Enrollment Information and Policies
Apply to the College
Harford Community College practices an open door policy of enrollment. Students are enrolled at the College without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or any other characteristic protected by law. Some restrictions exist for applicants who are currently enrolled in high school, are under 16 years of age, are not U.S. citizens or are deemed incapable of exhibiting and practicing professional student behavior. The College prohibits the enrollment of individuals listed on the National or Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Sex Offender Registry or with the Harford County Child Advocacy Unit.
If you are under 16 years of age you must contact the Director for Admissions. If you are currently enrolled in high school you should contact Admissions at 443-412-2109 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
At enrollment, students agree to assume the risks and liabilities entailed in any course requirement. The student releases and holds harmless Harford Community College, its trustees, faculties, and administration from any injury sustained through his/her actions or the actions of other students enrolled in the course.
A student whose work at Harford Community College has been interrupted for two or more years must file an application for admission with the Records and Registration Office. An application for admission may be subject to evaluation under certain circumstances. Readmitted students are required to follow the program requirements in effect for the academic year for which they are readmitted.
All students applying to the College should submit an application and transcripts, if required, to:
Harford Community College
401 Thomas Run Road
Bel Air, Maryland 21015-1698
Non U.S. citizens, except for F-1 visa students, may apply online. Valid photo identification verifying current immigration status (work card, resident card, or applicable visa) must be presented in person to the Admissions Office in order to be accepted. Students without valid immigration status will be charged out-of-state tuition rate unless eligible for the MD Dream Act (SB 167).
Adding Courses after Initial Registration
Students who have completed their initial registration by the start time of their courses may add 15-week courses up to the start of the second instructional session. For non 15-week courses, no additional registrations are allowed after the start time of the first instructional session.
Cancellation of Registration
The College reserves the right to cancel any registration for which a student has not complied with appropriate procedures, rules and regulations, and the financial requirements of the College.
Current Mailing Address
Students are responsible for maintaining a current mailing address with the College. All address changes should be reported in the College's online system OwlNet or to the Registration and Records Office. If a student owes a debt to the College and does not maintain a current mailing address, that debt may be sent to a collection agency without further notice to the student. In this event, the student will owe an additional collection fee.
Concerning Behavior Reports
As members of the campus community, students have a shared ethical responsibility to report concerning behaviors they experience or observe. Concerning behaviors include emotional distress, unusual behavior, abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs, thoughts of suicide or homicide, disturbing written material, and other troubling behaviors. If you experience or you know or observe someone who exhibits any of these behaviors, it is your duty to report them using the Report Form for Concerning Behavior on OwlNet. You may also report the situation to the Associate Vice President for Student Development or designee, Student Center, Room 254. Thank you for doing your part to help someone in need!
While HCC does not have a counseling center, the College does have a Student Intervention and Prevention Team (SIP). Members of the SIP team will review the report and provide assistance to the student as necessary. The SIP team may meet with the student in question, assess the situation, provide resources, and/or mandate an assessment. The College retains the authority to impose an interim suspension, if such action is necessary to:
- preserve the safety of persons or property and/or
- if the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the College.
Email Accounts (OwlMail)
The College uses on-campus student email accounts, known as OwlMail, through OwlNet to officially communicate with students. As a result, students are responsible for accessing this email account on a regular basis.
Students are requested to provide two types of emergency notification contacts:
- an emergency contact person and phone number in case the student has a personal emergency, and
- telephone and/or email contact information which will only be used in the event of a non-scheduled campus closing, or if there is a serious situation on campus.
Students will be requested once a semester to provide or update this information.
Students are enrolled in the College based on their academic goal:
- taking courses
- degree seeking
- certificate seeking
In order to be eligible for financial aid consideration, students must declare that they are seeking a degree or certificate and must hold a high school diploma or GED.
All students receive an OwlNet account. This web portal allows students to access their College email account; receive College announcements and news; and conduct College business, such as registering for classes, requesting transcripts, and making payments. As a result, students are responsible for accessing this account on a regular basis and protecting the confidentiality of their access code.
