Florida SouthWestern State College Admissions Policy
Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) affirms its policy of open admissions. All applicants for admission are considered solely on the basis of their academic qualifications, without regard to their race, sex, gender, age, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, genetic information, or veteran's status. Florida SouthWestern State College reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant whose behavior is not in keeping with the best interests of the College.
Note: Admission to Florida SouthWestern State College does not guarantee admission to a limited access or baccalaureate program. For program specific admissions information, please consult the appropriate program page in the College Catalog.
Baccalaureate Degree (BS, BAS) Requirements
Please consult the appropriate program page in the Official College Catalog for program specific admission requirements.
Associate Degree (AA, AS), College Credit Certificate (CCC), Post-Secondary Adult Vocational (PSAV) or College Credit Course Requirements
To be admitted to an Associate Degree, CCC or PSAV program, or to take college credit classes as a non-degree seeking student, an applicant must meet one of the following requirements:
- Have earned a standard diploma from a high school accredited by the Florida Department of Education or a standard diploma from a regionally accredited high school*. Applicants who did not graduate from high school in the United States must have the equivalent of a U.S. high school diploma and must meet language standards established through College policy and/or procedure.
- Have earned a high school equivalency diploma based on performance on the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) test administered through any State Department of Education.
- Have completed a home education program meeting the requirements of Fla. Stat. §1002.41.
- Have earned a P.E.R.T. Eligible Certificate of Completion (W8A) from a Florida public high school.
- Have been approved by Florida SouthWestern State for entry into the Accelerated Programs for High School Students (dual enrollment).
Applicants who have completed an Associate in Arts (AA) or a bachelor degree at another regionally accredited college or university cannot enroll in an AA degree program at Florida SouthWestern State College.
Additional steps and documents may be required prior to enrolling in courses (i.e. placement testing, college transcripts, advising, etc.). Applicants are responsible for working with the relevant department(s) to schedule necessary enrollment activities or to submit required documents.
Note: Florida Law (Fla. Stat. §1003.43) provides that students graduating from a Florida public high school and applying for admission to Florida SouthWestern State College must meet specific general requirements for high school graduation. Graduates from private high schools and out-of-state public schools must have completed a curriculum that includes four years of English and three years each of mathematics, science, and social studies. However, in lieu of the English requirement, foreign students may use four years of instruction in their native language of instruction in the secondary school attended.
*Students holding a Certificate of Completion (W08) or another "special diploma" are not eligible for admission until they provide evidence of successful GED completion.
*Students who earned a P.E.R.T. Eligible Certificate of Completion from a Florida public high school may enroll at FSW, but are not eligible for financial aid or some programs requiring special training and leading to certain vocations (i.e., nurses, classroom teachers, police officers, correctional officers) until they earn a standard high school diploma or GED.
Additional Admissions Requirements for Limited Access Programs
All bachelor degree (BS, BAS) programs at FSW and most Associate in Science (AS) degree programs in the School of Health Professions are limited access programs, which provide more detailed guidelines on the requirements an applicant must meet to be accepted into the program. Admission to the College does not automatically qualify an applicant for acceptance to these programs. Students applying to a bachelor program must complete the required online admissions application and submit supporting documents, while applicants for limited access programs within the School of Health Professions need to complete the program specific, standalone application and provide all required supporting documentation after first being admitted to the College.
Please consult the appropriate program page in the Official College Catalog for additional program specific admission requirements.
Additional steps and documents may be required prior to enrolling in courses (i.e. placement testing, college transcripts, advising, background check, etc.). Applicants are responsible for working with the relevant department(s) to schedule necessary enrollment activities or to submit required documents.
Requirements for Readmission
Students who have not attended Florida SouthWestern State College within the past year, or three academic terms, must submit a readmit admissions application online. Readmit students may also be required to submit high school and college transcripts to gain readmission to the College.
Please note: Additional steps and documents may be required prior to enrolling in courses (i.e. placement testing, college transcripts, advising, etc.). Applicants are responsible for working with the relevant department(s) to schedule necessary enrollment activities or to submit required documents.
College Rights - Admission Denial
In accordance with Fla. Stat. §1001.64(8)(a), the College may consider past actions of any person applying for admission or enrollment and may deny admission or enrollment to an applicant because of misconduct, if it is determined to be in the best interest of the College.
An applicant who answers yes to any of the following questions on the admissions application must submit a full statement of relevant facts, the Criminal/Disciplinary Disclosure Form, and official court and/or educational institution documents explaining the final disposition of the proceedings. Failure to provide this information will delay an admission decision.
