New Freshman Applicants

Traditional Freshman: A student who has graduated from an accredited high school within five years and has not attended another institution or has attended another institution and earned less than 30 transferable credit.

Non-Traditional Freshman: A student who graduated from high school or a GED recipient who would have graduated from high school five or more years ago, and those within that same range who have not yet earned 30 hours of transferable credit. Non-traditional freshman applicants are held to the same minimum admissions standards but are exempt from the minimum high school grade point average.

Freshman Admissions Requirements

  • Applicant must hold a general diploma from a high school accredited by a regional accrediting association, such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Georgia Accrediting Commission or from a public school regulated by a school system and state department of education, as evidenced by submission of an official high school transcript.
  • Applicant must have a minimum high school grade point average (HSGPA) of 2.0, as calculated by the College based on grades earned in English, math, natural science, social science, and foreign language coursework.
    • If HSGPA is less than 2.0, SAT/ACT scores are required.  Scores must be within seven years of the testing date and must be sent electronically.
    • SAT/ACT/Accuplacer can be used to exempt learning support classes.
  • Applicant must be re-admissible to the last institution attended, if applicable.

Freshman GED Applicant

Freshman GED applicants are required to meet the following minimum standards for admission to GHC. GED applicants are not required to submit a high school transcript.

  • Applicant must hold a GED diploma awarded by a U.S. State Department of Education as evidenced by submitting a copy of the official GED score report (with passing grades).
  • Applicant must be re-admissible to the last institution attended, if applicable.

Additional Requirements for GED Applicants Under the Age of 18

Applicant must provide official SAT or ACT or Accuplacer scores that are at or above the previous year’s freshman class average. SAT and ACT scores cannot be combined.

  • SAT Minimum Scores
    • Evidence Based Reading and Writing – 480
    • Math - 440
  • ACT Minimum Scores
    • English or Reading – 17
    • Math – 17
  • Accuplacer Minimum Scores
    • Next-Gen Reading –237
    • WritePlacer® – 4
    • Next Gen Math – 258

Applicants must also provide two letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to speak to the student’s maturity and educational potential (and who are not family members).

Home School and Non-Accredited High School Applicants

Home school applicants who did not complete a regionally accredited program, must apply under the non-accredited home school/high school policy of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) and meet Georgia Highlands College institutional eligibility standards. 

Home School Academic Portfolio of Work (Grades 9-12)

Students who completed an unaccredited home school program are required to submit a comprehensive academic portfolio of work to document equivalent competence in each of the five academic areas (English, mathematics, natural (lab) science, social science, and foreign language) at the college preparatory level.  Evaluation of and assessment of completion for each course listed in the home school portfolio is based on the guidelines contained in the USG Required High School Curriculum (RHSC) document titled “Staying on Course“, which details the requirements for new freshman and transfer applicants with less than 30 transferable hours of coursework. The academic portfolio must document the students’ progression throughout the standard high school years (9th grade through 12th grade). The portfolio must include a detailed description of coursework completed in each academic subject area as detailed below and CPC Evaluation form.  Non-accredited home school applicants must have a minimum high school grade point average (HSGPA) of 2.0, as calculated by the College based on grades earned in English, math, natural science, social science, and foreign language coursework.

The academic portfolio must document the student’s progression throughout the standard high school years (9th through 12th grade). The portfolio must include a detailed description of coursework completed in each academic subject area as detailed below. Additional supporting documentation may be required as necessary to prove the academic rigor of an individual course.

Within each academic subject area, the minimum documentation for each individual course must include:

  1. The title of the course.
  2. A comprehensive course description.
  3. A course syllabus to include a detailed narrative of the primary academic content taught in the course, a list of written and/or laboratory assignments, the grading structure, and assessment tools used.
  4. The name of textbooks and/or software program used to teach the course.
  5. The highest education degree level achieved by the primary teacher.
  6. The final grade earned for each course.

Academic Subject Area Requirements

  • English: Four (4) units of English which have as their emphasis grammar and usage, literature (American, English, World), and advanced composition skills.
  • Mathematics: Four (4) units of mathematics, including Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry, and a mathematics course completed at the level of Math 3 or higher.
  • Science: Four (4) units of science, with at least one laboratory course from the life sciences and one laboratory course from the physical sciences. The RHSC science coursework must include at least one (1) unit of biology, one (1) unit of physical science or physics, and one (1) unit of chemistry, earth systems, environmental science, or an advanced placement science course. Students satisfying the 4th unit of science requirement with a computer science course may not use that same computer science course towards satisfying the foreign language/American Sign Language/Computer Science requirement.
  • Social Science: Three (3) units of social science, with at least one (1) course focusing on United States studies and one (1) course focusing on world studies.
  • Foreign Language: Two (2) units in the same foreign language emphasizing speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Two (2) units of American Sign Language or two (2) units of Computer Science (with an emphasis on coding and programming) may be used to satisfy this requirement. Students satisfying this requirement through the computer science option may not use the same courses to satisfy the 4th science unit. Both foreign language units must be in the same language.