Registration and Class Schedule
Registration refers to the process of enrolling in courses. Students who are not currently registered may register up to the start time of any course. All persons attending a course must be registered for that course. The registration procedures vary, depending upon whether a student is a new or continuing student with a goal of degree/certificate completion or a goal of taking courses. More specific information about registration is published in the Schedule of Classes, available as follows:
- Winter/Spring schedule available online in October
- Summer/Fall schedule available online in early March
Students who are not currently registered for any given semester may register up to the start time of any course.
The College does not require proof of immunizations for admissions. However, students who are admitted into the nursing or allied health programs may be required to provide documentation of a recent physical examination and proof of current immunizations.
- Send official high school or GED transcripts to the Admissions Office if:
- Applying for financial aid.
- Still enrolled in high school or have graduated within the last three years and the academic goal is an Associate degree or Certificate.
- Send official college transcripts to the Admissions Office if:
- Applying for veterans' benefits, in which case Veteran's Administration regulations require that student is an Associate degree or Certificate candidate.
- Desire to have previous college credits evaluated for transfer to Harford Community College. Transcripts will only be evaluated if the student has declared a program of study. Secure transmission of official transcripts may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Did not graduate and want to determine if exempt from the College's mathematics and English assessment requirement.
- If the student is enrolled at another college or university and is taking Harford Community College courses to transfer back to that institution, transcripts are not required. Proof of current enrollment at the home institution is required at the time of application (valid college ID, copy of grades or letter from school official).
High School Students
High school juniors and seniors have four options by which they may attend Harford Community College while still attending high school. Before selecting any of these options, students should consult with their parent(s)/guardian(s) and the high school guidance counselor. Students will be enrolled at Harford Community College as undeclared students who are only taking courses.
- Waiver of Senior Year - Students may waive all of their senior year and still graduate with their high school class. Students must contact the high school guidance office to complete the Harford Public Schools Application for Waiver of Senior Year, which requires a student letter explaining reasons for applying for this waiver and a parent letter supporting the application. Students may be required to take HCC courses that match high school requirements that have not been met at the time the application for the waiver is submitted. Upon completion of the first year at HCC when the student has earned 24 college-level credits, the student will receive a high school diploma.
- Dual Enrollment - Students may enroll in college credit courses and use these courses for high school graduation credit as well as college credit. Students must contact the high school guidance office to complete the Harford County Public Schools Application for Dual Enrollment at Harford Community College and to receive enrollment guidelines. Generally, students will be limited to earning two high school credits through HCC courses.
- Part-Time Attendance - Students may enroll in college courses that meet during the regular school day and spend only a part of each day at the high school. When choosing this option, the HCC courses would not be used for high school transfer credit. Students must contact the high school guidance office to complete the Harford County Public Schools Application for Part-Time Attendance.
- Concurrent Enrollment - Students may enroll in college courses that meet beyond the regular school day but choose not to use these courses for high school transfer credit. No Harford County Public Schools application is required. Some restrictions exist for students under the age of 16. Contact the Coordinator for Admissions at 443-412-2379 for further detailed information regarding enrollment.
Students at Harford Community College (HCC) may earn academic credit toward graduation through a variety of non-traditional learning means, as well as through the traditional classroom learning experience. The assessment of prior learning refers to awarding credit based on demonstrated learning that has been gained outside a traditional academic environment, such as through working, participating in employer training programs, serving in the military or engaging in other experiential activities, or studying related subjects independently. When competencies and knowledge learned through these experiences can be documented and assessed as equivalent to that required in college courses, college credit can be awarded and recorded on a student's transcript.
The College reserves the right to determine the kind and amount of credit granted through non-traditional learning programs, based on scores, percentile or evaluation established by the faculty.
No more than 45 credits may be used towards completing an associate degree through assessment for prior learning, including but not limited to:
- military training, education, and coursework
- Advanced Placement (AP) exams
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams
- International Baccalaureate (IB) exams
- articulated credit
- DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)
- professional training evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE)
- examinations developed by the institution
- portfolio assessments
Students must have a declared program of study and successfully complete any three credit course at HCC before credit can be posted to the HCC transcript. Non-traditional credit does not affect the student's grade point average (GPA).