- Are you currently, or have you ever been, charged with or subject to disciplinary action for scholastic (such as plagiarism or cheating) or any other type of behavioral misconduct at any educational institution? You do not need disclose academic dismissal, suspension, or probation for poor grades.
- Have you ever been charged with a felony (even if adjudication was withheld) which resulted in, or if still pending could result in, probation, community service, restitution, a jail sentence or the revocation or suspension of your driver's license?
Note: A person whose records have been expunged pursuant to applicable law, is not required to answer yes to these questions.
The Admission Disciplinary Committee will review all documents provided and inform the individual of the admission determination in writing. A person who is denied admission may appeal to the Vice Provost of Student Affairs if the person can document that the circumstances giving rise to the conviction or events occurring since the conviction clearly demonstrate that the individual will not re-offend. The individual will receive a final admission determination in writing. The decision made by the Vice Provost of Student Affairs will be the final decision of Florida SouthWestern State College.
The College has determined that the presence on campus of the following persons could be disruptive of the orderly process of the College's programs and would interfere with the rights and privileges of other students:
- Individuals who are officially designated as Sexual Offenders or Sexual Predators.
- Individuals who have been convicted of an offense described in Fla. Stat. §1012.315.
Such persons shall be denied admission or enrollment unless the circumstances giving rise to the conviction or events occurring since the conviction clearly demonstrate that the individual will not re-offend. The burden of demonstrating such exceptional circumstances shall be on the individual seeking admission or enrollment.
The Office of Admissions at Florida SouthWestern State College is responsible for processing the following admission related documents:
- Admissions Application
- Official High School or GED Transcripts or Verification of Home School Completion2
- Florida Residency Declaration for Tuition Purposes
Additional steps and documents may be required prior to enrolling in courses (i.e. placement testing, college transcripts, advising, etc.). Applicants are responsible for working with the relevant department(s) to schedule necessary enrollment activities or to submit required documents.
Records submitted for application become the property of Florida SouthWestern State College and will not be available for use to meet the requirements of third parties.
2All applicants for admission are required to provide proof of a standard high school diploma or its equivalent to be admitted to FSW; however, applicants with prior college credit may also be required to submit official college transcripts prior to registering for classes. Please refer to the section titled "Transcript Requirements for Admission & Enrollment" below.
Florida SouthWestern State College requires completion of an admissions application for students to enroll in any college credit courses. The admissions application can be found online at www.fsw.edu/admissions. The application and related fee must be submitted by the date listed on the Official College Calendar to be considered for the term in which application is being made.
The Office of Admissions assesses a non-refundable, non-transferable admissions application fee for all new students who are intending to pursue a bachelor degree, associate degree, college credit certificate, or take courses as a non-degree seeking student. Students applying for dual enrollment are not charged an application fee nor are students who have been enrolled at FSW before and are applying for readmission to the college.
The College also accepts ACT/SAT fee waivers, along with any other state mandated waivers. The admissions application will not be processed until the admissions application fee or qualifying fee waiver form is received and processed.
Transcript Requirements for Admission & Enrollment
High School Credentials
In order to be admitted to Florida SouthWestern State College, applicants must show they meet the admission requirements and possess a standard high school diploma or GED. Home-schooled students are required to submit a Verification of Home School Completion, which must be completed and signed by the Home School Official (parent) and notarized.
For a transcript to be considered official, it must be received by the Office of Admissions in a sealed envelope from the sending institution or be sent through an electronic service (i.e. FASTER, Parchment). Applicants who receive transcripts to their personal address can hand deliver the sealed envelope to the Office of Admissions at their preferred campus location. Open documents will be considered unofficial.
Applicants who attended a non-US high school must provide proof of high school graduation as evidenced by evaluated transcripts from an approved source. A document by document evaluation is required. A request for evaluation of non-U.S. transcripts must be submitted to one of the approved National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) agencies. High school evaluated transcripts should be sent directly from the evaluation agency, to the Office of Admissions.
Since the Office of Admissions may be in a position to admit a high school student using an in-progress transcript that reflects course work through their junior/senior year, a final, official high school transcript reflecting a graduation date must be received by the Office of Admissions by the midpoint of the first term of enrollment, otherwise a hold will be placed on the student's record prohibiting course registration for a subsequent term.
While students may be admitted to the College with unofficial, in-progress transcripts, until the Office of Admissions receives a final, official high school or GED transcript, students will not be eligible to receive financial aid or scholarships.
