General Admission to the College
Individuals are eligible for admission to the College if they are high school graduates or the equivalent, or if they are eighteen years of age or older and able to benefit academically from study at the community college, as demonstrated by assessment in reading, writing and mathematics.
All students must submit a completed application to Enrollment Services using the online application available at apply.vccs.edu. The applicant’s Social Security number is required to receive select services from the College.
The College reserves the right to evaluate and document special cases and to refuse or revoke admission if the College determines that the applicant poses a threat, is a potential danger, is significantly disruptive to the College community or if such refusal or revocation is in the best interest of the College. The College also reserves the right to refuse admission for applicants that have been expelled or suspended from, or determined to be a threat, potential danger or significantly disruptive, by another college. Students whose admission is revoked after enrollment must be given due process. Procedures for general admissions denials are located at laurelridge.edu/current-students/.
Students who indicate that they have been dismissed and/or suspended from a previous college/university must send a letter of request for admission to this college to the Dean of Students. Contact the Enrollment Services Office at (540) 868-7110 for additional information on admission requirements.
Students in “good academic standing” who have not been enrolled for a period of three years (nine consecutive terms) seeking readmission must submit a new “Application for Admission” prior to registration.
A student who applies for admission but does not enroll in classes within one year (three consecutive terms) must submit a new “Application for Admission” prior to registration.
Readmission to a Degree or Certificate Program
Students seeking readmission to a restricted program or with specific admission criteria in addition to general admission requirements must consult with the specific program for detailed readmission requirements. Students seeking readmission to non-restricted programs after one year of non-attendance will not need to reapply for admission reapply for admission to the program; however, student should check to see if the program requirements have changed since last attendance. The new catalog year may benefit the returning student.
The student is responsible for maintaining a correct address and telephone number online in their student center or with Enrollment Services. In all cases requiring student notification, the student will be considered notified if the College uses the most current information found in the Student Information System.
Placement Testing Requirements
Students must demonstrate readiness for college-level English and math courses, via one of the following means and measures:
- Any student who has earned an associate degree or higher or who has earned a C or better in college-level courses in math and/or English at a regionally accredited institution will be exempt from placement testing provided they meet the prerequisites for the respective courses in their chosen program of study.
- Any student who has successfully completed developmental courses at a VCCS institution will be exempt from placement testing in those areas.
- Any student who has successfully completed developmental courses at a non-VCCS institution will have their coursework evaluated for placement.
- A student may submit a high school/homeschool transcript or an approved test score for placement evaluation. Seniors who have not yet graduated may submit a transcript as of the completion of their first semester of their senior year to determine readiness for placement into college-level courses for the purpose of early admission. Transcripts, SAT and ACT scores should be evaluated by an academic advisor or career coach to determine if placement testing will be required.
- Any student who is not placed by the above criteria will take the Virginia Placement Test, or ESL-specific test, as appropriate. Students have the option to take the Virginia Placement Test in order to improve their placement standing after other measures are considered. Such placement test scores will not be used to place a student in a lower English or math course than indicated by other criteria, unless the student desires a lower placement.
For students who are required to take the placement test, results of these tests are used to help students and advisors determine appropriate course selection. Students whose scores indicate specific needs may be required to enroll and successfully complete skills improvement courses prior to college coursework. Electronic study materials are available on the testing center website at laurelridge.edu/testing. Placement testing at the Middletown and Fauquier Campuses is available on a walk-in basis, no appointment required. Placement testing at the Luray-Page County Center is available by appointment only. Photo identification is required.
One of the following photo IDs must be provided:
- Valid driver’s or learner’s license
- Passport or U.S. issued Visa
- Photo ID from D.M.V.
- U.S. military ID
- Laurel Ridge ID
- Current high school ID
- Permanent Residency Card
Students should attend New Student Welcome Day, held before classes begin. This event gives new students the opportunity to become familiar with the College and its resources.
New Student Registration
Those students wishing to pursue degrees/certificates at Laurel Ridge Community College are required to complete orientation and complete a new student advising session. The process provides students the opportunity to:
- Determine if placement testing is required,
- Learn about college programs, services, and resources,
- Discuss educational/career interests,
- Determine and plan curricular needs,
- Register for classes
Students should attend New Student Welcome Events, held before classes begin. These events give new students the opportunity to become familiar with the College and its resources.
