Admission Requirements

Policy Number: I.06
Policy Level: Operating Policy

Originally Issued: April 18, 2013
Revised: November 12, 2015
Revised:  May 26, 2016
Revised:  March 7, 2018
Revised:  April 4, 2019

Policy Owner: VP for Enrollment and Student Support Services
Policy Implementation: Director of Admissions
SACSCOC Standard:  10.5

I. Policy Statement and Purpose

In accordance with Athens State University’s educational mission, this policy establishes the requirements and standards used for admitting students to the University at either the undergraduate or graduate level. The standards are based on comparable practices at other institutions of higher education, but also recognize the unique status of the University as an upper-division institution, in that any prospective student seeking admission to the University at either the undergraduate or graduate level must have prior college level credit as documented on official transcripts.

II.   Applying for Admission – Undergraduate Students

A.   Undergraduate Students – Degree Seeking

A prospective undergraduate student applying for admission to the University who plans to pursue a degree must complete an admissions application and must meet the requirements in one of the following categories.  Regardless of the category of admission, the University reserves the right to determine the applicability of any transfer credit toward the fulfillment of a student’s degree requirements at Athens State University.  (See Transfer and Acceptance of Academic Credit for additional details.)

Regular Admission Requirements:

  • Minimum 36 earned transferable semester hours from regionally accredited institution(s) prior to term of admission; and
  • No in-progress courses appearing on any official transcripts; and
  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative transfer GPA on a 4.0 scale; and
  • Minimum 15 hours applicable to general education requirements; and
  • Eligible to return to previously attended colleges or universities.

Required Documents:

  • Submission of completed Admissions application and payment of non-refundable application fee; and
  • Official transcript(s) from all previously attended colleges or universities received by Athens State.

 Conditional Admission Requirements:

  • Minimum 36 transferable semester hours (may include earned and courses in-progress) from regionally accredited institution(s) prior to term of admission; and
  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative transfer GPA on a 4.0 scale; and
  • Minimum 15 hours applicable to general education requirements; and
  • Eligible to return to previously attended colleges or universities.

Required Documents:

  • Submission of completed Admissions application and payment of non-refundable application fee; and
  • Official or unofficial transcript(s) documenting minimum 36 transferable semester hours (may include earned and courses in-progress) received by Athens State.

Note:  A student who is admitted under the conditional admission category will be denied eligibility to enroll in subsequent terms until all regular admissions requirements are met.

Restricted Admission

A degree-seeking student who does not meet the admission requirements for regular admission (e.g., does not meet minimum GPA, earned hours, general education hours, or is not eligible to return to previously attended college or university) may be granted restricted admission after an individual assessment review by the Director of Admissions.  Admissions reviews will only be performed once the following required documents have been submitted.

Required Documents:

  • Submission of completed Admissions application and payment of non-refundable application fee; and
  • Official transcript(s) from all> previously attended colleges or universities received by Athens State; students whose transcripts show courses in-progress will not be reviewed or considered for restricted admission.

 Note:  Restricted admission students may receive academic restrictions/conditions, may be admitted on academic probation, and/or may be expected to follow a specific plan for academic success. Students who fail to follow the conditions/plan will be denied eligibility to enroll for subsequent terms.

  • International Students – In addition to meeting the requirements for one of the above admission categories, an international student applying for admission as a degree seeking student must provide:
    • Official copies of transcripts from each college/university attended in the United States, and/or an official copy of the course-by-course evaluation performed by an evaluation agency that is a member of NACES for any college credit taken outside of the United States;
    • A Plan of Study completed by a counselor in the Transfer Student Success Center;
    • Official documentation of the completion of TOEFL with a minimum score of 500 (pBT), 62 (iBT) or 173 (cBT) if transferring from outside the United States;
    • Official documentation showing proof of health and life insurance while in the United States;
    • A letter from a banking institution verifying financial status.
    • Copies of visa, I-94, and current I-20;
    • A completed Affidavit of Support form;
    • A completed Transfer Clearance form.

All documentation must be received at least 30 days prior to the semester of enrollment.

 B. Undergraduate Students – Certificate-Seeking

An individual who wishes to pursue completion of one of the undergraduate-level certificate programs offered by Athens State may be admitted as a certificate-seeking student and should limit enrollment to courses required for the certificate, or prerequisites for these courses. Individuals admitted as certificate-seeking students are not eligible for financial aid.

Required Documents:

  • Submission of completed Admissions application and payment of non-refundable application fee; and
  • Official transcript(s) from all previously attended colleges or universities received by Athens State.

C.  Undergraduate Students – Non-Degree Seeking

An individual who does not intend to pursue one of the degree or certificate programs offered by the University may be admitted as a non-degree seeking student to pursue a limited goal. An individual applying as a non-degree seeking student must complete an admissions application, and may be required to submit official transcripts depending on the goal type (see below). All attempted coursework is recorded on the Athens State transcript and earned credits may be transferable. Some non-degree seeking student types are eligible for financial aid (see below).