After the admissions application has been processed and the student has been accepted to the College, the Office of Admissions will notify the applicant of his/her acceptance to Florida SouthWestern State College. The notification which may be provided via e-mail or postal mail refers the applicant to the appropriate department(s) for his/her next steps which may include testing, advisement, orientation, and registration. Accepted applicants may begin their studies within one year, or three academic terms, of the entry term on their admissions application or they must reapply. For important dates, please see the Official College Calendar.
Transfer and returning students who earned academic credentials at an associate degree level or higher from FSW or another regionally accredited institution may be exempt from providing their high school transcript as long as the college transcript reflecting a conferred degree has been submitted and evaluated by the Office of the Registrar. Students admitted with this exemption may still be required to submit a final, official high school transcript prior to receiving financial aid or scholarships.
Applicants who have attended international colleges or universities must submit evaluated course-by-course transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. Requests for evaluation of transcripts must be submitted to one of the approved NACES agencies. All evaluated college transcripts should be sent directly from the evaluation company to the Office of the Registrar. If the student has attended a U.S. institution, the transcript should be sent directly from the school to Florida SouthWestern State College, Office of the Registrar.
Florida Residency for Tuition Purposes
All students are classified as non-Florida residents for tuition purposes upon completing an admissions application. The burden of proof rests with the student to establish and prove Florida residency. A student is classified as a Florida resident and eligible to pay resident tuition and fees only when the student has been approved for in-state tuition by submitting the Florida Residency Declaration for Tuition Purposes form and supporting documents. This form and related documentation must be submitted by the residency deadline published on the Official College Calendar for the term in which the student plans to enroll.
A student who does not qualify as a Florida resident or who does not complete and submit the Florida Residency Declaration for Tuition Purposes form will be classified as a non-Florida resident and will be charged out-of-state tuition and fees. All public colleges and universities are bound by the same statute and standards, which are subject to state audit. The only exceptions that can be made are statutory exceptions that are built into the law. For this reason, FSW cannot make exceptions regarding residency documentation or deadlines.
For detailed information regarding qualifying for Florida residency for tuition purposes and required supporting documentation, please refer to Fla. Stat. §1009.21 or the Florida Residency Declaration for Tuition Purposes form.
A student who does not qualify as a Florida resident or who does not complete and submit the Florida Residency Declaration for Tuition Purposes form will be classified as a non-Florida resident and will be charged out-of-state tuition and fees.
Reclassification to Florida Resident
A student who is initially classified as a non-resident for tuition purposes (a student who was previously enrolled in a Florida institution of higher education as a non-Florida Resident and paid non- Florida Resident tuition and fees; or, who does not qualify for initial residency upon enrollment at Florida SouthWestern State College) may become eligible for reclassification to a Florida Resident for Tuition Purposes only if that student (or, if that student is a dependent child, his/her parent) presents clear and convincing documentation that supports permanent legal residency in Florida for at least 12 consecutive months rather than temporary residency for the purpose of pursuing an education.
For a residency reclassification to be considered, the student, spouse, or his or her parent (if that student is a dependent) must provide a minimum of three documents dated at least 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of classes for the term for which residency is sought; one of the three documents must come from Tier One.
For detailed information regarding reclassification of Florida residency for tuition purposes and required supporting documentation, please refer to Fla. Stat. §1009.21(6) or the Florida Residency Declaration for Tuition Purposes form.
Appealing Residency Determination
If the application for residency is denied an applicant can choose to appeal the decision by submitting an Appeal of Resident Status to the Office of Admissions no less than 10 calendar days prior to the first day of classes. The Residency Appeal Committee will review the form and related documents and inform the applicant of the final residency determination in writing via email. Please note that the Residency Appeal Committee cannot override Florida statutes which govern residency for tuition purposes. The decision of the Residency Appeal Committee is considered the final decision of Florida SouthWestern State College.
International Student (F-1 Visa) Admission Requirements
Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) has a diverse student population and encourages applicants from around the world to apply for our various degree programs. FSW is authorized under the United States Federal Law, Immigration and Nationality Act under section 101(a)(15)(F)(i) to enroll non-immigrant alien students.
Applicants with or seeking an international student visa (F-1) must meet the following admission requirements and submit all required documentation by the published deadline for international student admission on the Official College Calendar. FSW issues an I-20 form after all admission requirements are met. Applicants can then present the I-20 form to the appropriate personnel in a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, among other required documents, in support of an application for an F-1 student visa.
In order to be considered for admission to Florida SouthWestern State College and be issued an I-20 form, applicants with or seeking an international student visa (F-1) are required to execute the following steps.