Admission to an Academic Program of Study
Apart from the general admission requirements for acceptance by the College, some curricula have additional requirements for admission; these are listed under laurelridge.edu/pathways. Admission to the College does not guarantee admission to credit programs with restricted enrollments or competitive admissions requirements. Students are advised to consult with their academic advisor to discuss their educational interests and the requirements for admission to specific curricula. Students who do not meet all program admission requirements may be placed in another appropriate curriculum or be considered non-curricular while completing prescribed developmental courses or other course prerequisites.
Changing Academic Programs
As students proceed in their studies, they may decide to change their program or curriculum. Students are required to make an appointment with their assigned advisor to discuss program changes.
Admission to Health Professions Programs
Students must apply for admission to health professions programs in addition to applying for admission to the College. Admission requirements and application materials are available through the Health Professions Division. Specific requirements are in this catalog for each program.
When enrollments must be limited for any curriculum, priority shall be given to all qualified applicants who are residents of the political subdivisions supporting the College and to Virginia residents not having access to a given program at their local community college, provided such students apply for admission to the program prior to registration or by a deadline established by the College. In addition, residents of localities with which the College has clinical-site or other agreements may receive equal consideration for admission.
Special Admission Enrollment
Dual enrollment is a program that enables high school students to earn college credit while still in high school. Dual enrollment is for juniors and seniors and exceptional freshman and sophomore students. All students are required to meet admission criteria and any course prerequisites. Home school students must provide a copy of the home school agreement signed by the local school division and copies of standardized test scores to verify grade level status. Documentation of parental permission is required for all dual enrolled students.
Students interested in dual enrollment should contact their high school director of counseling or career coach. Home school students may contact the Early College Office for information. Please visit Laurel Ridge’s home page and click on Future Students to learn more about the procedures to enroll. Laurel Ridge works in cooperation with all area public high schools, governor’s schools, and some private schools in the region to provide dual enrollment opportunities.
Admissions Requirements for International Students
Laurel Ridge is authorized under Federal Law to enroll non-immigrant alien students.
In addition to the general admission requirements of the College, all international applicants must submit documentation of eligibility to the Enrollment Services Office prior to registering for classes. Students in the United States on certain temporary visas may be denied admission or restricted to part-time study that is vocational or recreational and does not lead to a professional or educational objective.
Non-immigrant students holding or seeking F1 status may obtain the necessary forms and instructions for applying for an I-20 from the Enrollment Services Office or the Laurel Ridge website. Non-immigrant students with a visa status other than F1 must contact the Enrollment Services Office to determine admission eligibility and/or limitations. An international student holding a F1 visa that has attended another college may be eligible for admission to Laurel Ridge as a transfer student. For additional information regarding F1 transfer applications contact the Enrollment Services Office.
For specific information regarding application deadlines and requirements please visit the Enrollment Services Office or the Laurel Ridge website: laurelridge.edu/international-students/.
Senior Citizens Higher Education Program
Eligible Virginia senior citizens (residents 60 years of age or older who have had their legal domicile in Virginia for one year or more) may enroll in courses for academic credit, full or part time, and pay no tuition if their Virginia taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed $23,850. They may audit credit courses or enroll in noncredit courses regardless of income level. No fees will be charged, except for course materials, such as laboratory fees.
For professional development courses, a percentage of the tuition may be charged.
Senior citizens are required to complete an application for admission. They will be accepted in a course after all full and part-time students who are paying regular tuition fees have been accommodated, on a space-available basis, unless they have completed 75 percent of the requirements necessary for a degree. At such time, senior citizens can enroll in courses at the same time as other tuition-paying students. Interested persons should contact the Enrollment Services Office.
Transfer Credit Policy (Credit for Prior Learning)
Transfer of Credit from Other Postsecondary Institutions
Credit may be transferred only from colleges and universities that (a) are accredited by the Commission on Colleges or the Commission on Higher Education of the regional accreditation associations, such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or (b) conform to the requirements published in the Transfer of Credit Practices of Designated Educational Institutions by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). Credits earned at other postsecondary institutions either before or after admission to the college are reviewed and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Credit may also be transferred from international postsecondary institutions, local examinations, standardized examinations such as College Level Examination Program (CLEP), DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST) of the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES), Excelsior Credit by Exam (ECE), the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB), Advanced Placement (AP) program, Cambridge Advanced (A/AS) examinations, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, and the Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT). Credit may be granted for prior learning for non-collegiate education, training, and/or occupational experiences as recommended by college faculty, the American Council on Education (ACE), the National College Credit Recommendation Service, or another college-approved organization. Credit by Experiential Learning is also a means of achieving advanced standing.
