Article II. Getting Admitted To CCC

Section 2.01 Admissions – Credit Students

Policy History: Admissions – Credit Students
Procedures: Admissions – Credit Students – Procedures.

  1. Overview
    The City Colleges of Chicago are open admission colleges. Students may be required to take assessment and placement tests in order to register for classes. Transfer credit, ACT or SAT test scores (see Assessment & Placement) may be used for placement. Incoming students who have earned a grade of “C” or better in college level English or math courses from a regionally accredited institution (see are exempt from being tested, provided official transcripts (printed or electronic) are submitted verifying successful completion of courses. (See Testing & Placement Guidelines for more information regarding testing.) Students who are admitted to college credit programs include:
    • Graduates of accredited high schools or foreign equivalents
    • High school equivalency completers
    • Students who successfully completed high school through home-schooling
    • Transfer students from other colleges or universities (see Transfer Credit)
    • High school students age 15-18, recommended by their principal or accepted for participation in a special area of study, who score at college-level on the placement exam (see High School Students)
    • High school Students under age 15, recommended by their principal and approved by the College President or designated official to enroll in college credit courses (see High School Students)
    • Students age 18 or older who have not earned a high school diploma or a high school equivalency (a placement exam will be used to determine course placement); these students are not eligible for financial aid (see Federal Financial Aid Eligibility)
  2. Former Students Returning to the City Colleges of Chicago
    Returning students who are in good standing and have not attended another college or university since last attending CCC may not need to apply for readmission.
    • The following types of returning students must reapply for readmission (visit the Office of Admissions for further information):
      • Students with a Discontinued status
      • Students with a Completed status who have not enrolled and earned a final grade in the career in which they completed their academic program for three (3) or more consecutive terms.
    • The following types of returning students need not reapply for readmission (visit the Office of the Registrar for further information):
      • Students who are Active in their academic careers
      • Students with a Completed status who have enrolled and earned a final grade in the career in which they completed their academic program during the previous two (2) terms.

See Discontinued Students and Residency Verification – Returning Students.

  1. Academically Dismissed Students
    Students who have been academically dismissed from any of the City Colleges of Chicago must apply for readmission. See Academic Standing for more information.
  2. International Students with F-1 Academic Student Visas
    International students ( are expected to have successfully completed the equivalent of primary and secondary education prior to enrollment. F-1 academic students are required to enroll in at least twelve (12) credit hours per term. Additionally, F-1 academic students must purchase and maintain medical/health insurance for themselves and their dependents during their course of study and must present proof of such insurance upon every registration and/or upon request. Failure to obtain such insurance or willful violation of this insurance requirement will be considered a violation of status.

    The Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) & Designated School Official (DSO) are responsible for the authorization and issuance of I-20 Forms to International Students. The I-20 Form should be issued for three academic years. Students may file an Extension of Stay INS Form I-539 if they do not complete their program within the three-academic year period.
  3. High School Students
    High school students are required to meet the same standards as any other college student and are awarded the same college credit for courses successfully completed.

    Students age 15 years or older enrolled in a high school in the City of Chicago may be considered for enrollment in credit courses at CCC. Students under age 15 enrolled in high school must also obtain the approval of the College President or designated official to enroll in college credit courses.

    All high school students must have the written consent of their parents or guardian. In addition, students must have the written consent of their high school principal or counselor and must qualify for college classes through placement testing or previous course completion.

    High school students – including those enrolled in CCC’s Early College Program – do not qualify for financial aid. Also see the Early College Program policy.

Section 2.02 Admissions – International Students

Procedures: Admissions – International Students – Procedures.

CCC serves international students in the following non-immigrant visa classes who live or work in the City of Chicago:

  • A-1, A-2 – foreign government officials and dependents
  • B-1, B-2 – visitor for business or pleasure
  • E-1, E-2 – treaty traders/investors and dependents
  • F-1 – academic student
  • G-1, G-2 – representatives to international organizations and dependents
  • H-1B, H-1C, H-4 – temporary workers and dependents
  • J-1, J-2 – exchange visitors and dependents
  • K-1, K-2 – fiancé(e)s and spouses of US citizens and dependents
  • L-1, L-2 – intra-company transferees and dependents
  • O-1, O-2 – workers with extraordinary abilities and dependents
  • P-1, P-2 – artists, athletes and entertainers and dependents
  • Q-1, Q-2 – international cultural exchange visitors and dependents
  • R-1, R-2 – religious workers and dependents
  • S-1, S2 – witnesses/informants and dependents
  • T-1, T-2 – alien victims of human trafficking and dependents
  • U-1 U-2 – alien victims of certain crimes and dependents
  • V-1, V-2 – certain second preference beneficiaries and dependents

Section 2.03 Admissions – Adult Education Students

Procedures: Admissions – Adult Education Students – Procedures.