- Complete the International (F-1) Admissions Application
- Present proof of English language proficiency
- Provide proof of finances
- Submit high school and college transcripts
Complete the International (F-1) Admissions Application
The applicant must complete the admissions application online, pay the non-refundable, non-transferable application fee, and submit all required documentation referenced in the application to the Office of Admissions no later than the published deadline for international student admission on the Official College Calendar for the term for which the applicant is seeking admission.
If the application and supporting documents outlined below are not received by the required deadline, the admissions application may be considered for the following term.
Present Proof of English Language Proficiency
Since instruction is in English, applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language. To demonstrate this proficiency, if English is not the applicant's native language, the applicant must submit satisfactory results on one of the following tests: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System).
Required Scores are:
- TOEFL (Internet): 61
- TOEFL (Paper): 500
- TOEFL (Computer Based): 173
- IELTS: 5.5
TOEFL/IELTS Exemption: International student applicants whose native language are English is exempt from TOEFL/IELTS testing. Otherwise, to be exempt from TOEFL/IELTS testing, the applicant must show proof of one of the following:
- Graduation from a U.S. high school; or
- A high school equivalency diploma based on performance on the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) test, taken in English; or
- Successful completion of secondary education from a school outside the United States that teaches the entire secondary education curriculum in English; or
- Successful completion of one (1) academic year of study at a recognized/regionally accredited university or college in a country where English is the official language (excluding intensive English language programs).
Any exceptions to the above requirements should be requested in writing with or immediately following the submission of the admissions application to the College. All requests for exemption must be accompanied by a complete, detailed explanation of the reasons for the request.
The waiver of TOEFL/IELTS scores is at the discretion of Florida SouthWestern State College. Exemption from these requirements does not imply exemption from taking an additional test for college placement before registration, if such a test is required by the school or academic department.
Provide Proof of Finances
If an applicant is being self-sponsored or has a private sponsor, including parents, the applicant and/or sponsor must provide a notarized financial statement in English verifying the availability (in U.S. dollars) of the funds necessary for the applicant to attend Florida SouthWestern State College. The applicant or private sponsor must also complete the Financial Affidavit form. FSW does not provide private sponsors or need-based assistance.
International students attending Florida SouthWestern State College on an F-1 student visa may work on campus, if employment is available. Because employment is not guaranteed, applicants are not able to use on-campus employment as part of their financial resources.
The financial affidavit cannot be older than six (6) months from the start date of the course of study. Otherwise, a new financial affidavit showing proof of finances must be submitted.
Note: An international student who is in the United States on an F-1 student visa will be assessed non-resident tuition and fees, with limited statutory exceptions. International students do not qualify for federal financial aid.
Submit High School and College Transcripts
International students must provide proof of high school graduation as evidenced by evaluated transcripts from an approved source. A document-by-document evaluation is required. A request for evaluation of non-U.S. transcripts must be submitted to one of the approved National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) (http://www.naces.org) agencies. High school evaluated transcripts should be sent directly from the evaluation agency to the Office of Admissions.
International student applicants who have attended international colleges or universities and wish to attend FSW on an F-1 visa must submit evaluated course-by-course transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. Requests for evaluation of transcripts must be submitted to one of the approved NACES agencies. All evaluated college transcripts should be sent directly from the evaluation company to the Office of the Registrar. If the student has attended a U.S. institution, the transcript should be sent directly from the school to Florida SouthWestern State College, Office of the Registrar.
Transfer International Students (F-1 Visa)
Applicants with an international student visa (F-1) transferring from another college or university in the U.S. must apply for admission to FSW and provide all of the required documents listed above, including high school and college transcripts, proof of finances, and proof of English proficiency. Additionally, the following requirements must be submitted before an admission decision can be reached and an I-20 can be issued.
- Official transcripts from all U.S. colleges and universities attended
- Copies of all previously-issued I-20 forms
- Copy of valid passport
- Copy of F-1 visa
- Copy of most recent I-94 form
- FSW F-1 Student Transfer Eligibility Form, completed by the International Student Advisor at the current U.S. college or university, verifying the student's current status
Note: Transfer students who are out of F-1 status and have a terminated record at their current school will not be issued a reinstatement I-20 from Florida SouthWestern State College.
Degree Seeking Classification
Applicants who indicate on the admissions application their intent to pursue a bachelor's degree, an AA, an AS, or a college certificate program are subject to specific Florida SouthWestern State College policies and procedures which are in place to help students achieve their educational goals.
