Southwestern College

Admission FAQs: photo of computer mouse and hands on keyboard

Eligibility for admission to Southwestern College

Admission to Southwestern College is open to high school graduates, people with equivalency degrees (GED), or anyone 18 years or older who can benefit from college instruction. In addition, high school students are admitted to the college for advanced academic placement or career technical education training. For more information about the High School Special program, call (619) 421-6700, extension 5631.

How to apply

All new students or returning students who have missed at least one complete semester must apply online (or reapply) to the college. You will need a valid email address. After submitting an online application, students will receive an email with their student ID number and information on how to register for classes. Students will also be given information on assessment testing, orientation, and academic counseling. The college accepts applications for the next semester after the sixth week of the current semester. Appointments for registration are emailed to students after they submit the application. If you need assistance with the application, you can come to the Admissions office at the Chula Vista campus or any Higher Education Center.

If you are a student with a disability and need access assistance for the application process, contact Disability Support Services at (619) 482-6512.

Residency requirements for tuition purposes

In compliance with the California Education Code, Southwestern College will review all applications submitted to determine if applicants meet the residency requirements for tuition purposes. California resident classification entitles students to in-state tuition fees. Our guidelines for residency classification are state-mandated. Since each applicant's case is evaluated on an individual basis, it is suggested that students interested in determining residency contact a Residency Technician at (619) 421-6700, ext. 5215 or 5216.

Class schedules and college catalogs

Class schedules and catalogs are available online. Catalogs can be purchased at the campus bookstore. You may call the bookstore at (619) 482-6416 for more information, or send $5.00 via check or money order to: Campus Bookstore, Southwestern College, 900 Otay Lakes Road, Chula Vista, CA 91910.

Important dates and deadlines for the semester

Information regarding important deadlines for each semester can be found on the Academic Calendar or in the class schedule. You may also call the Admissions Center at (619) 421-6700 ext. 5215 or 5216 for more information.

Office hours and locations

Chula Vista main campus
900 Otay Lakes Road, Chula Vista, CA 91910 (near the intersection of East H Street)
Cesar Chavez/One-Stop Student Services Center
(619) 421-6700 ext. 5215 or 5216

Higher Education Center at San Ysidro
480 West San Ysidro Blvd, San Ysidro, CA 92173
(619) 216-6790

Higher Education Center at National City
880 National City Blvd, National City, CA 91950
(619) 216-6665

Higher Education Center at Otay Mesa
8100 Gigantic Street, San Diego, CA 92154
(619) 216-6750

Cost of attending Southwestern College

The California state legislature dictates the enrollment fees charged by all California community colleges. These fees are subject to change through legislation. Students classified as non-California residents must pay an additional per-unit non-resident tuition fee. In addition, the college charges other mandatory fees such as the Student Center Fee and the Health Fee. These fees are subject to change by the Southwestern College Governing Board. Students parking on campus must purchase a parking permit (car or motorcycle). Students are billed for the cost of an ASO (Associated Students' Organization) card, which may be refunded/credited upon request. Dollar amounts for current fees can be found in the class schedule, or you may call the Admissions Center at (619) 421-6700, ext. 5215 or 5216. Click here for information on Financial Aid.

Registration/enrollment in classes

After you apply for admission, you will receive an email when your registration date and time has been assigned. If you cannot remember your appointment time, go to WebAdvisor or contact the Admissions Center at (619) 421-6700, ext. 5215 or 5216, for assistance.

How long do I have to pay my registration fees?

The college must receive payment within five (5) calendar days from the date of registration.

Previous coursework from other colleges and universities

If you have attended another accredited college or university, you may transfer coursework credits to Southwestern College. To do this, you must request that a transcript from your previous college or university be sent directly to the Southwestern College Admissions office. Hand-carried transcripts are not considered official and cannot be used to satisfy graduation requirements.

Late registration/enrollment after the semester begins

You may register for additional classes during the first two weeks of the semester on a space-available basis. Come to the Admissions Center to pick up late registration information. After the first two weeks, you cannot enroll in full-semester classes. You can, however, enroll in short-session classes that begin later in the term.