The Adult Education Program offers tuition-free, non-credit classes to students who want to:

  • Prepare to earn their high school equivalency degree by passing an examination such as the General Educational Development test (GED®) or High School Equivalency Test (HiSET®);
  • Learn English as a second language (ESL); and/or
  • Improve their basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics (Adult Basic Education – {ABE}).

Adult Education classes are open to students who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Complete an application online or in-person at a CCC college campus or satellite location.
  • Resident of Illinois (see Adult Education Students).
  • Are at least 18 years old. However, 16- and 17-year olds may register if they submit a document, such as a release form, letter, or transcript, certifying that they are no longer attending high school.
  • Do not hold an F-1 academic student or J-1 visa.
  • Do not hold a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate, unless they show a basic skills deficiency.

Section 2.04 Assessment & Placement – Credit Students

Procedures: Assessment & Placement – Credit Students – Procedures.

To ensure proper academic placement, first-time credit students are required to complete a placement exam or obtain a placement test waiver (see Placement Test Waivers) prior to registration. 

Students who have not completed a placement test or obtained a placement test waiver may enroll in a credit course which does not require a prerequisite, including courses that do not indicate ENGLISH 101 Composition eligibility as a requirement. However, students will not be permitted subsequent enrollment in courses which require a prerequisite without first completing a placement test or obtaining a placement test waiver.

  1. Students Placing in Foundational Studies Courses
    Only high school graduates or those who have successfully passed a high school equivalency examination may enroll in Foundational Studies courses. Students who place in Foundational Studies courses but have not graduated from high school or successfully passed a high school equivalency examination are required to enroll in Adult Education coursework. Students may self-certify high school or high school equivalency completion on the online admissions application, but all such students must submit one of the following documents to the Office of the Registrar prior to the first day of class:
    • High school diploma
    • Official high school transcript
    • High school equivalency certificate

      Students who do not submit one of the required documents prior to the first day of class will be referred to the Adult Education Department. Normal retesting policies apply.
  2. Placement Test Waivers
    Placement test waivers may be granted to students who have completed a placement measure in English and/or Math from any of the following:
    • Transfer Credit
      • Students who submit an official transcript from an approved accredited college or university showing successful completion of college level math, English (particularly ENGLISH 101 Composition/Freshman Composition), and reading with a grade of “C” or higher;
    • Associate degree or higher;
    • ACT or SAT test scores;
      • High school graduates who submit official and sufficiently high scores;
    • GED or HiSET score;
    • Transitional Math or Transitional English;
    • High School GPA;
      • High school grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 from an official high school transcript. ​
      • Cumulative GPA comprised of at least seven semesters; may be seventh-semester GPA or final high school GPA.
      • GPA from an accredited high school
      • GPA requirements are based on an unweighted 4.00 scale. If a GPA is submitted based on a different scale, it will be converted.
  • ​Transfer Developmental Educational English and Math
    • May be accepted for college level placement
    • Official transcripts from an approved accredited college or university with a grade of “C” or higher
  • Additional information on placement eligibility by waiver is outlined in procedures

Admission to CCC does not guarantee entrance into a particular course or program of study. Students will be given assessment and placement tests appropriate to their academic program/plan of choice; some academic programs/plans have special entrance requirements and procedures. Assessment and placement tests are used to determine the enrollment level in the program/plan of choice (in accordance with program/plan requirements).

