In this section, you will find our admissions policy and learn how to attend as a non-matriculated student.
Applying to Niagara County Community College is the first step toward achieving the goal of a high-quality education. NCCC has an “open enrollment” admission policy to admit applicants who have graduated from an accredited high school or have a high school equivalency diploma. Students who have not completed high school will meet with an admissions advisor to discuss completing the high school equivalency at NCCC as well as other options.
Applicants who are accepted into the college must also meet any entrance requirements for the program to which they apply.
Applications to the college are accepted throughout the year until the semester begins, on a space available basis. Applications are considered on a first-come, first-serve basis (see curriculum information located in each program description), thus, early application is encouraged.
Application to the college are submitted online at www.niagaracc.suny.edu.
Admissions Categories and Application Process
Students entering NCCC are accepted under one of the following classifications:
A new student, referred to as a freshman, has no prior college experience as a matriculated (one enrolled in a credit-bearing certificate or degree program) student.
Definition of Terms
Curriculum - The set of courses leading to a degree or certificate.
Full-Time Students - Those registered for twelve (12) or more credit hours of study in a given semester.
Part-Time Students - Those registered for fewer than twelve (12) credit hours of study per semester.
Matriculation - The formal admission of a student into a degree or certificate program. Matriculation is granted when a student’s application is confirmed by a letter of acceptance from the college’s Office of Admissions. Loss of matriculation will occur if a student does not enroll in any credit bearing courses for at least one semester or more. Exceptions are noted in this catalog.
Resident - To claim residency for tuition, students must have lived in New York State for at least one year prior to the beginning of classes and in the current county for at least six months. Identification may be requested to prove residency. Acceptable IDs are student’s driver’s license, dated voter registration card, car registration, tax return, college or high school transcript, police ID, utility bill in student’s name, rent receipt or cancelled check in student’s name. Correspondence, such as a bank statement envelope, with a postmark that proves sufficient length of residence is also acceptable. Expired IDs are not acceptable.
A readmit student is one who previously attended NCCC in a matriculated status and who meets one of the following criteria:
- Attended previously in a matriculated status, but has interrupted enrollment for at least one semester;
- Was academically dismissed;
- Voluntarily withdrew from a matriculated status;
- Potential graduate who returned to NCCC in a different program in a consecutive semester;
- NCCC graduate in certificate or associate degree program continuing enrollment in a different academic major.
Readmit students who wish to continue their education at NCCC in a matriculated status must apply for readmission through the Admissions Office. Students who readmit to the college must follow the curriculum requirements at the time of readmission. Students who were academically dismissed and wish to readmit must file an academic appeal. For more information on academic dismissal policy and options for reinstatement, see Academic Policies & Services .
Readmit students must also complete prerequisites as required in their program of choice before an application can be accepted.
Some of our students who are in the attrition category found that they must “stop out” for a semester or two. Some of their reasons include financial considerations, family responsibilities, health concerns or other personal reasons. These students are welcomed back to campus whenever their circumstances permit, and many students do return.
A transfer student is one who has completed at least one course at another college. Official transcript(s) will be evaluated to determine if any credits are applicable to the certificate or degree program. A minimum of 50 percent of the credits required for the certificate or degree program must be completed at NCCC.
An official transcript can be obtained by student’s request from the Registrar’s Office at the previous college(s) attended. Transfer credits may be accepted for members of the U.S. Armed Forces by submitting a Certified DD214 form.
Final admission to the college is contingent upon the receipt of the following by the Office of Admissions:
- High school transcript or GED (Does not apply to non-high school degree applicants);
- Completion of prerequisites as required in the program of choice;
- Official college transcripts from any institution previously attended;
- Completion of college placement tests or exemption from testing. There is a testing fee;
- Record of immunization must be forwarded to the Wellness Center (C-122) before registration.