Non-traditional credits earned on the HCC transcript may not necessarily be accepted for transfer to another college or institution. Students planning to transfer should check the requirements of the receiving institution for policies regarding the acceptability of credits earned by non-traditional means.
Credit for Military Training
In accordance with §15-113 of the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland and in support of the Veteran Full Employment Act (VFEA), HCC awards credit for a variety of formal military training, education, and coursework. Evaluations will be completed for students who submit official military transcripts through the Joint Transcript Services (JST) for Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard, or the Community College of the Air Force. In awarding credit the College follows the recommendations of the American Council on Education's (ACE) Guide to the Evaluation of Education Experiences in the Armed Services. For more information contact the Registration and Records Office. All Military, Reserve, and Veteran students are also eligible to pursue the other Credit for Competency-Based Learning options that follow. Call 443-412-2100 for more information.
Advanced Placement (AP)
Advanced Placement, a College Board program available annually to high school students, allows students to demonstrate college-level achievement. Students should submit AP results to the Registration and Records Office to receive credit for qualifying AP scores. Credit is posted to the student's transcript upon successful completion of any three-credit course taken in attendance at HCC. Because qualifying scores vary at institutions, students planning to transfer should check with the transfer institution to determine score requirements. Please see the Credit by Examination table for a list of AP exams and respective scores for which HCC will award credit.
International Baccalaureate Organization (IB)
International Baccalaureate Organization courses may be awarded credit for courses at HCC. The minimum grade of granting credit is 4 for higher level IBO courses and 5 for standard level IBO courses. Students should submit official IBO transcripts to the Registration and Records Office for the transcript to be evaluated. Credit is posted to the student's transcript upon successful completion of any three-credit course taken in attendance at HCC. Please see the Credit by Examination table for a list of IB exams and respective scores for which HCC will award credit.
Credit by Harford Division Exam
Current HCC students may earn credit for the satisfactory completion of tests developed by HCC faculty members for select courses. To receive division exam credit at HCC, a student must pay the current test fee, score a 70% or above on the exam, and successfully complete any three-credit course in attendance at HCC. Division exam credit does not affect the student's grade point average (GPA). Please see the Credit by Examination table for a list of current division exams. Contact the Registrar at 443-412-2222 for more information.
Credit by Examination (Other)
Credit may be earned by examination through nationally normed testing programs including CLEP and DSST for courses offered at HCC. Credit by examination testing is open to all current and former HCC students, as well as students at other colleges that accept this type of credit. Contact the Registrar at 443-412-2222 for testing information. To receive credit at HCC, a student must successfully complete any three-credit course in attendance at HCC before credit will be recorded on the student's academic record. Please see the Credit by Examination table for a list of current CLEP and DSST exams and respective scores for which HCC will award credit.
Harford County Training Program
Academic credit towards specific degrees may be awarded for the completion of training programs recognized through an articulation agreement between the College and training institution. Programs in which the College has agreements are: Aberdeen Proving Ground Child and Youth Services, the Harford County Sheriff's Office Training Academy, Harford County Electrical Contractors Association and others. Awarded as articulated credit, credit can only be used towards meeting the degree requirements of the approved program of study listed in the agreement. Credit is posted to the student's transcript upon successful completion of any three-credit course taken in attendance at HCC. For more information, contact the Registration and Records Office at 443-412-2222.
Industry Recognized Credentials (IRC)
HCC accepts industry recognized credentials (IRC) for academic credit. Eligible IRCs include industry, trade and professional certifications or qualifications that are earned by individuals to perform a task or job. IRCs are considered an option under Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) for individuals seeking to apply their experience toward an academic degree. In order for students to use credentials for credit, the credential must be an approved IRC and students must be able to provide original documentation of the credential with which they are seeking credit.
A current list of approved IRCs and the courses eligible for credit can be found on the Credit for Prior Learning Application for Industry Recognized Credentials.