Section 2.05 Assessment & Placement – International Students

  1. English Proficiency Requirement
    The City Colleges requires prospective F-1 academic students whose native language is not English to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL®) test ( and meet one of the following criteria (depending upon testing method):
    • 500 on the TOEFL written (paper and pencil) test
    • 61 on the Internet-based TOEFL test with at least 15 points in each category
    • 173 on the computerized TOEFL test

Prospective F-1 academic students may be waived from the TOEFL requirement if comparable proof of English proficiency is provided. This includes but is not limited to:

  • 5.5 overall score and at least 5.0 on each band score on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS™) ( exam
  • Submission of a U.S. college or university transcript showing satisfactory completion (grade “C” or better) in an English composition course
  • Completion of CCC placement test scoring into at least developmental English 98 and Reading 99 or its equivalent

The TOEFL test requirement will be waived when F-1 academic students originate from a country where English is the official language and English is their native language. F-1 academic students from the following countries are not required to submit proof of English proficiency:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua/Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • British Guyana
  • Canada (except Quebec)
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
  • Grenada
  • Guam
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica/other West Indies
  • Liberia
  • Montserrat
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • St. Helena
  • St. Kitts & Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Turks & Caico Isle
  • United Kingdom
  • Virgin Islands

The testing requirements of this rule may be waived by the College President upon the recommendation of the English Department Chair, providing the F-1 academic student has demonstrated proficiency in English as a foreign language.

Section 2.06 Assessment & Placement – Adult Education Students

Policy History: Assesment & Placement – Adult Education Students.
Procedures: Assessment & Placement – Adult Education Students – Procedures.

Prior to registering in Adult Education classes, students are required to take necessary placement examinations, which include CASAS and/or TABE. When Adult Education students complete a minimum of 40 instructional hours, students are required to take a post-test examination, CASAS and/or TABE. All students are also required to complete an outcome plan upon registration each year.

Section 2.07 Transfer Credit

Policy History: Transfer Credit.
Procedures: Transfer Credit – Procedures.

Official college transcripts are required as part of the admissions process for credential seeking students. CCC will only accept official undergraduate transcripts from institutions accredited from one of the following organizations:

  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

An official transcript is a transcript received directly from the issuing institution (whether on paper and still sealed in the envelope or a certified electronic copy) that is properly signed/authenticated. College transcripts that are more than one (1) year past the print date are not accepted.

All courses from other accredited institutions ( previously attended where a final grade of “C” (including grades of “C-”) or higher was earned will be evaluated for transferability and reflected on the student’s academic record when the credit is accepted. If accepted as satisfying degree requirements, transfer credits will be counted towards graduation subject to certain limits (see Graduation Requirements for Degrees).

Students should request their official transcripts be sent to the Office of the Registrar at their home college. Selective admission programs may require additional official transcript(s) go directly to the college the program is offered at.

Section 2.08 Military Credit

Procedures: Military Credit – Procedures.

  1. Process for Awarding Military Credit
    College credits may be granted for Armed Forces/military service experiences and Armed Forces schooling (Military Credit). American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations will be followed to the extent possible. ACE publishes evaluations and recommendations for credit for Ratings or Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) training. Decisions concerning acceptance  of military credit as equivalent to a CCC course will be reviewed and approved by a faculty member responsible for instruction in the appropriate academic discipline. Articulation decisions will be recorded in CCC’s student information system to ensure evaluation consistently for all veterans. When the curriculum of an articulated CCC course is updated, the military equivalencies will be reviewed and updated accordingly. Factors such as currency of course content will be considered when making or updating articulation decisions, for example, with regard to technology or medical courses or training.
  2. Graduation Requirements
    Military Credit shall not exceed sixty-seven percent (67%) of the total credits required for the academic program or plan in which the veteran/student enrolls. Student recipients of Military Credit are required to fulfill all normal graduation requirements, including residency requirements, for their academic program or plan (see Graduation Requirements for Degrees). Nothing in this military transfer credit policy should be construed otherwise.

Section 2.09 Credit for Prior Learning

Procedures: Credit for Prior Learning – Procedures.

College credit may be granted for prior learning (college-level learning) acquired outside the classroom. This prior learning is known as Credit for Prior Learning (CPL).

These learning experiences gained outside the classroom may include work experience, employer training, military training or military occupation experience, independent study/research, non-collegiate learning, professional certifications, civic activities, volunteer service, and more.

College credit may be granted for general education, specialized, or elective courses on the student record. Credit earned will not be included in Grade Point Average (GPA) calculations.


CPL credit may be granted to any CCC student, under the following guidelines:

  • Be admitted and enrolled at CCC
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Follow program’s residency requirements

Section 2.10 Credit by Standardized Examination/Testing

Policy History: Credit by Standardized Examination/Testing.
Procedures: Credit by Standardized Examination/Testing – Procedures.