Documentation for each course should be representative of one Carnegie Unit (one full academic year) of study. Half Carnegie Units may not be combined with other half units completed in a different course, except for the third unit of social science (typically .5 American Government and .5 Economics) and for the fourth unit of natural science.

SAT, ACT or Accuplacer Test Scores Required

The SAT/ACT or Accuplacer test score requirement may be waived for admission based on credit level English (ENGL 1101 English Composition I or higher) and math (MATH 1001 Quantitative Reasoning or higher) college transfer coursework.

  • SAT Minimum Scores
    • Evidence Based Reading and Writing – 480
    • Math - 440
  • ACT Minimum Scores
    • English or Reading – 17
    • Math – 17
  • Accuplacer Minimum Scores
    • Next-Gen Reading –237
    • WritePlacer® – 4
    • Next Gen Math – 258

The GHC Office of Admissions will review the portfolio of work to determine completion of or deficiency in the minimum RHSC units in each subject area as outlined under the USG BOR high school curriculum document titled “Staying on Course,” available at the USG Board of Regents website or by direct link at the following site, Institutional guidelines for assessment of RHSC coursework are maintained in the GHC Office of Admissions.

Alternative Options for Non-Accredited Home Schooled and High School Graduate

Graduates from non-accredited home school or high school programs may also be considered for admission to GHC through one of the following avenues.

  • By earning a GED diploma awarded by a U.S. State Department of Education as evidenced by submitting a copy of the official GED score report (with passing grades).
  • By scoring at or above the average SAT or equivalent ACT scores of the previous year’s fall semester first-time freshman class, as previously detailed in this catalog. This option also requires the student to substantiate completion of all academic areas of the required high school curriculum (RHSC) by earning minimum scores on the SAT II test in seven specified subject areas; mathematics IC or IIC, English writing, English literature, biology, chemistry or physics, American history and social studies, and world history, and achieving designated scores in each area.
  • By earning minimum SAT Evidence Based Reading and Writing score of 500 and Math test score of 500 or ACT scores, which demonstrates the potential for success and meets eligibility requirements for a presidential exception.
  • By scoring in the top five percent of all students nationally on the SAT or ACT.

Freshman Applicant with Outstanding Test Scores

Applicants who demonstrate extremely high academic ability by scoring within the top 5 percent of national college-bound SAT or ACT test takers may be admitted without meeting other admissions criteria. However, these students will be required to make up high school curriculum deficiencies in areas other than English and mathematics.

Dual Enrollment

GHC’s Dual Enrollment program is specifically designed to provide high school students with access to a number of opportunities for enhancing their high school curriculum and earn course credit for both high school and college at the same time, with no or little cost for approved courses. Applicants meeting the admission requirements can take classes during the fall, spring, and/or summer semesters. Course tuition/fees for approved courses are paid for by the Georgia Student Finance Commission Dual Enrollment Scholarship. Course specific fees, such as science lab fees, must be paid by the student. Dual enrollment funding is available for up to 30 credit hours. Dual enrollment participants who take coursework more than 30 hours will be responsible for the out-of-pocket costs associated with the courses.

Students must have approval from their high school counselor and a parent or court appointed legal guardian to participate in the Dual Enrollment program. For more information, contact the Dual Enrollment Coordinator at

Dual Enrollment Admissions Requirements

  • Must be a GA high school attending a public or private high school or homeschool program.
  • Be in or going into the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade for the term applying for.
    • 9th grade students are not eligible to participate.
  • Be age 15 or older by the first day of the semester applying for.
  • Must have a high school GPA of 3.0 in core curriculum classes.
  • Be on track to complete the Required High School Curriculum requirements as set forth by the USG.

Dual Enrollment Application Process

To be considered for Dual Enrollment, applications and documents must be submitted to the GHC Office of Admissions no later than the published deadline for the semester in which the student intends to enroll. After the deadline listed below, the electronic application will no longer be available.