There is no fee for seeking PLA credit through IRCs. If you will be applying for credit with an IRC, please print, read and complete the Credit for Prior Learning Application for Industry Recognized Credentials. Credentials not included on the list may be eligible for credit following a division assessment of the credential.
Note: Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credit is awarded based on HCC policy. There is no guarantee PLA credit will transfer to a four year institution. If you plan to transfer, it is recommended that you check with your intended institution for information on the PLA credit and/or non-traditional credit transfer policy.
Credit for Business/Industry Training
Academic credit may be awarded for the completion of training programs which have been evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE). Credit is posted to the student's transcript upon successful completion of any three-credit course taken in attendance at HCC.
High School Courses
Students may earn up to twelve credits for high school experiences through an articulated agreement between HCC and Harford County Public Schools. Articulated high school credit is posted to the student's transcript upon successfully meeting all agreement requirements including completion of any three-credit course taken in attendance at HCC with a minimum grade of "C".
College Credit for Prior Learning through Portfolio Development and Assessment
Students at HCC who have significant college-level learning acquired through employment, hobbies, volunteer work, or independent (non-credit) study may develop a portfolio of learning and have that portfolio evaluated for credit by expert faculty evaluators. Students interested in submitting a portfolio must have permission from the Division Dean and must enroll in and successfully complete APL 101 Portfolio Development and APL 102 Portfolio Development Seminar. Credit attempted must satisfy the learning objectives of courses described in this catalog.
Academic Skills Assessment
Requirements for Assessment
Degree and Certificate Seeking Students
Recent high school graduates will be required to complete a First Semester Advising session. For more information, visit Getting Started at the Admissions website or contact the Admissions Office at 443-412-2109.
Students should submit their official SAT/ACT scores to the Admissions Office. Students who have not completed College Level English or Math, nor earned qualifying SAT or ACT scores, may be referred to the Test Center to complete the Academic Skills Assessment. The table below indicates the exemptions for taking the Academic Skills Assessment:
Academic Skills Assessment - Exemption Chart
|Assessment Area||Conditions for Exemption|
Assessment scores, SAT scores and ACT scores are valid for a period of two years. If you do not begin the appropriate course sequence within the two-year time period, you must repeat the assessment. Assessment results may restrict you from registering for college-level classes.
Students may retest 24 hours after the initial test. After two attempts within a two year period a $25 proctoring fee will be assigned for all subsequent attempts. For more information visit the Test Center website or contact the Test Center at 443-412-2352.
Community Education Certificate-Seeking Students
All Community Education Certificate-Seeking students planning to register for English and/or a math course must have the related skill assessment. Contact the Community Education, Business and Applied Technology division to find out the required assessments needed to register for classes.
Special Admission Procedures for International Students
Non-Immigrant (F-1) Student and Other Visas
The College is authorized under federal law to consider applications for enrollment of non-immigrant alien students in the F-1 visa status. Prospective students must satisfy academic, College admission requirements as well as requirements for the certificate of eligibility (Form I-20) prior to applying for the F-1 Student Visa. The College reserves the right to determine the requirements for enrollment. Application deadlines are as follows:
New (visa) credit students:
Fall admission - June 1
Spring admission - November 1
Transfer (visa) credit students:
Fall admission - August 10
Spring admission - December 15
Documentation required prior to admission and registration includes the following:
- HCC paper Application for Admission and the paper International Student Application
- Demonstration of valid passport, I-94 admission number, Form I-20, if appropriate, and all other pertinent identification and documentation..
- Verification of English language proficiency. In most cases, students are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and achieve a minimum score of 500 (standard test) or 173 (Internet-based test), or 61 (Internet-based test). All international students who are admitted to HCC will be required to take the College's Academic Skills Assessment.
- Proof of graduation from high school or secondary school such as a transcript and/or diploma. If applicable, an official translation to English may be required.
- Declaration of financial resources to demonstrate ability to fund education, health insurance and living expenses. Students should not expect to find part-time employment on campus, as such jobs are scarce. International students must be enrolled full-time, taking a minimum of 12 credits both fall and spring semesters.