 NOTE:  Any student wishing to change from non-degree seeking to degree- or certificate-seeking must fill out a new application and must meet the admission requirements as specified in the previous sections.

Limited Goal Types for Non-Degree Seeking Students

Provisional Certificate in a Teaching Field

(Currently Employed Teachers only, formerly Alternative Baccalaureate-level Certificate “ABC”)

Employed teachers seeking admission to complete coursework needed to meet requirements for the provisional certificate in a teaching field issued by the Alabama State Department of Education must provide documentation of employment and teaching subject to permit course registration.  Financial aid may be available to eligible students that are admitted under this category.

Required Documents:

  • Submission of completed Admissions application and payment of non-refundable application fee; and
  • Official documentation from Alabama State Department of Education and/or school where employed specifying provisional eligibility and teaching subject being pursued.

Level 3 Certification – “Master’s Equivalent Technical Education 3”

(Currently Employed Vocational/Technical Teachers only)

Employed technical education teachers seeking admission to complete coursework needed to meet requirements for the Master’s Equivalent Technical Education 3 Certificate are not eligible for financial aid.

Required Documents:

  • Submission of completed Admissions application and payment of non-refundable application fee; and
  • Supporting documentation from Alabama State Department of Education specifying required courses.

Teacher Certification Development

(Persons who have a current teaching certification but need additional coursework to develop or maintain certification)

Individuals seeking admission to complete coursework needed to maintain or develop a current teaching certification are not eligible for financial aid. Official transcripts are required to ensure coursework is not repeated.

Required Documents:

  • Submission of completed Admissions application and payment of non-refundable application fee; and
  • Supporting documentation or a written statement specifying required courses; and
  • Official transcript(s) from all previously attended colleges or universities received by Athens State.

Recertification

(Persons who have an expired teaching certification and need coursework for teaching recertification)

Individuals seeking admission to complete coursework needed to fulfill teacher recertification for renewal of an expired certification may be eligible for financial aid. Official transcripts are required to ensure coursework is not repeated.

Required Documents:

  • Submission of completed Admissions application and payment of non-refundable application fee; and
  • Documentation of expired teaching certification and supporting documentation or a written statement specifying required courses; and
  • Official transcript(s) from all previously attended colleges or universities received by Athens State.

Personal Enrichment/Professional Enhancement

A person who wishes to attend Athens State University for personal enrichment or professional enhancement will generally be limited to 6 semester hours per term. A person wishing to take course(s) for personal enrichment or professional enhancement must either show completion of any required prerequisites on official transcripts or receive approval to enroll in the course(s) from the College with oversight for the course(s). Students admitted for personal enrichment/professional enhancement are not eligible for financial aid.

Required Documents:

  • Submission of completed Admissions application and payment of non-refundable application fee; and
  • Submission of non-degree-seeking statement/form.

Transient/Visiting Student from Another Institution

A student seeking a degree and in good standing at another college or university can take courses at Athens State for one semester as a transient student. Transient students from another college or university are not eligible to receive federal aid funding from Athens State under Title IV.

Required Documents:

  • Submission of completed Admissions application and payment of non-refundable application fee;
  • Submission of an official transient letter, form, and/or official transcripts from the appropriate representative at the home institution:
    • Documenting the student is in good standing at the home institution;
    • Indicating the semester of attendance and specific course(s) to be taken at Athens State; and
    • Verifying the student has appropriate prerequisites for the Athens State course(s), and/or confirming that the student accepts responsibility for the outcome if prerequisites cannot be verified.

Transient students are responsible for submitting a request for official transcripts to be sent directly to the home institution upon completion of the course(s) at Athens State (subject to the transcript requirements of the home institution).

An international student who wishes to attend Athens State as a transient student must also have a transfer clearance sheet from the current foreign student advisor.

 D. Undergraduate Students – Conditional Admission

Prior to admission, any undergraduate student seeking admission in one of the above categories should provide official transcripts to the Office of Admissions from all institutions previously attended.  If the Office of Admissions does not have all official transcripts by the beginning of a prospective student’s first semester or term, the student may be admitted conditionally for that term, providing unofficial copies of all transcripts have been submitted. If all official transcripts are not received by the end of the fifth week of the student’s first semester or term, the student will not be allowed to register for any subsequent terms until all official transcripts are received by the Office of Admissions.

III.  Applying for Admission – Graduate Students

Applications for graduate programs of study are considered on a competitive basis as related to all the elements of the application package.  Applicants who submit complete applications and the required supporting materials by the posted deadlines will be considered for the priority deadlines.  Regular admission review will begin after the priority deadline and will continue on a rolling basis until programs are full.

A.  Graduate Students – Degree Seeking

Due to the advanced nature of graduate-level programs, different requirements and standards are used for admission to graduate programs at the University.  The requirements and standards which follow are based on comparable practices at other institutions of higher education that offer programs at the graduate level.