Non-Degree Seeking Classification
Applicants who indicate on the admissions application that they do not intend to pursue a bachelor's degree, an AA, an AS, or a college certificate program, but who wish to enroll in college credit courses for transfer credit purposes or for personal interest and enjoyment.
Non-degree seeking students wishing to enroll in college credit courses must meet all course prerequisites. Non-degree seeking students planning to take courses with prerequisites requiring college level placement or who have earned more than 15 credits as a non-degree student may be required to complete the Common Placement Exam or submit a full set of ACT, SAT, or Accuplacer scores taken within the past two years. For additional information concerning placement testing requirements please refer to the Placement Testing Information webpage.
Non-degree seeking students wishing to change to degree seeking status must do so prior to the last day to add courses as listed on the Official College Calendar.
Note: Non-degree seeking students are not eligible for financial aid, veterans' benefits, and certain academic programs/services that require degree seeking status.
Non-Degree Enrollment Policy for Bachelor Level Courses
Upper-division bachelor level courses numbered 3000 and 4000 are intended for enrollment by degree seeking students in a Florida SouthWestern State College bachelor degree program. Students may be permitted, on a case-by-case basis, to enroll in bachelor level courses as a non-degree seeking student. Requests must be made in writing and submitted to the Academic Dean for the affiliated program for approval. Non-degree seeking students may take up to 18 credit hours of coursework in a baccalaureate program with written permission from the Dean. For continued enrollment, students must adhere to the stated admission requirements for the intended baccalaureate program.
Students with a previous bachelor's degree, with proper documentation, may enroll in additional coursework beyond nine credit hours with permission from the appropriate Academic Dean. Students interested in taking courses for teacher certification or re-certification must provide the following documentation:
- Florida Department of Education or School District documentation of certification needs (Statement of Status of Eligibility or approved school district form); or
- A copy of a valid teaching certificate issued by the State of Florida Department of Education and unofficial transcripts from a regionally accredited institution showing proof of an earned bachelor's degree.
Florida SouthWestern State students planning to take coursework away from FSW during any term must have the coursework approved and a Transient Student Admission Application completed. For all Florida public colleges and universities, transient student requests are submitted through www.floridashines.org. For all non-Florida public institutions, students must meet with their assigned advisor to obtain the required form.
To receive transient approval, a student:
- Must be a current degree seeking student eligible for enrollment into courses
- Must be in good academic standing
- Must meet all course prerequisites at FSW for the requested class
- Must request course(s) that helps student progress towards degree completion
- Cannot request transient approval for a course which has been already satisfied with a grade of 'C' or better
- Cannot request approval for courses which will surpass the number of credits for which he or she is permitted to take within the requested semester
In accordance with State Board of Education Rule 6A-14.0301, students may not attempt the same course more than three times. Transient requests will not be approved if a student has exceeded the maximum number of attempts allowed. A student should work with his/her host institution to enroll in approved courses and make arrangements to have his/her final transcript(s) sent to the Office of the Registrar at FSW.
If financial aid will be used, the student must first pay the tuition and fees up front for the approved course(s) at the host institution. Proof of payment and a copy of the registration form dated after the add/drop deadline for the host institution, must be submitted to the Financial Aid office.
Transient students should consider the following policies before submitting a transient application:
- Students must complete a minimum of 25% of the required degree or certificate coursework at FSW to earn a degree or certificate.
- English for Non-Native Speakers (ESL, ENS), physical education, and college preparatory courses do not apply; however, six credits of college-level EAP (English for Academic Purposes) coursework taken at FSW would apply.
Incoming Transient Students
Applicants seeking a degree from another Florida public college or university who wish to enroll at Florida SouthWestern State College to transfer coursework back to their "home" college or university are admitted as Transient Students.
Incoming transient students must complete the Transient Student Admission Application at www.floridashines.org. Students are advised by their "home" institution regarding courses to take at Florida SouthWestern State College. Residency for incoming transient students will be based on the residency classification from the "home" institution which will be indicated on the Transient Student Admission Application.
Applicants seeking a degree from a private or non-Florida state college or university who wish to enroll at Florida SouthWestern State College to transfer coursework back to their "home" college or university are admitted as Guest Students.
Guest students must complete the non-degree seeking student application at www.fsw.edu/admissions and pay the non-refundable application fee. Guest Students are advised by their "home" college or university regarding courses to take at Florida SouthWestern State College. Guest Students must have written permission (Transient Student/Cross-Enrolled form) from the "home" college or university, which is required for each semester of enrollment. Guest Students are responsible for requesting their Florida SouthWestern State College transcript be sent back to their "home" institution as this is not an automatic action; it must be requested and a fee is required.