- As there are no residence halls or dormitories on campus, each prospective international student must demonstrate the availability of residence with local family or friends. Such local sponsorship ensures assistance with housing, meals, transportation, social and religious practices, public services, medical care, shopping and adjustment to cultural change. Students without local addresses will not be considered for admission.
- Official college transcripts if transferring from another U.S. higher education institution, or official evaluation of a transcript from a college or university outside of the United States. A foreign transcript must be evaluated by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (www.naces.org). Please allow adequate time for requesting, translating, and evaluating of academic credentials from a college or university outside the United States. Transfer of credits will be considered on the basis of applicability to the student's chosen program of study at Harford Community College
Prospective F-1 visa applicants should contact the Admissions Office prior to applying to the College.
Visa Types and Tuition Rates
International students with other types of visas may also be eligible to attend the College. In addition to the standard application materials, students must present proof of immigration status and type.
Tuition rates for international students are based on visa type and not on local residency. Permanent residents, resident aliens, officially recognized refugees and asylees and those in possession of A, J, L, or H visa types are charged in-county fees if residing in Harford County. Students with all other visa types, including F-1 and B-1/B-2, are charged out-of-state fees.
Note: The College follows the same guidelines for determining tuition rates for international students enrolling in noncredit courses as in credit courses.
Special Admission Procedures for Undocumented Individuals
Students who are undocumented - individuals who do not have valid documentation of their immigration status - will be accepted and charged the out-of-state tuition rate. Maryland Senate Bill 167 (also known as the MD DREAM Act) provides the opportunity for some undocumented non-U.S. citizens who attended high school in Maryland to receive in-state tuition (in-county or out-of-county tuition rates as specified below). In order to qualify for this exemption from the out-of-state rate, students must meet the following requirements and submit all relevant documents:
- Attended a public or nonpublic high school in Maryland for at least 3 years not earlier than the 2004-2005 school year (official high school transcript required);
- Graduated from a public or nonpublic high school in Maryland or received the equivalent of a Maryland high school diploma;
- Registers at a community college within 4 years of graduating from a public or nonpublic high school in Maryland not earlier than Fall 2011 (official college transcript required);
- Provides documentation that the student, or the student's parent or legal guardian has filed a Maryland income tax return:
- Annually for the 3 years student attended a MD public or nonpublic high school (home schooled students are subject to this requirement in the same manner);
- Annually for each year between graduation from MD high school and enrolling at the community college, and
- Annually while attending a community college;
- Provides an affidavit stating that the student will file an application to become a permanent resident within 30 days of being eligible to do so;
- Provides proof that the student has registered with the selective service system.
Once it is determined that a student is eligible for in-state (in-county or out-of-county) rates, the student will continue to receive it as long as they fulfill the eligibility requirements or until the College no longer offers this exemption. Applying for the exemption does not alter the student's responsibility to pay by Harford Community College's deadline any nonresident tuition and associated fees that may be due before eligibility is determined.
In the event that Harford Community College discovers that false or misleading information has been provided, the student may be billed by the College retroactively to recover the difference between in-county or out-of-county and out-of-state tuition for the current and subsequent terms. Student may also be subject to the Student Code of Conduct for providing false information to the College.
Please note: The tuition rate is determined by location of school and not the current place of residency. Therefore, only those students who graduated from a Harford County public or nonpublic high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma and the most recently attended high school was in Harford County, will receive the in-county tuition rate.
Students at Harford Community College are charged tuition according to their residency. A student's residency is determined at the time of admission to the College. For the purposes of assessing tuition charges, Harford Community College adheres to guidelines established by the Maryland Higher Education Commission and the Code of Maryland Regulations. These guidelines state that a student's residency, also referred to as "domicile," is the permanent place of abode, where physical presence and possessions are maintained with the intention of remaining indefinitely.
The main factor in determining residency is a student's independent/dependent financial status. If a student is a financially dependent (received more than one-half of his/her financial support from another in the most recently completed year), the student's domicile is the domicile of the person contributing the greatest proportion of support, without regard to whether the parties are related by blood or marriage.
