Questions & Answers

What Tennessee Transfer Pathways does Vol State offer?
Check the Tennessee Transfer Pathway page for Vol State to see our most current offerings.
How much does it cost to take a class?
The Business Office has information on tuition and fees that may be relevant to you.
How do I register?
The short answer is use My VolState, but if you need assistance the Advising 
Is there an application deadline?
We recommend that you have your application on file by a certain date for each term. Vol State does not have an application deadline; however the earlier your application is received, the sooner we will be able to process that application and begin your registration process.
When is it too late to register for classes?
You may register for classes up to three days after classes begin for the full session in the fall and spring semesters and two days for the shorter sessions and in the summer without instructor or division chairperson approval. Any registration after the two-day drop/add period will require a signature by the division chairperson. To find out the first day of class for each session check our Important Dates pages.
I have been a student here before. Are my records still accessible?
Your grades and previous classes will still be on file and included in your transcript. You will not need to fill out another application; however you need to complete a readmission application. . For more information on the web, check our Returning Students page.
Am I required to take the ACT or a placement test?
Degree-Seeking students age 21 and under are required to take the ACT or SAT; and students over the age of 21 will be required to take the ACT Compass placement test. If you have taken the ACT/SAT and the scores are below college-level requirements or more than 3 years old, you will take the ACT Compass and then be placed in the appropriate class level. Students may be required to take remedial or developmental level courses based on test scores. For more information, please contact our Counseling & Testing Office at (615) 230 - 3484. For further information on the web, please check the Testing FAQ.
Do I have to turn in transcripts and other Admissions requirements at the time I turn in my application?
No. Transcripts may be received in the Office of Admissions prior to or after the application for admission has been received. Official transcripts from your high school (or a copy of your HSE scores) and previous college institutions should be mailed directly from the school to the Admissions Office as soon as possible. You may register for your first term of enrollment even if the transcripts haven't been received. Transfer students wishing to register for courses with prerequisites, a student copy of your transcripts may be used for advising purposes. An official transcript will still be required. All required official transcripts are due no later than three (3) weeks after registration.
Who will be my advisor?
Your advisor will be assigned from the department of your major. Undecided majors will be referred to the Advising Center ((615) 230 - 3702 or toll-free: 1-888-335-8722, extension 3702). If you are seeking financial aid or a grant, you may be required to declare a major to receive financial assistance.
Do I have to contact my advisor before registering?
You are strongly encouraged to contact your advisor prior to completing your registration for classes.
I am a student at a four-year university and I want to take a class at Vol State. What kind of classes can I take and what is required?
Transient students are considered "Non-Degree" applicants, but we require a transcript from the college you are currently attending to ensure you have taken the appropriate prerequisite courses for the one in which you wish to enroll. You should contact your school to check transfer equivalency for Vol State courses and make sure those courses can be used at your institution. You can also check our Transfer Equivalency pages for more information.
I want to take a special interest class. Do I have to send you my transcripts?
Students taking classes for personal enrichment or advanced learning who are not degree-seeking are not required to send transcripts unless the course which he/she wishes to enroll in has a prerequisite.
Do I have to have the MMR immunization?
The Tennessee Health Department requires two doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) immunization for all college students who are full-time (12+ credit hours). Students born before 1957 are exempt from this requirement, along with students taking less than 12 hours and students who graduated from a public Tennessee high school in or after 1999. Full details are available on our Immunization Requirements page.
I still have more questions about Admissions and Registration. What should I do?
Give us a call at (615) 230 - 3688 (toll-free: 1-888-335-8722, extension 3688) or email us at admissions@volstate.edu. We'll be happy to help.