Applicants are encouraged to submit standardized test scores (eg., SAT or ACT) as part of the application process for admission. If submitted, these tests will be used only to determine if the student must take the college placement tests.
NCCC welcomes the opportunity to offer educational opportunities to students of different countries. Students can apply by using the SUNY foreign student application, available in the NCCC Admissions Office. The following documentation is required before admission can be granted:
- High school transcript and verification of graduation from an accredited high school;
- Autobiographical statement detailing the goals of the student and reasons for pursuing an education at NCCC;
- Assessment of English skills;
- TOEFL score of 500 minimum for applicants whose first language is not English;
- Certified bank statement of financial support equal to or greater than current tuition and living expenses estimated by the campus for one year.
Applications for international students must be received by August 1 for fall matriculation and December 15 for spring matriculation.
Applicants with Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential or IEP Diploma
A New York State Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential replaced the New York State Individual Education Program (IEP) diploma, effective July 1, 2013. Neither the (former) IEP diploma nor the Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential are acceptable for entrance into a program requiring high school graduation or a HSE (GED). Please see also APPLICANTS WITHOUT A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA.
Applicants Without a High School Diploma
Applicants who are interested in pursuing a certificate or degree but have not completed their high school requirements may enter the college as non-matriculated students pursuing a high school equivalency concentration.
Upon satisfactory evidence that a non-high school diploma holding student has successfully completed 24 credits as a student in the designated areas listed below, the student may apply to the New York State Education Department for issuance of a New York State High School Equivalency Diploma Based on Earned College Credit. The application and College Credit Certification Form for this diploma can be found at http://www.acces.nysed.gov/ged/college_credit.html. An official transcript of courses completed must be forwarded with these forms from NCCC to the State Education Department.
The 24 credits must be distributed as follows:
State Education Requirements
Writing/English Language Arts
ENG, LIT, SPE
BIO, CHE, PHY, or PHS
ANT, CRJ, ECO, HIS, HUS, GEO, PSC, PSY, or SOC
ART 101, FRE, GER, ITA, LIT, MUS 101, PHI, SLA, SPA or THA
Any courses required by your degree program.*
*Academic foundations courses, designated by the first digit 0 in the course number, do not apply toward this 24 credit requirement. Also, courses with AAC or GES prefix do not count toward this 24 credit requirement.
Because of the demands of college, this method of obtaining an equivalency diploma is most appropriate for persons at least 18 years of age who have experienced a break in their formal education.
However, in some cases the needs of younger students who possess the maturity and seriousness of purpose to succeed in college can be met. All applicants under 18 years of age must be recommended to the program by their high school counselor and must have successfully completed grade 10. Any applicant under 18 years of age must be approved by the Director of Admissions. All applicants must meet minimum placement assessment scores.
Note: Subject to standard tuition and fees and is not eligible to receive financial aid. Financial aid may become available once the student is awarded and the college receives the high school equivalency diploma. See Tuition and Fees Section of the College Catalog.
Home-Schooled Students Admission
Under New York State law an institution of higher education may admit, as matriculated students, only persons who have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent. Because of this requirement, the State University of New York has established a specific admissions policy for home-schooled students. The purpose of the policy is to ensure that home-schooled students are treated fairly yet in accordance with the requirements of the state and federal law. The policy set forth below deals exclusively with the criteria for eligibility to be considered as an applicant for admission to either a state-operated campus or a community college under the program of the State University of New York. Once eligibility for consideration is established, the applicant also must meet any campus-specific admissions requirements (i.e., high school grade-point average, SAT I, ACT, SAT II scores, essay, letters of reference, extracurricular activities).
Applicants Beyond the Age of Compulsory Attendance
Maximum compulsory school attendance age is reached when the student has completed the school year in which he or she turned 16 or such older maximum age as the board of education of the school district may designate for required school attendance pursuant to section 3205(3) of Education Law.