A prospective degree-seeking student applying for admission to graduate programs at Athens State University must:

  • Submit a completed graduate admissions application and pay any required application fees. The application fee will be waived for Athens State University alumni or students who will be graduating from Athens State University at the end of the semester during which the application is submitted.
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended (excluding Athens State University) at the undergraduate or graduate level, with transcripts from at least one regionally accredited college or university documenting conferral of a bachelor’s degree, or transcripts from at least one regionally accredited college or university documenting in-progress courses AND an official letter from that college or university confirming bachelor’s degree conferral when the in-progress courses are completed.
  • Official transcripts must indicate that the student is in good standing at all institutions attended and document the minimum overall grade-point average as required by the program.
  • Submit official test scores as required by the particular program (e.g., GMAT, GRE) and any additional documents as required by the program (see below).
  • Submit all additional documents required by the program selected on the graduate application. If the program requires additional documents or allows prospective students to apply by submitting portfolios in lieu of test scores, all required supporting documents must be submitted as part of a complete application.
  • Meet all published deadlines for submission of application materials.

Submission of an application and all required documents does not guarantee admission to the program until all requirements for admission to the program are reviewed and verified by the department offering the program.

Students admitted into any graduate program offered by the University will be allowed to register for graduate courses in a given term subject to space availability and/or cohort restrictions.

 Unconditional (Standard) Admission for Degree-Seeking Graduate Students

 Students seeking unconditional (standard) admission to the graduate program must:

  • Meet the minimum overall grade-point average required department offering the program, AND,
  • Have an earned bachelor’s degree in a field approved by the department offering the program AND;
  • Have earned the minimum total score on the appropriate admissions exam (i.e., GMAT or GRE) as required by the department offering the program within the last five (5) years; OR
  • Submit a professional portfolio in lieu of exam scores if allowed by the department offering the program (student seeking admission using portfolio may be admitted unconditionally only after departmental review and approval); AND
  • Meet all other program specific requirements.

Conditional Admission for Degree-Seeking Graduate Students

Following departmental review of composite factors (bachelor’s degree, GPA, GMAT score, etc.), students who demonstrate reasonable potential for success in the program and who have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50  may be admitted conditionally.  Conditional status will be removed upon successful completion of a minimum of 9 semester hours of graduate coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in a non-related field but who otherwise satisfy all requirements for standard admission will also be admitted conditionally.  Conditional status will be removed upon successful completion of all required undergraduate prerequisite courses as determined by departmental review.  Students who lack undergraduate prerequisite courses will not be allowed to register for graduate courses until all prerequisite courses are completed.

International Students

In addition to meeting the requirements listed above for Unconditional or Conditional Admission, all international students will be required to meet all F-1 VISA requirements for admission into any Graduate Program.

  B.  Graduate Students –Non-Degree Seeking

A student who does not meet the requirements for one of the above admission categories as a degree-seeking graduate student may be admitted as a non-degree seeking graduate student.  Records are kept of the work completed and credits are transferable.   Non-degree seeking graduate students are ineligible for federal aid funding under Title IV.

        Students seeking admission as non-degree seeking students must:

  • Submit a completed graduate non-degree seeking admissions application and pay any required application fees.
  • Submit official transcripts from the last institution attended, and from at least one regionally accredited college or university documenting conferral of a bachelor’s or higher degree.
  • Official transcripts must indicate that the student is in good standing at the last institution attended.

Students admitted as non-degree seeking students will only be allowed to register for graduate courses in a given term subject to space availability and/or cohort restrictions.   Non-degree seeking students may complete no more than one-half of the total program hours; in order to register for additional courses, students must submit a degree-seeking application and all required materials, and be approved for degree-seeking status.

Non-degree seeking students will not be awarded a graduate degree from Athens State University.

IV. Readmission of Former Students (Undergraduate and Graduate) in Good Standing

A degree-seeking student at either the undergraduate or graduate level who has previously attended Athens State University, is currently in good standing, and is returning after an absence of two or more semesters (excluding summer term) will be required to complete a readmission application.  If the returning student has attended another college or university during the absence from Athens State University, official transcripts must be provided to the Office of Admissions.

V.   Responsibility for this Operating Policy

Policy Owner

As part of the initial approval of this policy by the President and subsequent to the original dissemination of the policy, the President has assigned the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services as the policy owner for the ongoing evaluation, review, and approval of this policy.  Subsequent reviews and revisions to this policy must be in accordance with approved operating policy procedures and processes.

This policy will be reviewed every three years or more frequently as needed by the Policy Owner.  Revisions will be reviewed/affirmed by the Cabinet and approved by the University President.  This policy will be updated/published in the University’s Policy Library.

Responsibility for Policy Implementation

The President has assigned the responsibility of implementing this policy to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services.