The VCCS is dedicated to giving individuals an opportunity for the continuing development and extension of skills and knowledge, along with the prospect to increase an awareness of his or her role and responsibility to society.
In an effort not to exclude any Virginia resident from the opportunities offered by Laurel Ridge, the State Board for Community Colleges has consistently maintained tuition and fees at the lowest possible level. Laurel Ridge realizes that any tuition or fee may represent a barrier to those wishing to pursue further education. The College has funds available to help students needing financial assistance. (See the Financial Assistance section). The College may be able to assist in providing funds for tuition, books and other expenses for students who qualify.
Payment of tuition and fees enables students to use the libraries, bookstores, parking lots, student centers and other facilities of the College. Students are required to pay charges for any college property they damage or lose (such as laboratory or shop equipment, supplies, library books and materials).
Eligibility for In-state Tuition Rates
Laurel Ridge makes an initial determination of a student’s eligibility for in-state tuition rates based on the information provided by the applicant and/or the applicant’s parent, legal guardian, or spouse in the online application for admission.
Eligibility is determined by using State Council of Higher Education guidelines pertaining to Section 23-7.4 of the Code of Virginia. To be eligible for in-state tuition, a student (or in the case of an unemancipated minor or dependent student, the parent or legal guardian) must have lived in Virginia for at least one year prior to the start of the semester for which in-state tuition is sought.
Domicile is a technical term or legal concept often used to refer to eligibility for in-state tuition. It means more than just living in Virginia. A student must also demonstrate through clear and convincing evidence the intent to remain in Virginia indefinitely. Demonstration of intent is usually accomplished through objective evidence.
A student under the age of 24 generally assumes the domicile of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) unless the student has been legally emancipated or meets criteria for independent student status.
Additional information about eligibility may be obtained from Enrollment Services. Please direct all inquiries concerning admission requirements to:
Laurel Ridge Community College
173 Skirmisher Lane
Middletown, VA 22645-1745
(800) 906-5322, Ext. 7105 (toll free)
(540) 868-7005 (fax)
Web site address: laurelridge.edu
Tuition Appeal Process
Any applicant denied in-state tuition has the right to appeal according to the following process:
- A member of Enrollment Services will make the initial determination.
- Upon appeal, an intermediate review will be conducted by the Registrar.
- Final administrative review will be made by a Domicile Appeals Committee.
Additional information regarding the domicile appeal process is available in the student handbook and from Enrollment Services.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition and fees are set by the State Board for Community Colleges and are subject to change. Consult the College’s Web site for current fee information at laurelridge.edu/affording-college/.
Tuition may be paid with cash, personal checks, money orders, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or Visa credit cards or the Nelnet interest-free payment plan. The preferred method of payment is online using credit cards, e checks, or savings account. Tuition paid by check or by credit card should be for the exact amount. The college is not permitted to cash checks or give change for checks written for an amount greater than that due for tuition and fees. Students enrolling in two or more community colleges simultaneously pay tuition at each college based on their status at either college. Separate payment is required for bookstore purchases; one payment cannot be accepted for both tuition and books.
Each student who enrolls at Laurel Ridge must meet his or her financial obligations to the College before transcripts, certificates, or degrees will be issued to the student. A student with delinquent accounts will be withdrawn, refused admittance to classes, precluded from registering for a course(s) or subject to civil court action. Students with special circumstances need to contact the financial aid office or the budget and financial services office regarding their situation.
Specific programs or courses may have additional fees. Students should consult the specific program or course documents for details.
An auxiliary fee will be charged to all students despite their learning platform. Every student has access to all campus facilities (fitness center, library, student lounge, testing center, etc.) and therefore have the potential to utilize campus parking lots. The College charges an auxiliary fee per semester to maintain and repair existing parking areas, which includes paving, painting, lighting repairs, security, and other associated costs. The auxiliary fee is subject to change and can be found at laurelridge.edu/affording-college/.
Students are expected to obtain their books, supplies and consumable materials needed for their studies.
Student Activity Fee
A student activity fee supports student events and programs. Funds in this account are spent only for student activities, subject to the review of the College administration. The College Board is responsible for the operation and control of these funds under the specific methods and procedures established by the State Board for Community Colleges and approved by the state auditor.
A student activity fee is charged to all students taking classes. Student activity fees fund various student activities and events throughout the school year. This fee is subject to change and can be found at laurelridge.edu/affording-college/.