Home-schooled students will be eligible for further consideration as applicants for admission to matriculated status if they can provide either 1) a letter from the superintendent of the school district in which the student resides, attesting to the student’s completion of a program of home instruction meeting the requirements of Section 100.10 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and section 3.47(a) of Rules of the Board of Regents attesting to the student’s completion of a program of home instruction that is the substantial equivalent of a four-year high school course of instruction sample letter or 2) passing score on the general comprehensive examination for the state high school equivalency diploma (and the diploma itself when available). When the student has reached the maximum compulsory school attendance age, he or she is eligible to take the state high school equivalency diploma test. A student may not take the equivalency test until July 1 of the year in which he or she turned 16.
A diploma issued by a correspondence school that is not accredited or registered in New York State is not acceptable as the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma.
Applicants Under the Age of Compulsory Attendance
These home-schooled students will be eligible for consideration as applicants for admission to matriculated status only if the student can provide a letter from the school district in which the student resides attesting to the student’s completion of a program of home instruction that is the substantial equivalent of a four-year high school course of instruction and meets the requirements of Section 100.10 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and section 3.47(a) of the Rules of the Board of Regents.
Students in the above mentioned category will be required to take the college’s placement tests in math, reading and writing.
Admission of Persons with Disciplinary Dismissals (NOT Academic)
The college’s admissions application form includes mandatory questions regarding dismissal from college for disciplinary reasons. An affirmative response will not automatically prevent admission, but you will be asked to provide additional information. This information will be reviewed by campus personnel to ensure campus safety. Any falsification or omission of data may result in a denial of admission, or disciplinary action.
Applicants who have been dismissed from an institution of higher learning for disciplinary (non-academic) reasons must provide official transcripts and records from all previously attended college(s), proof of high school completion, and a letter of recommendation from the Dean of Students or an administrative official from the institution.
Applications must be received and completed 60 days prior to the start of the semester. Contact the Admissions Office for more information.
Persons with prior Felony convictions: State University of New York (SUNY) policy prohibits SUNY Niagara County Community College admission applications from inquiring into an applicant’s prior criminal history. After acceptance, the College shall inquire if the student previously has been convicted of a felony if such individual seeks campus housing or participation in clinical or field experiences, internships or study abroad programs. The information required to be disclosed under SUNY policy regarding such felony convictions shall be reviewed by a standing campus committee consistent with the legal standards articulated in New York State Corrections Law.
Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. Students who have concerns about such matters are advised to contact the division office of their intended academic program.
Early Admissions Program
The Early Admissions Program is designed to provide an opportunity for qualified high school students to begin taking college-level courses before completing high school graduation and, with school permission, as fulfillment of high school graduation requirements. To be eligible for the program, students must have completed 10th grade. Two routes may be employed in applying for early admissions.
Plan A is designed for students who plan to take college courses rather than attend traditional high school courses. To apply under this method:
- The high school counselor and student must meet to discuss plans for early admission and determine if college courses could be used to fulfill high school graduation requirements. A letter of recommendation will be needed from the high school counselor for a student seeking early admission.
- The student will complete an NCCC admission application or a SUNY common application form.
- If the student uses an NCCC admission application, he/she must request a personal appointment with admissions personnel and bring a student copy of his/her high school transcript.
If a SUNY application is used, the high school counselor will complete the appropriate portion of the SUNY common application form. A copy of the student’s transcript bearing a notation that the student is applying under the Early Admissions Program must be included.
- The student is responsible for requesting an official transcript be sent from the college’s Registrar to the high school counselor upon completion of courses.
Plan B is designed for the student who will be attending classes at the college on a part-time basis as well as high school. The directions for application under this method are:
- The high school counselor and student must meet to discuss plans for early admission and determine if college courses could be used to fulfill high school graduation requirements.
- The high school counselor will use the early admissions recommendation form to submit the applicant’s eligibility for participation in the program to the Office of Admissions.
