Entrance Requirements and Admissions Procedures
In keeping with the North Carolina Community College System’s Open Door policy, Blue Ridge Community College enrolls students who are 18 years or older or are high school graduates or equivalent. For admission into all degree, diploma, and certificate programs, high school graduation or equivalent is required. Applicants who have not graduated from high school or otherwise fulfilled this requirement may do so by successfully completing the High School Equivalency Diploma, formerly known as the General Educational Development (GED) Tests. Applicants without a high school diploma or a High School Equivalency Diploma may enroll in specific individual classes as a special credit student.
All applicants for admission are responsible for fulfilling the following steps:
Complete the Residency Determination Service (RDS) first to start the admissions process. The Application for Admission cannot be submitted without first obtaining a Residency Certification Number (RCN). Residency determination expiration date must be valid to be eligible for registration.
Complete an Application for Admission online at blueridge.edu/admissions.
Have official copies of high school transcripts and/or High School Equivalency Diploma scores sent to the Registrar’s Office. Official transcripts are those with the school seal and Registrar’s signature and must arrive unopened from the issuing school or agency. Students whose required transcripts have not been received will be admitted on a provisional basis for one semester. Applicants to all Health Sciences programs who have a High School Equivalency Diploma or Adult High School diploma must also submit an official high school transcript if they completed ninth grade or higher. If transcripts cannot be obtained due to extenuating circumstances (loss by fire, school no longer exists, etc.), documentation of all efforts made by the student and a letter of explanation regarding the circumstances must be submitted to the Vice President for Student Services. Students under the age of 18 who are high school graduates or the equivalent must provide official transcripts prior to enrolling.
Complete a set of Pre-Enrollment Placement Tests. The College uses EdReady’s NROC for placement testing. These tests examine the individual’s levels of ability in Reading, Math, and English so that the student can be placed in appropriate developmental level courses if necessary. These tests are not admissions tests. Placement testing may be waived under conditions outlined in the Placement Testing Waiver Policy. Students requiring special testing accommodations due to a documented disability must see the Director of Disability Services at least two weeks prior to testing date.
Meet with a Counselor in Student Services for next steps.
A student is officially accepted to the College when all requirements are met. Acceptance to the College does not necessarily imply admission to a specific curriculum since certain programs, such as those in the allied health area, may have additional entrance requirements.
The College reserves the right to refuse admission to any applicant who is not a resident of North Carolina who seeks enrollment in any distance education course only if that applicant resides in a state where the college is not authorized to provide distance education in that State.
The College reserves the right to refuse admission to any applicant during any period of time that a student is suspended or expelled from another college or educational entity due to non-academic disciplinary reasons.
When a student self-reports on the College application (or it otherwise comes to the College’s attention) that they are currently expelled or suspended from another college or university, the following actions will be taken:
The student must complete and sign a “Transfer Student—Additional Information Request Form” and submit to each college or university formerly attended. The student’s signed release on this form permits the college to inform Blue Ridge of the term and circumstances of the student’s non-academic disciplinary suspension or expulsion, if any.
After Blue Ridge receives the completed Transfer Student—Additional Information Request Form from all previously attended colleges, the Vice President for Student Services will review the information regarding any active suspension or expulsion and make the determination if the student should be provisionally admitted or denied admission.
The decision of the Vice President for Student Services is final.
Pre-Enrollment Placement Testing Waiver Policy
Students may waive the placement testing requirements under the following conditions:
Documentation of acceptable SAT or ACT scores. To be enrolled directly into first level curriculum English or math course, students would need to have a score of 500 on the applicable (Writing or Critical Reading, and/or Math) if taken before March 2016; a score of 480 on the Evidence Based Reading and Writing and a score of 530 on the Math portion of the SAT if taken after March 2016, or a minimum of 18 on ACT English or 22 on ACT Reading, or a minimum of 22 on ACT Mathematics. SAT and ACT examinations must have been taken within the last ten (10) years.
Results of NC DAP or NROC placement tests taken at another North Carolina Community College System institution, which have been taken within the preceding ten years and meet Blue Ridge Community College scores, or equivalent, will also waive placement testing.
Transfer credit (grade C or better) received from a regionally accredited institution for first-level curriculum English or Math courses will be accepted in lieu of placement testing. Developmental-level courses may be considered for transfer credit if taken at a North Carolina Community College. The student must submit an official transcript to receive transfer credit and to officially waive the need for placement testing. A maximum of 75% of the Total Semester Credit Hours in any program can be accepted in transfer.
Students who have graduated from a United States-based high school and who have an unweighted HS GPA of 2.80 or higher will be waived from placement testing. Students with an unweighted HS GPA of 2.20-2.799 may enroll in a gateway course with a mandatory co-requisite. Students with an unweighted HS GPA of less than 2.20 must enroll in a one-semester transition course. Students with an unweighted HS GPA less than 2.80 may choose to take the NROC placement test to attempt to exempt the mandatory transition or co-requisite course(s).
