16 may take noncredit courses listed for their age group through the college’s Kids on Campus program. Additional procedures are generally required.

International citizens seeking admission to HCC’s English Institute (EI) with F1 immigration status must consult with the EI regarding the college’s specific requirements for the issuance of the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status for this program. Applicants must be at least 18 years old. Other requirements include completion of high school; submission of EI F1 student application materials and the associated application fee; completion of an English placement exam; certification of adequate finances; verification of completion of secondary school or postsecondary transcripts; and proof of health insurance that covers health care in the United States. Admission is conducted on a rolling basis, but students are strongly advised to apply six to eight weeks before the start of the term for which they seek admission. F1 EI students must consult with the EI whenever they plan to leave the United States during the period of time covered by their I-20, when they seek an extension of stay, apply for employment authorization, or transfer to another institution.

Policy Manual Review/Revision:  03/14/14