- The student should contact the Office of Admissions to arrange for an appointment with admissions personnel to discuss course selection and registration procedure.
- The student is responsible for requesting that an official transcript be sent from the college registrar to the high school guidance counselor upon completion of courses.
Note: A student is not eligible for financial aid if he/she is registered simultaneously at NCCC and high school. Early admit students are not eligible for enrollment in the College Acceleration Program (CAP) classes.
High School Articulation Agreements
Articulation agreements seek to strengthen career pathways by supporting degree completion and facilitating a seamless transfer of college-level courses for high school graduates who desire to pursue a degree at NCCC.
In some instances, a high school course’s content has been evaluated and determined to be equivalent to college level. When planning to transfer approved high school coursework to college courses with academic credits awarded, an articulation agreement is in place to evaluate the inclusion of content and assessment as being college or advance-level content and a minimum grade is required.
Through the College Acceleration Program (CAP) of Niagara County Community College, students can experience college-level work before they’ve left high school. CAP is a concurrent enrollment program, a cooperative agreement of the State University of New York (SUNY), colleges, and high schools that allows high school students to take college classes in their high schools for both high school and college credit.
By taking college courses in high school, students can learn about college culture and expectations, showing that students have what it takes to succeed. Additional benefits may include:
- Saving money by reducing future college costs (through earning college credit while still in high school)
- Showing college admissions officers the seriousness of junior and senior year in high school
- Graduating from college earlier by starting now
- Lightening the first- or second-semester course load in college and relieving some pressure and stress in the first year
- Having the time to take more electives in college, earn a double major, do a special work internship, or spend a semester traveling abroad by starting early in high school
- THE DISCOUNTED COST PER CREDIT FOR EARNING COLLEGE CREDITS WHILE AT YOUR HIGH SCHOOL FOR 2019-2020 WAS $76.00. The fee for 2020-2021 is still to be determined.
College Placement Testing Requirements for Matriculated Students
The college assesses writing, reading, and mathematical skills of all applicants to determine appropriate course placement and support services. Applicants will be waived from one or more tests and/or placed in appropriate courses based on the NCCC ENGLISH/READING WAIVERS AND COURSE PLACEMENT and the NCCC MATH WAIVERS AND PLACEMENT charts. Students who do not meet chart criteria will be sent information to take one or more on line placement tests. If it is determined that there is a need for foundation courses, they must be taken during the first semester of attendance and in successive semesters until completed satisfactorily. Foundation courses do not count toward earned credit hours for graduation requirements. Demonstrated competence (successful completion of all three placement tests, exemption due to prior coursework, or completion of required foundation coursework) is a graduation requirement as well as a prerequisite to enrollment in specific courses. Students who are required to take two or three foundation courses are limited to no more than 14 credit hours. For further information on testing, contact the Testing Center at 614-6728. A student with a disability may request testing accommodations by providing supporting documentation to the Accessibility Services Coordinator in the Office of Student Development. Such arrangements must be made before scheduling a testing appointment.
Cross-registration is intended to promote timely degree completion by providing student access to courses at other SUNY campuses while they are enrolled at their home campus. Niagara County Community College participates in a Western New York Consortium Agreement and a SUNY Cross-Registration Agreement whereby matriculated students in good academic standing may cross-register for coursework at another participating institution.
Participating institutions make their own policies regarding admittance of cross-registered students, so students must check with the institution they will be cross-registering with. All SUNY institutions are included in cross-registration. Click here to obtain a list of participating institutions within the WNY Consortium Agreement, along with important dates and further details.
A home campus is the institution of the student’s primary registration/matriculation. A host campus is the institution that provides instruction to a matriculated student registered at a home campus.
For NCCC students seeking to cross-register elsewhere:
- Students may cross-register only for degree applicable coursework when an equivalent course is not available at NCCC, the enrollment capacity has been reached in all NCCC offerings, or the course is available but conflicts with another required course which would result in increased time to degree. Requests based on non-academic conflicts will not be approved.