Students who have completed an associate degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution may be exempted from placement testing. The student must submit an official transcript to receive the waiver for placement testing.
For certificate programs without developmental prerequisites, testing will be waived. For certificate programs that have developmental prerequisites and/or courses with developmental prerequisites, NROC placement testing is required, unless the testing is waived based on one of the above conditions.
Pre-Enrollment Placement Testing Retesting Guidelines
In general, the NROC placement test provides a reasonable assessment of a student’s abilities in English, reading, and math skills. In some cases, however, students may question their placement in one or more of these areas.
Retesting: A student wishing to retake any part of the NROC placement test for any reason is allowed one retest attempt in each developmental module. Students requesting a retest in a particular unit will be charged a fee for each unit in which a retest is desired. Fees are set annually by the College Trustees. Once the student has paid for the retest, they may receive a retest during a regularly scheduled official placement test session. Students will be placed in a course according to the better of the two test scores. Students are not allowed to retest to attempt to place out of a developmental class in which they are currently enrolled after the add/drop period has ended.
Residency Determination Service
The Residency Determination Service (RDS) is the centralized service for determining residency for students. This service enables a student to use one residency determination for admissions applications to multiple North Carolina public colleges and universities and to demonstrate residency for state aid programs consideration at all (public and private) North Carolina colleges and universities.
All new and returning curriculum students, including CCP students, international, undocumented, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students, must complete the RDS application online at ncresidency.org prior to completing the admission application. RDS does not apply to Continuing Education students.
Determining Student Location for Curriculum and Continuing Education Students
According to Federal guidelines on state authorization (§ 600.9(C)), Blue Ridge must determine a student’s location at the time of initial enrollment, as well as update its records should a student’s location change. Doing so helps to ensure correct state authorization is obtained and disclosed to the student.
Information on state authorization, professional licensure, and the complaint process can be found on the college’s State Authorization webpage.
Students can also view which state educational requirements for licensure or certification Blue Ridge meets, does not meet, or is undetermined on our Professional Licensure webpage.
For Curriculum Students
Location at Time of Initial Enrollment
For Blue Ridge Community College, a student’s location is determined at the time of Application for Admission. As part of the admission process, a student must designate their program of interest and complete a Residency Determination Service (RDS). The RDS is what reaches out across the State to the different agencies to verify and validate the residency information a student is providing. The residency information on the application and RDS must match.
Upon receiving the application from an out-of-state student, the student’s contact information, listed state of residence, and program of interest are sent to the appropriate Program Faculty, Academic Chair, or Dean. They will then contact the student to verify if the student is planning to remain in that state or relocate to NC for their education.
Prior to acceptance of enrollment into a program designed or advertised as meeting educational requirements for a specific professional license or certification required for an occupation, the student will be notified via email if Blue Ridge’s program does not meet the educational requirements or if Blue Ridge has not made a determination.
Change of Address
In myBlueRidge, students are required to confirm their address every 60 days. Registration rules will restrict a student from using Student Planning and registering until they confirm.
Because educational requirements for licensure or certification may vary by state, it is imperative students confirm their address or change of address in a timely manner as potential educational requirements for the new state may directly impact licensure or certification completion.
Upon formal receipt of a change of address to a new state, students will be notified within 14 days of whether or not there is a conflict with the program’s educational requirements for licensure or certification.
Change of Program
If a student changes their program of study, they are required to confirm their address. If the student is an out-of-state student, their contact info, listed state of residence, and program of interest are sent to the appropriate Blue Ridge program coordinator. The coordinator will contact the student to verify if the student is planning to remain in that state or relocate to NC for their education.
Prior to acceptance of enrollment into a program designed or advertised as meeting educational requirements for a specific professional license or certification required for an occupation, the student will be notified in writing (direct disclosure) if Blue Ridge’s program meets, does not meet, OR if Blue Ridge has not made a determination regarding a state’s educational requirements for licensure or certification.
For Continuing Education Students
Location at Time of Initial Enrollment
For Blue Ridge Community College Continuing Education (CE) enrollments, a student’s location is determined at the time of registration. As part of the registration process, a student must designate a program or course of interest and current address.
The CE Operations Manager will produce a weekly report for out-of-state students enrolled in courses leading to a licensure, certification, or required industry credential. Within 14 days of registration, the CE Program Specialist or Program Director will notify the student in writing via email (direct disclosure) if Blue Ridge Community College’s CE program or course does not meet the student’s respective state’s educational requirements or if Blue Ridge Community College is unable to make a determination.