Placement Testing

What is the Placement Test?
Placement Testing is designed to help you succeed in your college studies. The subject areas assessed include Reading, Writing, and Math/Algebra. It is important that you do your best on these tests. Your scores will assist your academic advisor in placing you into the courses and sections most suited to your preparation and needs, and will provide you and your advisor with important information about your individual skills, about your preparation for the program or degree that you wish to pursue, and about your special educational needs. If needed, Remedial and Developmental courses provide academic support for students whose placement test scores show a need for more preparation in reading, writing, and/or math. In short, the placement test is your first step toward success in achieving your educational goals. Consequently, it is crucial that you do your very best on these tests.
How do my ACT/SAT scores relate to the Placement test?
If you have taken the ACT or SAT within the last three years, use the following to determine whether placement testing is required for you:
  • ACT
    • English score is 18 or above : No writing test required
    • Math score is 19 or above : No math test required
    • Reading score is 19 or above : No reading test required
  • SAT
    • Verbal score is 450 or above : No writing test required
    • Math score is 460 or above : No math test required
    • Verbal score is 460 or above : No reading test required
What do I need to bring to the test?
You do not need to bring anything. Everything you need will be provided by the testing staff, including scratch paper, pencils, and a calculator for the math test.
How can I prepare for the test?
Visit our Learning Commons located on the first floor of the Thigpen Library.  The Learning Commons is a great resource for students.  They offer many services to our students, one of which is help preparing for the placement test. Although students are not required to utilize this service, it is an excellent resource and we strongly encourage you to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. The Learning Commons may be contacted by calling 615-452-8600, extension 3676 (toll-free: 1-888-335-8722, extension 3676) or by visiting their office in the Thigpen Library.
I still have a lot of questions. Who can I talk to?
Contact the Testing Center at (615) 230-3484 (toll-free: 1-888-335-8722, extension 3484).
I'm working on a Certificate not a Degree.
If you are enrolled in a technical certificate program, the placement test is not required.
Who takes the Placement Test?
The requirement to test is based on factors such as ACT/SAT scores, transfer college credit, the program of study you are pursuing, and previous completion of the placement test at another Tennessee Board of Regents institution. To find out if you will be required to test, you may contact the Office of Counseling and Testing at (615) 230 - 3484 (toll-free: 1-888-335-8722, extension 3484).
Computerized Testing?
The primary placement test used by Vol State is COMPASS, which is administered by computer. The program is very easy to use, and knowledge of computers is not necessary. The COMPASS is an "adaptive" test, which means that the first question you are given will be at the medium level of difficulty. If you answer that question correctly, then the computer will automatically give you a more difficult question next time. If you miss a question, the computer automatically gives you a less difficult question the next time. Once the program has enough information about your skills/knowledge in the subject area being tested, the test will end and you will receive your scores and placement results.
How long does the test take?
There is no time limit on the COMPASS. However, the average time to complete the entire battery of tests is about an hour and a half.
When can I take the test?
You may take the test once your application for admission has been processed by the Office of Admissions and Records. Most of the time, testing is available Monday thru Thursday, 8am until 6pm, and on Saturday, 9am until 1pm. However, you must contact the Office of Counseling and Testing by phone at (615) 230 - 3484 (toll-free: 1-888-335-8722, extension 3484), or by visiting the office in the Campus Center, Suite 210, to verify which dates/times are available and to sign up.
Does Vol State require the ACT or SAT?
Degree-seeking students who are under 21 years of age are required to submit ACT or SAT scores.
I took the Placement Test at another school.
If you have completed the placement test at another Tennessee Board of Regents or UT system institution, you do not need to retest. We will place you based on the scores from your other college.
I'm a Transfer student. Do I have to test?
Transfer students who have official transcripts on file that show completion of college-level course work (with a grade of C or better) in both English Composition and College Algebra do not need to take the Placement Test. Students who have course work completed in just one area (English Composition or College Algebra) will take the portion of the Placement Test for which they do not have official course work completed. Placement testing from colleges other than the Tennessee Board of Regents or UT system will not transfer to Vol State. We will generally accept coursework from accredited colleges but not placement testing alone. If you have any questions about transfer courses, contact the Advising Center at (615) 230 - 3702 (toll-free: 1-888-335-8722, extension 3702).

International Students

What is an international student?
An international student is a citizen of another country who enters the U.S., usually on a visa or work authorization card, and enrolls at a U.S. educational institution. Students holding permanent resident cards (green cards) and U.S. citizens born outside the United States technically are not international students.
When may international students enroll at Vol State?
International students are welcome to enroll in any semester they choose. We recommend that international students apply well in advance: by March 1 for the summer semester, June 1 for the fall semester, or October 1 for the spring semester.
Is language testing required for international students?
International students are required to take the TOEFL or MELAB and achieve a minimum score prior to enrolling in classes, unless the students' native language is English or they are only enrolling in ESL classes. Exceptions also may be made for students who graduated from high school in the United States, or who have completed English composition with a grade of "C" or better at an institution of higher learning. Language placement testing may also be required. The minimum score on the TOEFL is 500 for the paper-based test, or 173 for the computer-based test. The minimum score for the MELAB is 72.
What other requirements must international students meet?

Like all Vol State applicants, international students applying to degree-seeking programs must submit official transcripts showing completion of high school, as well as official transcripts from any post-secondary institutions. (Transcripts not issued in English must be accompanied by certified translations.) Official transcripts are defined as those sent directly from the academic institution previously attended to Vol State. ACT or SAT scores are required for students who enter college before they turn 21, and proof of proper immunizations also are required for everyone. The COMPASS, or placement test, is also required prior to registration.

In addition, international students must provide copies of their visas and I/94s (arrival/departure records), along with copies of any other pertinent immigration paperwork. Since individual situations vary, students are notified which immigration papers are required. Students on F-1 or M-1 (student) visas are also required to provide an official financial statement showing ample funds (currently $27,223.00), for a year of living in the area and studying at Vol State. They must also purchase the Tennessee Board of Regents health insurance policy for international students. The premium for such insurance will be added to the student's regular institutional billing for tuition, fees, and services. Note: These figures are subject to change without notice.

For more information please view our International Students page.

Are international students required to enroll full-time?
International students on student (F-1 or M-1) visas are required to enroll full-time. International students with work authorization or other types of visas may, and probably should, enroll part-time to maintain legal status.
Are international students eligible for in-state tuition rates at Vol State?
Not in most cases. Those holding F, M, or B class visas are never eligible for in-state tuition. Students holding certain types of work visas may be eligible, but they must apply for in-state residency through the Office of Admissions and Records.
Are international students eligible for federal financial aid?
No. International students are not eligible for loans, grants, or the work-study program. They may be eligible for school-sponsored or privately sponsored scholarships, if the scholarships don't stipulate that only U.S. citizens or permanent residents may apply.
Where can international students get further information?
Detailed answers to all of these questions are provided in the college catalog, or under the International Student category of Vol State's admissions web page. Students with more specific questions or unique situations should speak with Pam Carey in the Records and Registration Office at (615) 452-8600, extension 3558.