Administration and Collection Charges
Past due accounts may be charged one percent per month, 12 percent per year, administrative and collection fee. The College utilizes a collection agency to assist in the collection of past due amounts. Costs of all collection efforts are passed to the debtor. Past due accounts sent to a collection agency are assessed an additional collection charge by the collection company. Laurel Ridge participates in the Set-Off Debt Collection Program. This program permits the College to collect past due amounts from its debtors’ by appropriating an individual’s Virginia tax refunds and lottery winnings.
Dishonored or Insufficient Funds Checks
A service charge of $35.00 is assessed for any check dishonored by a student’s bank. Student accounts must be cleared immediately for the College to continue to provide service.
Students shall be eligible for a refund for those credit hours dropped by the “last date to qualify for a refund” date as noted in the Academic Calendar. To be eligible for a refund, a student must log into their MyLaurelRidge account to drop a course by the refund deadline date. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of all deadline dates listed in the Academic Calendar. After the drop period has passed, there shall be no refunds, unless exceptional circumstances exist.
Under exceptional circumstances, Laurel Ridge can grant tuition refund/debt removals for students who withdraw after the final drop date. Refund/debt removals are guided by Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Policy 22.214.171.124 Exceptional Cases Caused by VCCS or the College.
These have been defined as the following:
- Administrative error
- Extreme financial hardship involving sudden, unforeseen loss
- Major medical emergency of extraordinary circumstances
- Death of an immediate family member
- National emergency or mobilization declared by the President of the United States
- Other highly unusual emergency or extenuating circumstance as determined by the College.
NOTE: A change in the mode of instruction is not considered an exceptional circumstance.
To be eligible for a refund under any of the above circumstances, a student must complete the drop procedure within the Student Information System. After the drop date, a student needs to complete a withdrawal in MyLaurelRidge. It is recommended that the student meet with an academic advisor to complete the process.
Tuition refund requests must be initiated no later than the end of the subsequent academic semester in which the refund request is requested. Questions regarding refunds should be directed to the Business Office. For more information on how to submit an appeal, go to laurelridge.edu/policies.
Students are expected to attend all of their regularly scheduled classes. Faculty are responsible for attendance records and all matters related to attendance in his/her classes. Attendance is defined as participating as required by the course syllabus (e.g., participation in a discussion board for an online course, being present at a designated work site for an internship, etc.).
Attendance/Administrative Deletion Policy
It is the policy of Laurel Ridge that any student who has enrolled in a traditional, in-person course, but does not attend a minimum of one class meeting by the College census date (add/drop date) for the semester (as published by the Office of the Registrar), shall be administratively deleted from the course. For online learning and hybrid courses, students must participate in one responsive activity by the same date to avoid administrative deletion from the class roster. The Office of the Registrar will issue notification letters to all students that are administratively deleted. It will be the student’s responsibility to notify Enrollment Services if the deletions were done in error and/or if the student wants to be reinstated in the class. This administrative deletion will not entitle the student to any refund in full or in portion.
Instructors will be required to take attendance throughout the entirety of the semester, submit an Attendance Verification Roster listing the student(s) that need to be administratively deleted at Census Date, and report the last date of attendance for any student receiving an “F,” “U,” or “R” on the Course Final Grade Roster. The course syllabus will reflect that attendance will be monitored. To see the full policy, go to laurelridge.edu/policies/.
Laurel Ridge is committed to using all available funds to help students gain access to a college education. Financial aid is usually awarded based on financial need but can be awarded based on merit or a combination of factors.
Assistance is available through a variety of federal, state, and institutional programs. For a complete list of financial aid available see laurelridge.edu/financial-aid/.
How to Apply for Federal & State Financial Aid
Students applying for aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). See laurelridge.edu/financial-aid/ to apply. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible after Oct. 1 of each year. The priority application deadline is June 1. Information concerning financial aid at Laurel Ridge is available at the Financial Aid Office or on the college’s Web site at laurelridge.edu/financial-aid/. Students must have a high school diploma, a GED or have completed a homeschool program to be eligible to receive financial aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients
Students are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress to receive and continue receiving aid. The U.S. Department of Education has established a series of standards that define all of the satisfactory academic progress (SAP). For full Satisfactory Academic Progress details, see laurelridge.edu/financial-aid/.
Financial Aid Repayment
If students drop a class and financial aid has already been disbursed to their account, a debt may be incurred to Laurel Ridge if an overpayment occurs for a change in enrollment status. Additionally, students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60 percent of a payment period may be required to pay back some or all of the financial aid. These policies are effective only if the student completely terminates enrollment or stops attending all their classes before completing more than 60 percent of the enrollment period. For more information, see Repayment Policy at laurelridge.edu/financial-aid/.