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HCC Main Campus
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia MD, 21044
Laurel College Center
312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205
Laurel, MD 20707
Gateway Business Training Center
6751 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia MD, 21046
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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the refund policy for ESL classes?

    Refund or transfer requests MUST BE MADE IN PERSON in Room 200 of the Hickory Ridge Building. Below, please see a chart outlining our refund policy.

    Refund Policy for Fall and Spring Semesters

    Class Type

    Before Class Begins

    Up to 7 Days After Class Starts*

    After 1 Week*

    Basic ESL (grant-funded)

    Full refund

    Full refund with return of UNUSED book (Example: if class starts on 9/3/19, last day to drop is 9/9/19)

    No refund

    Intensive ESL (pay classes)

    Full refund

    Full tuition minus $90 fee (Example: if class starts on 9/3/19, last day to drop is 9/9/19)

    No refund

    *Calendar days, including holidays and weekends, not student attendance, are used to determine refunds.


    Refund Policy for Winter and Summer Semesters

    Class Type

    Full Refund

    Partial Refund

    No Refund

    Basic ESL (grant-funded)

    Before 1st class begins

    Full refund with return of UNUSED book

    After 3rd class begins

    Intensive ESL (pay classes)

    Before 1st class begins

    Before 3rd class begins (tuition minus $90)

    After 3rd class begins

    Intensive ESL (online classes)      Before 1st class begins   Starting 3rd day*

    *Calendar days, including holidays and weekends, not student attendance, are used to determine refunds.

  • Can I have access to Wi-Fi on campus?

    Yes, the wireless access at HCC is free and available for all students. Look for the wireless zone signs, and find HCCGUEST network in your device.

  • How do I get emergency closing information?

    There are several ways to check on the status of an HCC emergency or weather-related closing/delayed opening:

    • Check announcements on the HCC website homepage,
    • Call the HCC switchboard number (443-518-1000) for recorded messages about the status.
    • Subscribe to the HCC Mobile Alert System to receive a message on your designated device (cell phone, email, pager, desktop RSS), if the "Closings & Delays" option was selected.
    • Check local radio and television stations for information in their broadcasts and/or on their websites.

    HCC Emergency Closing Policies

  • What are the ELC office hours?

    Visit this link to learn out ELC office hours.

  • What are ELC general semester dates?
    • Fall (late August – mid December)
    • Winter (January)
    • Spring (late January – mid May)
    • Summer I (mid May – late June)
    • Summer II (early July – mid August)) 
  • Why do I have to take a placement test? Is it graded?

    The Placement Test ensures that you are placed in the right class for your level of ability. The test is not graded and is confidential. It is used only to help us match you to the right class so that you won't waste your time and money in a class that's too easy or too difficult for you.

  • Is there a Payment Plan available for ESL students?

    Yes. Payment plans are available under certain conditions and are subject to approval by the Finance Office.

    To arrange a payment plan, you must set it up in-person at the Finance Office on the same day you register for a class. A $25 non-refundable fee and 50% of the entire course cost are required at this time. The remaining 50% balance must be paid off one month before the class ends. For classes that are shorter than one month, whether or not you are able to set up a payment plan is dependent on how early you register. The earlier you register and set up a payment plan, the more beneficial it is as you will have more time to spread out your payments. If you are interested in arranging a payment plan, contact Margie Butler in the Finance Office at 443-518-4758.

  • What is the age requirement for taking the noncredit ESL classes?

    You must be 16-years-old or older to register.

  • How do I get an HCC ID card?

    A college ID card is not required for part-time ESL student. However, if you pay $125 or more in noncredit tuition and fees in a semester, you are eligible to get an HCC Student ID Card for that semester.

    With an HCC ID card, you can:

    • Access the college library, pool, tennis courts, and weight room
    • Receive discounts on Smith Theater productions
    • Receive discounts on locations (movie theaters) requiring a student ID card

    To get a student ID card:

    • You need to have an official receipt showing that you have paid $125 or more for your classes for the current semester. The receipt should show your college ID number.
    • Bring this receipt to the Public Safety Office located on the main campus in the RCF building, Room 117 (next to the Welcome Center). They are open Monday-Friday, 8am-7pm.
  • Where can I find information about services offered in Howard County?

    To find out information about various services that are available in Howard County, visit our community resources page.

  • How do I apply to teach in the English Language Center (ELC)?

    Please apply through the Howard Community College online job bank.

  • How do I apply to volunteer in an ESL classroom?

    Please direct inquiries about volunteer positions to Kathie Martin at

  • How do I request for a record of the ESL courses I took?

    To request a verification letter of ESL courses, go here.  

    To request a continuing education record of courses, go here.

  • How do I access ELC event pictures?
    To see pictures from ELC events, go here.


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