College credit may be granted for college-level knowledge and skills acquired in certain high school courses and/or programs or acquired outside the classroom through evaluation by standardized tests. College credit may be granted for general education, specialized, or elective courses. Grades will not be awarded and credit earned will not be included in Grade Point Average (GPA) calculations. Testing fees may apply. Neither financial aid nor veterans education benefits is available for any credit awarded by evaluation/testing.

  1. College Credit for Certain High School Courses and/or Programs
    College credit may be granted through standardized examinations/tests for study completed in high school.
    • Advanced Placement Courses – high school students completing Advanced Placement (AP) courses and earning scores of 3 (Qualified), 4 (Well Qualified) or 5 (Extremely Well Qualified) on the College Board Advanced Placement Examinations will be awarded transfer credit for the equivalent college credit course. For more information about the Advanced Placement Program, please contact the Office of the Registrar.
    • International Baccalaureate Program
      • Effective March 8, 2017 and prior, high school students who have successfully completed the entire International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) and earned an IB Diploma will be awarded college-level credit if they receive a score of 4 or higher on their subject examinations. Students who do not hold an IB Diploma but have successfully completed an individual subject examination will be awarded college level credit for that subject if they achieve a score of 5 or higher.
      • Effective March 9, 2017, high school students who have successfully completed an individual subject examination will be awarded college level credit for that subject if they achieve a score of 4 or higher.
      • See International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit for courses equivalencies and other information.
    • Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy - As required by Illinois State Law, CCC recognizes the State Seal of Biliteracy and awards college credit to recipients of the Seal from Illinois High Schools that have been recognized as approved to award the State Seal by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
  2. College Credit by Standardized Examination
    A student may earn college credit by successfully completing one or more of the following examinations:

Section 2.11 Academic Amnesty

Policy History: Academic Amnesty
Procedures: Academic Amnesty – Procedures.

Effective January 1, 2018, academic amnesty provides a “second chance” for eligible students who earned “F” grade(s) earlier in their academic careers, but now wish to return to CCC to earn a degree or certificate.

  1. Eligibility
    • Students who have not enrolled and received a final grade in credit bearing coursework at CCC for five (5) or more consecutive calendar years (minimum 15 academic terms) may apply for academic amnesty.
    • Upon their return, students must complete at least one (1) term of credit bearing coursework (minimum 6 credit hours, excluding any development education coursework) and earn a term grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher calculated from their return to City Colleges. Academic amnesty will not be applied until this requirement is met. See Cumulative Grade Point Average for more information.
  2. Effect of Academic Amnesty
    If academic amnesty is granted, all college credit coursework (including development education coursework) with a final grade of “F” earned during the Amnesty Period (period prior to the five year break) will be removed from the student’s grade point average (GPA) calculations.
  3. Academic Amnesty Approval
    The Registrar at the college where the application is submitted will process, approve, and retain applications and update the academic records of approved applicants.
  4. Important Notes
    • Academic amnesty applies only to courses completed at the City Colleges of Chicago.
    • Courses for which academic amnesty is granted:
      • Remain a part of the student’s academic record; courses are not removed from the student’s record
      • Are marked with an academic amnesty indicator
      • Appear on the student’s official transcript along with an academic amnesty indicator
      • May not be applied to satisfy requirements of a CCC degree or certificate
    • The academic amnesty effective date will be recorded in the student’s academic record.
    • While academic amnesty benefits a student’s GPA, it has no effect on SAP GPA, Pace or Timeframe measures. See Satisfactory Academic Progress for more information.
    • Academic amnesty applies only to the City Colleges of Chicago. Students granted academic amnesty at CCC will be subject to the admissions policies of other institutions to which they may transfer after attending CCC.
    • Once submitted, an academic amnesty application may not be withdrawn or cancelled by the student. However, applications not approved in one (1) year from the submission date will be cancelled by the college. Students may reapply.
    • Academic amnesty may be granted to an applicant only once in his/her lifetime, regardless of the institutions attended, and is irreversible.
    • Coursework with a final grade of "F" completed prior to degree conferral is ineligible for Amnesty, as the final GPA has been approved and cannot be changed. 

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