- Coursework taken through cross-registration MUST be transferred back to NCCC and applicable toward a degree/certificate program.
- Cross-registration is available for spring and fall terms only.
- Students must be matriculated and in good academic standing.
- Study abroad courses are excluded from cross-registration.
- Students cross-registering at a SUNY school must be enrolled at NCCC for at least six (6) credits. NCCC students cross-registering at a WNY Consortium school must be enrolled full-time at NCCC.
- Students will not be approved for cross-registration if there is a hold on their record that prevents registration at NCCC.
- Students cross-registering at another SUNY institution may cross-register for up to six (6) credit hours. Students participating in the WNY Consortium may cross-register for one course with a max of four (4) credit hours. Also, the total credit load (including NCCC and cross-registered courses) cannot exceed eighteen (18) credits.
- Enrollment at another community college requires proof of permanent residency in New York State for 12 months. Individual counties may have additional residency requirements. Students should check with the community college’s Bursar’s (Cashier’s) Office for further details.
- All course-related fees in excess of tuition remain a student responsibility (e.g., lab fees, distance learning fees, supplies, etc.). These fees are not covered in the cross-registration agreement.
- Students who register for coursework other than what was approved may be charged by the other institution. Likewise, students cross-registering at NCCC will be charged by NCCC if they register for coursework other than that for which they were approved.
- The host campus may have restrictions on cross-registering students enrolling in certain courses.
- Students wishing to drop or withdraw from their coursework at host campus must follow that campus’s rules and deadlines.
- Cross-registered coursework taken elsewhere is evaluated for acceptance as transfer credit. NCCC’s limit on transfer credits applies.
- Students must have proper approval of both NCCC and the host campus to finalize registration. Students are responsible for ensuring that the coursework meets the requirements for the degree. If students change their majors, the cross-registered courses may fail to count toward degree requirements.
- Even if students have the permission of the instructors, or have satisfied all pre-requisites/co-requisites necessary for enrollment at the host campus, they must still complete the registration process through the appropriate offices at the host campus to be officially registered. Students are responsible for registration.
- Registration dates and deadlines vary by host campus. Students are responsible for contacting the host campus for registration-related dates and deadlines.
Non-NCCC students seeking to cross-register at NCCC:
- Cross-registration is only available for spring and fall terms.
- Cross-registration is available upon the first day of non-matriculated registration as published in the Important Dates document. Courses may be closed to cross-registrants because of space limitations.
- Students are responsible for ensuring that prerequisites and enrollment requirements are met.
- Students must prove permanent residency in New York State for 12 months and Niagara County for the 6 months prior to the start of the semester, and the student must provide a Certificate of Residency (COR) certificate if the student’s residency is outside of Niagara County, but in New York State. All out-of-county residents must supply a certificate of residence to the NCCC Cashier’s Office in order to have the out-of-county charge waived. If the student is unable or unwilling to provide a COR, NCCC may charge the student a higher tuition rate, up to a maximum of the rate charged to non-NYS students.
Students’ submission of the Cross-Registration Agreement is considered approval for the host campus to automatically release grades/transcripts to their home campus at the end of the semester. This also permits the home campus and host campus to communicate regarding their academic and financial records.
Students’ submission of the Cross-Registration Agreement also indicates their agreement to abide by all regulations imposed by the host campus. In addition, the host campus may apply rules and regulations to incoming students as they deem necessary (e.g., restrictions on classes). Students must be aware of those rules before they cross-register.
Enrollment changes may impact students’ eligibility for financial aid for the current term and/or future terms. Students must consult the Financial Aid Office regarding academic eligibility for financial aid, including satisfactory academic progress standards before making any changes to their schedules. They are required to notify the NCCC Registration and Records Office and the host campus within five (5) business days if their enrollment status changes. Changes in enrollment may impact their financial aid and may result in tuition and fees being due to NCCC. Students may become liable for tuition if they make enrollment changes.
