It’s that time of year! Over the last few weeks, high school graduations have commenced with a turned tassel and often, a friend or relative asking, “Well, what are you doing next?” For many recent high school grads, “what’s next” will be applying for college.
From submitting high school transcripts to securing financial support, applying to a college can be daunting. But at PCC, admissions counselors and college applicants work through the 4-step enrollment process together for a simple experience, allowing applicants to take their first step on their PCC journey with confidence!
Becoming an Applicant
The first step of the enrollment process is to create an account and log in to the Applicant Portal. This is where applicants can find all their information about needed paperwork, their application status, and available scholarships. Throughout the process, admissions counselors regularly contact their applicants with text messages, emails, and phone calls offering encouragement, answers, and reminders of where they are in the application process.
And building new connections begins right away! New applicants are invited to join the Facebook Applicant page, where they can ask questions and meet other incoming students before arriving on campus.
Tip: Still in high school? Read up on your degree of interest! Some degrees recommend taking certain classes in high school.
After beginning the enrollment process, applicants will need to submit a few documents for admittance: an Admissions Essay, an ungraded essay that allows a counselor to get to know the applicant better; an official high school transcript or GED; and an official ACT, CLT, or SAT score.
Admissions counselors are glad to help their applicants through any complications in the enrollment process. “I remember talking with an applicant that was having a particularly tough time getting his items for acceptance together,” recalled Peter Freeman, an admissions counselor. “The applicant was able to come this past spring. It was rewarding meeting him in person, remembering the hurdles that had been overcome.”
In addition to this paperwork, international applicants will also need to submit a TOEFL iBT test, an English-language test commonly requested to study in the United States. “Each item required for acceptance could be subject to change based on the applicant’s country and education background,” said admissions counselor Ryan Kennard, who works with international students. “This is where the international admissions counselor steps in and informs the applicant of what they need for acceptance. The Applicant Portal is updated after every step and stage as well.”
Tip: Keep in contact with your admissions counselor by checking text messages and emails. Feel free to ask questions and share concerns about the enrollment process; they’re ready to support you!
Finding Financial Aid
Once a student is accepted, they’ll be asked to fill out a Financial Aid Questionnaire on the Applicant Portal and will learn more about the options from their counselor. “We call the applicant and discuss the four options we offer,” said Peter Freeman. “This helps the applicant and parent know not only how to sign up for Financial Aid, but it is a great opportunity to mention that 79% of our graduates are completely debt-free when they graduate.”
Tip: Sign up for Financial Aid before deadlines to receive the full benefits.
Getting Ready to Attend
After applying for Financial Aid, the applicant is almost done! Throughout the process, admissions counselors are available to walk the applicant and their family through each step, including the paperwork. “Don’t get overwhelmed with everything that needs to be turned in. That’s why I’m here! I can assist every step of the way!” Ryan Kennard explained. “Don’t hesitate to reach out to your admissions counselor at any time. Communication is key when completing the requirements to come to PCC.”
- Completed Medical Form,
- Completed Immunization Records,
- Statement of Financial Responsibility,
- Power of Attorney (under age 18),
- Rock Climbing/FlowRider Waiver (under age 18), and
- Student Disclosure Statement (under age 18).
International applicants should send in a few additional items. Their admissions counselor will work with them to get a Form I-20, a document that allows international students to schedule an appointment for their student visa to study in the U.S. These include
- First-semester payment,
- Proof of transportation,
- Passport copy, and
- Proof of financial support.
After sending in these final documents, the application is complete! Now it’ll only be a few weeks before these new students make their way to Pensacola, Florida, for the semester. But anyone can learn about and explore campus facilities through the Virtual Tours before ever stepping foot on campus.
Admissions counselors assist new students through several of their firsts when they arrive. “When they come on campus, we are the ones who help check them in and tell them the next step to do on campus,” said admissions counselor Palik Benjamin. “It’s cool to see them go from starting an application to coming on campus to check in.”