Adding and dropping classes

You may add or drop classes on WebAdvisor during the registration period. Check the class schedule for exact times and dates. Once the semester has started, you will still be able to drop classes, but in order to add, you will need an add code from the instructor. Attend the first class meeting and request an add code from the instructor. If space is available, the instructor will provide you with an add code. Add codes may also be obtained from instructors via email.

The add code allows you add the class through the WebAdvisor system. If you need assistance, call the Admissions Center at (619) 421-6700, ext. 5215 or 5216 .

Refunds for dropping a class

If you wish to drop full-semester classes and receive a refund, you must do so by the last day of the second week in the semester. Refund deadlines vary for short-term classes. You may drop classes on WebAdvisor. Eligible students should request a refund through the Cashier's Office by phone at (619) 482-6307 or in person in room S102 at the Cesar Chavez Building. You may also download and complete the Refund Request Form and submit as stated on the form. Remember: It is always the student's responsibility to be aware of all posted deadlines.

How to audit a class

If you want to take a class for fun, or to learn a new language or skill, and don't need the college credit, auditing may be an option for you. To audit a class, you need to obtain a course audit application from the Admissions office (or online at the Printable Forms page) and go to the class. If there is space available, the instructor will sign the form. You must return it to the Admissions office for processing. Students taking the class for college credit have first priority for enrollment. The charge for auditing is $15 per unit plus the mandatory health fees. A maximum of six units (or two classes) may be audited in any regular instruction term (Fall, Spring, Summer). If you are enrolled for college credit in 10 or more units, you may audit one three-unit class for free. Once you use the audit option for a class you may not change your enrollment in order to take the class for college credit.

Evaluation of course work from other colleges and universities

After all of your official transcripts from other colleges and universities are filed with the Admissions office, make an appointment with a counselor to review your previous coursework and develop your academic plan.

Transcripts from other colleges and universities

Any transcripts you have from other schools, colleges, and universities must be filed at Southwestern College for graduation purposes. Transcripts should be sent directly to the Southwestern College Admissions Center. Hand-carried transcripts will not be accepted as "Official." Contact the prior college or university directly for information about their request process, including required fees. Transcripts are required for graduation regardless of the courses and grades achieved at your previous schools.

Requesting copies of official Southwestern College transcripts

Southwestern College students are entitled to two free copies of their official transcripts (regular processing). Emergency processing is always $8.00 per copy. Other charges are as follows:

  • Regular request: $5.00 per copy
  • Emergency: $8.00 per copy
  • Federal Express: (includes $8.00 emergency fee)
    • Contiguous 48 states: $28.30 per recipient
    • Alaska/Hawaii: $31.30 per recipient
  • International Federal Express: $51.30 per recipient


You may request your transcripts online, in person in the Admissions Center or via mail. If you have any questions, please call (619) 421-6700, ext. 5412.

Advanced Placement, CLEP, Military and other non-traditional credit

If you want to have CLEP, Advanced Placement scores or any other type of credit evaluated, you must submit score reports or transcripts to the Admissions Center, along with a General Student Petition, requesting evaluation. You will receive a response by mail in approximately 10-14 business days. To have your military school credits evaluated, you must submit your DD214 or 295 military documents to the Admissions Center along with a petition for military credit. Petitions for military credit are available at the Veterans Services office or in the Admissions office.

Course Repetition and Course Withdrawal

The California Community College Board of Governors passed revisions to Title 5 regarding course repetition and withdrawal that took effect during the summer 2012 term.

A student will only be allowed to enroll in the same course a maximum of three times.

If a student has previously received a substandard grade (D, F, NP) or has withdrawn from a course with a "W", then all of these course repetitions and withdrawals in the student's transcripts are to be counted towards the revised limits.

Therefore, student that has taken a course the maximum number of times prior to Summer 2012 will no longer be able to take the same course at Southwestern College.

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Last updated: 4/5/2017 8:02:32 AM