The College admits undocumented individuals pursuant to the State Board of Community Colleges Code
1D SBCCC 400.2 and guidelines from the North Carolina Community College System as follows:
An undocumented immigrant with a diploma from a United States public high school, private high school, home school, or Adult High School that operates in compliance with state or local law is eligible to be admitted to Blue Ridge Community College. Undocumented individuals with a High School Equivalency Diploma do not meet these criteria and are ineligible for admission.
Undocumented students are required to pay the out-of-state tuition rate (see “NC Business Sponsor Exception for In-State Tuition” below for possible exceptions). Although undocumented students are required to pay the out-of-state tuition rate, they are still required to submit the RDS application prior to their Application for Admission.
A student who is lawfully present in the United States will always have priority for a space or program of study over a student who is an undocumented student. Undocumented students cannot enroll in a class or program of study for which there are waiting lists and must wait until the conclusion of the last published (i.e.,late) registration period to register for classes
Undocumented individuals who are high school students (public, private, or home school) in North Carolina who meet the eligibility criteria may enroll in college-level courses consistent with Career and College Promise guidelines.
Undocumented students may enroll in non-college level courses or programs including High School Equivalency Diploma preparation courses, Adult Basic Education, Adult High School, English as a Second Language, and other continuing education courses less than college level.
Undocumented or battered illegal aliens who have been determined to meet one of the qualifying conditions set forth in Federal Law, 8 USC Section 1641, are eligible for college-level courses. It is the applicant’s responsibility to produce sufficient documentation to satisfy the College that the applicant is eligible for post-secondary education benefits.
Admission of Students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Classification
The DACA Program is the recent ruling by the Federal Government that gives undocumented persons permission to live and to work in the U.S. and not be deported for a period of two years, even though they are not in the country legally.
Persons under the DACA Program have permission to work in the U.S. and are given Social Security numbers.
Persons under the DACA Program have a card, much like the Permanent Resident Card, however, the card confirms that they are allowed to work and not be deported, only for a period of two years. The card also confirms that persons under DACA have not been given a change in their legal status.
When persons under the DACA Program apply to Blue Ridge, a photocopy of their DACA card will be required.
In North Carolina, persons under the DACA program can study at Blue Ridge, but only under the same conditions as an undocumented person (Admission of Undocumented Individuals), with the exception that persons under the DACA Program can enroll with other lawfully present students during regular registration periods.
Persons under the DACA program are not eligible for federal financial aid.
Persons under the DACA program cannot receive in-state tuition (see “NC Business Sponsor Exception for In-State Tuition” below for possible exception).
Applicants classified as out-of-state for North Carolina tuition purposes are admitted under the same regulations as North Carolina residents. See also Residency for Tuition and Residency Determination Service.
NC Business Sponsor Exception for In-State Tuition
The General Assembly has enacted laws applicable only to community colleges that create an exception to the general requirements for in-state tuition. The Business Sponsor Exception, as it is called, states that “when an employer other than the Armed Forces...pays tuition for an employee to attend [a community college] and the employee works at a North Carolina business location, the employer shall be charged the in-state tuition rate.” The requirements to take advantage of this exception are listed below:
The employer that will be sponsoring the student must provide a current Form W-9
The employer sponsoring the student must provide a letter, on company letterhead, stating that the student they wish to sponsor is indeed an employee of the company and that the company intends to pay in full for the student with a company check. This must be provided each semester.
The student must provide their two (2) most recent pay stubs from the sponsoring company. This must be provided each semester.
The Registrar’s Office must have a copy of the student’s Employment Authorization Card (EAC) with a valid date (applicable to DACA students only).
After verification of all the above documents by the Cashier’s Office, the employer must provide a company check for payment in full of the student’s tuition and fees for each semester.
Sites hosting Blue Ridge Community College students in practicum/clinical experiences may require a criminal background check, a medical release, immunization records, or additional requirements.
Students applying too late to furnish pre-entrance requirements before the registration period may be permitted to enter the college as a provisional student after an interview with the Vice President for Student Services or a counselor. Once students have fulfilled all admission requirements (RDS, application, transcripts, and tests if required), they will be accepted in good standing. All students must fulfill these requirements by the end of their first semester.
Note: Students under the age of 18 who are high school graduates or equivalent must provide official transcripts at the time of Application for Admission.
Students with credit from Blue Ridge Community College who withdraw for any reason before completing the requirements for a degree, diploma, or certificate may be readmitted by completing the RDS and submitting a College application if the student is returning after an absence of two or more semesters, excluding summer term. A conference with a counselor will be required for students returning after academic probation or suspension. Programs of study are under continuous review and course requirements are subject to change as students return after an absence of two or more semesters, excluding summer term. The current academic catalog determines program requirements. See also Academic Forgiveness and Academic Probation.