Dual Enrollment Program Deadlines

Semester Application/Documents
Fall April 1
Spring November 1
Summer March 1

Class Placement/Registration

  • Students will work with their high school counselor and GHC's Dual Enrollment Coordinator on class placement and registration each semester.
  • View the Dual Enrollment Course Directory for a list of the approved courses for the program.


  • Complete the online Georgia Student Finance Dual Enrollment Funding Application.
  • 10th grade students must meet Georgia Student Finance Commission requirements to be eligible for funding (ACT Composite of 26, SAT Total of 1200).
  • Self-Pay: Some students may be responsible for paying tuition/fees based on their grade level, meeting admissions requirements, taking unapproved courses, and/or exceeding the 30 credit hour limit.

Continued Eligibility

Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA every semester to continue participation in the program.

Transfer Students

Students who have previously been enrolled at any other postsecondary institution and earned 30 or more transferable semester credit hours will be classified as a transfer student.

Transfer students must be eligible to continue or return to their prior institution. Transfer students are subject to the same academic progress and dismissal policies as applicable to continuing GHC students.

Applicants must have official transcripts from all previously attended postsecondary institutions sent directly to the Georgia Highlands College Office of Admissions. Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions are required for admission to GHC regardless of whether an applicant wishes to receive credit for previous courses. Failure to list all previously attended institutions may result in admission decisions being rescinded.

Information about the transfer of coursework from other institutions can be found in the Academic Information section of this catalog.

Transient Students

A transient student is a student who attends another college or university and seeks temporary admission to Georgia Highlands College. Transient students are expected to return to their home institution to complete their degree requirements. Students must be in good standing at their home institution. Admission and enrollment for a transient student is limited to one semester. 

In addition to the GHC admission application and fee, the applicant must submit a transient permission letter from their home institution that authorizes the applicant to enroll at GHC.  The letter must state that the student is in good academic standing and eligible to return to their home institution.  A letter of "no objection" issued from the student's home institution will not be accepted as permission to attend GHC as a transient student.

Transient students who later decide to transfer to Georgia Highlands College must reapply for admission and comply with all admissions requirements and policies for the appropriate enrollment category.

International Applicants

International applicants may be admitted in any of the listed enrollment categories or in a separate category under procedures established by the University System of Georgia. RHSC requirements do not apply to students who graduated from a high school located outside the United States and outside the jurisdiction of the United States educational system.

International applicants who are seeking an I-20 from GHC to obtain an F1 student visa, or who are already in the country on an F1 student visa (at another U.S. school), are required to meet all academic admissions standards and to provide immigration and financial documentation to support their F1 non-immigrant status. International applicants who currently hold some other type of immigration status must meet all academic admissions standards. International applicants seeking in-state tuition or a waiver of out-of-state tuition are required to be lawfully present in the U.S. as evidenced by documentation of their current immigration status. Those who are academically admissible to GHC but are not lawfully present will be allowed to enroll at the out-of-state tuition rate.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants who are non-native, non-primary speakers of English, those who attended a secondary or post-secondary institution outside the U.S. where English was not the language of instruction or who have completed English as a second language (ESL or ESOL) coursework at a U.S. high school, are required to prove English language proficiency. English language proficiency can be satisfied by English transfer credit, 4 units of college prep English (not ESL or ESOL) earned at an accredited U.S. high school, or any of the assessment tests listed in the chart below:

Minimum English Proficiency Scores Required for Admission
Internet Based (iBT) 80 6.5 Evidence Based Reading & Writing 480 ACT English 17 Next-Gen Reading & WritePlacer® 237/4

Education Credential Evaluation

Applicants educated outside of the United States must have all foreign education credentials evaluated by an evaluation agency recognized by GHC and have an official report of the credential evaluation mailed directly to Georgia Highlands College, Office of Admissions. International credential evaluation agencies provide translation and evaluation services for a fee, which is the responsibility of the applicant. GHC accepts official evaluation reports from any National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of Credential Evaluators, Inc.(AICE).

Financial Documentation

In addition to meeting the minimum academic standards for admission, a student seeking an I-20 from Georgia Highlands College must supply official/original financial documentation (bank records) from their sponsor demonstrating that funding is available to pay all tuition and fees and to meet the general living expenses for the applicant for one full academic year. Funds must be reported in U.S. dollars or U.S. dollar equivalent, and information reported must be no more than six months old. Detailed guidelines for financial documentation can be found on the GHC International Students website or by contacting the GHC-SEVIS Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) in the GHC Office of Admissions. Students seeking to enroll at Georgia Highlands College as an F1(student) visa holder, will require a form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status) which will be issued to the applicant by GHC only after the student is officially admitted.