Students will be considered in-county residents if they or the person who contributes more than one-half of the student's financial support maintain legal domicile in Harford County for a period of not less than three months prior to the start of the semester/term. Students will be considered in-state residents if they or the person who contributes more than one-half of the student's financial support maintain legal domicile in Maryland, but outside Harford County, for a period of not less than three months prior to the start of the semester/term. Otherwise, a student shall be considered an out-of-state resident. Local addresses that pertain only for the purposes of attending college will NOT be considered for determination of tuition charges, except to the extent necessary to determine if an individual qualifies as a covered individual under 38 U.S.C. 3679(c).
If information is received which would contradict or call into question the validity of the residency status that was determined at the time of admission, a student may be asked to provide proof of residency and his/her tuition rate may be affected.
To request a change in residency, students must submit a Change in Residency Form along with appropriate documentation to the Registration and Records Office. Forms are available in the Registration and Records Office. A request for a change in residency must be received prior to the start of the semester/term. Otherwise, any approved change in residency will apply to the next semester.
The College shall consider the following factors for substantiation of residency:
- Ownership or rental of local quarters
- Substantially uninterrupted physical presence, including the months when the student is not in attendance at the College
- Maintenance in Maryland and in Harford County of all, or substantially all, of the student's possessions
- Payment of Maryland state and local piggy-back income taxes on all income earned, including income earned out of state
- Registration to vote in Maryland and Harford County
- Registration of a motor vehicle in Maryland, with a local address specified, if the student owns or uses such a vehicle
- Possession of a valid Maryland driver's license with a local address specified, if the student is licensed anywhere to drive a motor vehicle
Questions regarding residency and tuition rates should be referred to the Registration and Records Office.
Harford Community College offers priority registration to all veteran/military students who served/currently serving in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, including the National Guard and the Military Reserves and received an Honorable or A Certificate of Satisfactory Completion of Military Service.
To be eligible for priority registration, students must indicate their veteran status on the Harford Community College Application form and will be eligible to register with students in the 30 credit group.
Priority registration does not waive any course or program requirements, such as prerequisites and program restrictions. All student Registration Holds must be resolved before students can take advantage of Priority registration. Students can check their OwlNet account under My Academic Life, then Degree Works to determine whether or not there is a Registration Hold on their account. Academic Courses are available on a first-come, first- served basis.
Military Personnel, Veterans, and their Dependents
Military personnel and their dependents stationed at a military installation in Harford County are considered Harford County residents. Military personnel and their dependents stationed at a military installation elsewhere in Maryland are considered residents of Maryland. Students must submit a copy of their orders to the Military and Veteran Services Office.
Veterans Choice Act Waiver
The following individuals shall be charged the in-state rate, or otherwise considered a resident, for tuition purposes:
A Veteran using educational assistance under either chapter 30 (Montgomery G.I. Bill®-Active Duty Program) or chapter 33 (Post-9/11 G.I. Bill®), of title 38, United States Code, who lives in the state of Maryland while attending Harford Community College (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge or release from a period of active duty service 90 days or more.
Anyone using transferred Post-9/11 G.I. Bill® benefits (38 U.S.C. § 3319) who lives in the state of Maryland while attending Harford Community College (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the transferor's discharge from a period of active duty services of 90 days or more.
A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (38 U.S.C. § 3311(b)(9)) who lives in Maryland while attending Harford Community College (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the Service member’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
An individual using educational assistance under chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) who lives in the State of Maryland while attending Harford Community College (regardless of his/her formal State of residency) effective for courses, semesters, or terms beginning after March 1, 2019.
Anyone described above while he or she remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters, or terms) at Harford Community College. The person so described must have enrolled at Harford prior to the expiration of the three year period following discharge or release as described above and must be using educational benefits under either chapter 30 or chapter 33, of title 38, United States Code.
Any student enrolled in twelve or more credit hours per semester is considered a full-time student. Full-time students are urged to limit employment to fifteen to twenty hours per week.
Any student enrolled in fewer than twelve credit hours per semester is considered a part-time student. Students employed full-time are urged to enroll in no more than six credit hours per semester.