Better Late Than Never- Starting the College Enrollment Process

March 18, 2016

SokoniAs a college admissions counselor and recruiter, I spend a lot of time speaking to high school students about the importance of going to college.  While many are convinced they will be enrolling into one of the biggest and best colleges and universities in America, most are unaware of the often demanding admission requirements necessary for getting into the school of their dreams.  Nevertheless, after spending 45 minutes speaking with them about the importance of college and how they must approach the enrollment process, many students have a better understanding of what they must do, and get started right away.  However, many procrastinate or wait until the last minute, missing important deadlines and ultimately missing their opportunity to enroll in the college of their dreams. These are what I call “late deciders.

These are what I call “late deciders”. For late deciders, and for prospective college students in general, open enrollment colleges like Chatfield College are great options.

Here’s why:

The Rolling Admissions Policy

Open enrollment colleges (OEC) offer both traditional and non-traditional students the opportunity to pursue a college education without many of the strict admission requirements of selective colleges and universities. In terms of application deadlines, open enrollment colleges use the “Rolling Admissions Policy”, which allows prospective students a larger time frame to apply for admission.  In some cases, a prospective student can apply for admission to an OEC up until a few weeks before the start of their intended entry term.  The admissions application at Chatfield College can be completed online or in person for FREE.

No minimum GPA requirement

While most four-year colleges and universities require a minimum of a 2.0 grade point average for acceptance into their institutions, open enrollment colleges do not have minimum GPA requirements.  Regardless of what your GPA is, you are still academically eligible for enrollment to an OEC.  Prospective students are automatically accepted into an open enrollment college upon submitting the admissions application, as long as the student has a high school diploma or GED.

No ACT or SAT requirement

Unlike selective colleges and universities, open enrollment colleges do not require students to take the American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).  Instead, students are required to complete a placement test such as the Accuplacer test.  This test does not determine a student’s eligibility for enrollment—it determines whether or not a student is ready to take college-level coursework in his/ her first semester, or if the student needs to take any remedial courses (non-credit courses that help students become more proficient in certain subjects like math or English).

The transfer option

Most open enrollment colleges offer only two-year associate degrees.  Think of these colleges as a place where students can complete their freshman and sophomore years before going on to complete their junior and senior year at a four-year college or university of their choice.  At two-year open enrollment colleges, students have the opportunity to raise their GPA and then transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue a bachelor’s degree.  Students can stay the entire two years and earn an associate degree before transferring, or they can transfer immediately following the semester they achieved a higher GPA.  A student must have at least a 2.0 GPA (this may be higher depending on the college accepting the transfer) in order to transfer.  The OEC option can also be viewed as a solution to those who are disappointed with their ACT or SAT test scores as two-year colleges and universities do not require transfer students to submit the ACT or the SAT.

There is a myriad of college options from which prospective students can choose.  Finding the right college or university that accommodates your needs should be of paramount importance when deciding where to study.  As a general rule, it is always best for prospective college students to explore their options as early as sophomore year and start to narrow those down as they approach their senior years.  The earlier you start, the better things will turn out.  However, for late deciders, time is of the essence.  At this point, many of the application deadlines have already passed.  For example, the University of Cincinnati’s application deadline for the fall of 2016 was March 1.  Now is the time for you to consider enrolling at an open enrollment college like Cincinnati State, Southern State, or Chatfield College.

Chatfield College is currently accepting applications for students interested in enrolling for the 2016 summer and fall semesters.  The summer semester will begin on Monday, June 6th and the fall semester begins on Monday, August 22nd .  Click here to submit an online application today.

-Sokoni Hughes, Admission Counselor at the OTR Campus

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