International students who hold or are seeking an F-1(student) visa are required to enroll as full-time students (at least 12 semester hours of study) for both fall and spring semesters during the standard academic year. The College must notify the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Department (via SEVIS/SEVP, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program) when certain activities occur such as: when a student’s course load falls below full-time, when a student changes their academic pathway of study, when a student does not enroll, if a student leaves the country or works without prior approval from USCIS.

All F1 student visa holders are required to report to the GHC Office of Admissions upon their arrival in the U.S. to check in with the GHC SEVIS Designated School Official to have their student visa/passport and arrival-departure records copied for their permanent student record. This procedure is required by the USCIS and the process facilitates the replacement of lost immigration documents.

Due to the excessive cost of medical care in the United States, adequate health, accident, and repatriation insurance coverage is required of all international students who hold a valid F-1 visa. The USG provides a pre-negotiated health insurance plan, the cost of which is the responsibility of the student and will be charged at the time of registration. More information about the school insurance plan is available through the Georgia Highlands College Bursar’s Office.

Non-Degree Applicants

Students wishing to take courses for personal enrichment may be admitted in any of the previous enrollment categories without declaring an academic pathway of study for a maximum of 18 semester hours. Non-degree seeking students must show they have met prerequisites for desired courses, and may not enroll in any course that has a learning support prerequisite unless they have exempted the relevant LS course.

After earning 18 semester hours, a non-degree seeking student will be expected to submit an application for admission and declare an academic program of study.  Students must comply with all admissions requirements and policies for the appropriate enrollment category.


Students wishing to register for regular college classes for personal enrichment (without receiving credit) may be admitted in any of the previous enrollment categories. Students who wish to audit a GHC course are expected to self-identify their intent to audit a course at the time of registration. Students who register as auditors are charged regular tuition and fees, which could include out-of-state tuition rate should the applicant not be classified as in-state for tuition purposes. Auditors fully participate in their courses but are not required to take course examinations. No grades are issued, and no credit is granted upon completion of the audited courses. Students  may not receive credit retroactively. To receive credit for the same course, a student must register for that course on a credit basis and show they have met any prerequisites of the desired course, including learning-support requirements.

Auditors are not allowed to change from audit to credit status once classes have begun. To change to credit status, an auditor must be eligible for admission and submit all required documents and materials for their enrollment category. For more information about auditor status, please contact the GHC Registrar’s Office.

Persons 62 Years of Age or Older

Persons who are age 62 or older may be admitted in any of the previous enrollment categories and may be eligible to apply for a tuition waiver based on the provisions of Amendment 23 to the Georgia Constitution. To be eligible for the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver, the applicant:

  • Must be a resident of Georgia, 62 years of age or older at the time of registration.
  • May enroll as regular or auditing students in courses offered for resident credit on on a "space available" basis, starting the first day of class, without payment of tuition, except for supplies, laboratory fees, parking, and certain other technology and related fees.
  • Must meet all System and institutional admission requirements.
  • May not enroll in Dental Hygiene or Nursing under this Policy.
  • Meet all System, institution, and legislated degree requirements if seeking a degree.


Students who previously attended Georgia Highlands College but have not attended during the last three or more consecutive semesters (one year) must follow the same application procedures as all new applicants, including payment of the application processing fee. Those who have attended another college in the interim must have official transcripts sent from all institutions attended. If previously submitted transcripts are no longer available in the electronic student record or if they are illegible, additional official transcripts will be required before readmission to the College. Former students, who want to change their name in the GHC student file, must submit a name change request form, accompanied by supporting documentation, to the GHC Registrar’s Office.

Presidential Exception/Appeal for Admission to the College

Georgia Highlands College reserves the right to rescind admission before or after enrollment if the applicant becomes ineligible as determined by the standards of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia or the College. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to Georgia Highlands College. Final acceptance or denial is determined by the GHC Executive Director of Enrollment Management, subject to the applicant’s right of appeal or request reconsideration as a presidential exception. A presidential exception for admission to GHC is considered when an applicant does not meet established criteria for admissions to the College but provides evidence of a significant counterbalancing strength demonstrating the potential to succeed in college.

Freshman applicants who do not meet the minimum high school grade point average must submit official SAT or ACT scores (taken within the last seven years) or take the Accuplacer test and achieve scores that can be used as a counterbalancing strength to be re-evaluated for a presidential exception admission decision.

Applicants are notified of their acceptance when all materials, documents and credentials have been received, and the evaluation process is complete.