Any health (immunization/records/physical exam, etc.) requirements must be met at BOTH campuses, even if they differ. Students failing to meet these requirements may be liable for tuition and fees.
Cross-registered students who register prior to published dates will not be honored as cross-registered students and the tuition will not be deferred. A cross-registration application CANNOT be backdated for a previously enrolled course. If a student does not submit the cross-registration form at the time of registration, the student will be billed for the course.
Currently NCCC has cross-registration agreements with the following colleges/universities:
- All SUNY institutions
- Canisius College
- Daemen College
- D’Youville College
- Hilbert College
- Houghton College
- Medaille College
- Niagara University
- Saint Bonaventure University
- Trocaire College
- Villa Maria College
Attending as a Non-Matriculated Student
An individual may take courses at the college as a non-matriculated student who is not seeking a certificate or degree from NCCC. Students may also enter on a non-matriculated basis if they are not prepared to matriculate. Non-matriculated students are not required to have graduated from high school or possess a high school equivalency diploma. Non-matriculated students are not eligible for financial aid. Contact the Registration and Records Office to enroll or review the website information.
Non-matriculated students are required to pass college placement tests before enrolling in courses that require the assessments as a prerequisite. All other prerequisites must also be met. If a prerequisite course was taken at another institution, an unofficial transcript or grade mailer proving successful completion will be a sufficient waiver.
A student whose high school class has not yet graduated and/or is under the age of 16 who wishes to take classes at Niagara County Community College as a non-matriculated student must have the Non-matriculated Application signed by a parent and/or legal guardian
A minor student’s enrollment in any college course constitutes an agreement by that student to complete all class assignments without special consideration being given because of age.
Applicants with previous felony convictions need to complete a separate packet of materials including a questionnaire regarding criminal and rehabilitative history. A letter of recommendation is also required from the applicant’s probation or parole officer (or character reference if parole/probation is not appropriate). The application must be completed and submitted 60 calendar days prior to the start of the semester.
Dual Admissions Program
The NCCC Dual Admissions is a special transfer program developed in conjunction with the following four-year colleges and universities: Bryant & Stratton, Canisius College, D’Youville College, Daemen College, Empire State College, Franklin University, Hilbert College, Medaille College, Niagara University, SUNY College at Brockport, SUNY College at Buffalo, SUNY College at Fredonia, the University of Buffalo, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Upstate Medical University and Utica College of Syracuse University. (Additional colleges will be added to the Dual Admissions program in the near future). Students must apply prior to the completion of 30 credits. They are granted guaranteed admission to the four-year college upon graduation with an associate’s degree in the appropriate NCCC curriculum. After receiving their associate’s degree, students will enter with junior status and all credits will transfer (according to the appropriate curriculum guide). For further information contact the Student Development Department or review agreements at www.niagaracc.suny.edu.
Advantages to a Dual Admissions agreement include early registration and guaranteed acceptance to the four-year college if terms and conditions of the agreement are met.
The requirements to participate in the Dual Admissions program are as follows:
- Student must be a first-time college student;
- Student must graduate from NCCC;
- Student must maintain an academic GPA required at colleges listed above;
- Student must apply for Dual Admissions prior to the completion of 30 credits.
To discuss this Dual Admissions program, please contact the Student Development Department at 716-614-6490.
SUNY Transfer Guarantee
An opportunity to continue full-time study at a four-year State University of New York college is guaranteed to all New York residents who transfer directly from NCCC with an AA or an AS degree. Acceptance to a specific college or academic program is not guaranteed. Strict deadlines and other rules are enforced to qualify for this program. For further information, contact the Student Development Department.
Another option that provides an effective transfer route is called an articulation agreement. Articulation agreements confirm that participating colleges agree on course equivalences for individual majors. NCCC has over 100 articulation agreements with colleges and universities across the country.