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Tacoma Community College » Getting Started » Enrollment FAQs

Enrollment FAQs

Have questions? Look here for the answers in the following topics:


Q: How do I apply?
Complete the online application for admission. *Please note: The application will not be available Aug. 20-24.* If you are returning to TCC after being gone for a year or less, call 253.566.5325 to update your application. If you have been gone for over a year, fill out a new application. Learn more about step-by-step instructions on the enrollment process

International students have a separate application process. Learn more about the steps to enroll as an international student and frequently asked questions for international students.

Q: What’s this about a TCC email account?
You will automatically receive a new TCC student email account when you apply to the college. Be sure to activate and then check your TCC email regularly at the student portal — it’s how the college will communicate with you, including sending out important deadlines on financial aid, course additions, updates from your professors, etc.

Q: Is there a fee to apply to TCC?
Currently, TCC does not charge an application fee. 


Q: What academic programs do you offer?
Tacoma Community College offers many academic programs in a wide variety of fields of study. Some are designed to give you the skills needed for a specific career goal within a year or two (Career Training), and some are designed to assist you in transferring to a college for a four-year (or higher level) degree (College Transfer). 

If the lack of a high school diploma or skills in basic reading, writing, math or English is holding you back, you can take action. TCC offers GED courses and basic skills classes to help. You can even learn basic skills and job skills at the same time through I-BEST. Or you may qualify for programs to earn your high school diploma (if between the ages of 16-20) through Fresh Start, or to earn college credit while still in high school as a junior or senior through Running Start.

Q: Where can I find course descriptions?
The TCC Catalog contains course descriptions and prerequisites.

Q: I can only take online courses. How do I do this?
In order to take an online class through TCC, you must be enrolled at the college (review the Enrollment Steps). Before signing up for an online class, review the overview of online classes, including computer requirements, class start dates and frequently asked questions. 


Q: Will my transcript be reviewed?
If you have transcripts from another college, your transcripts will be officially evaluated by a transcript evaluator after you send them to the Enrollment Services office. It takes 12 weeks to complete the evaluation process and to get the results into our system, so we recommend you send them in ASAP.

To get CREDIT for classes and placement, order official sealed transcripts from your former college(s) now and have them sent to TCC. Or drop off your official sealed copy at the Enrollment Services office, Bldg. 7.

For PLACEMENT in classes, see step #5 of The Enrollment Process. Read the 3 ways of submitting unofficial transcripts under Transcript Review. You will then be eligible to register for classes using the transcript as prerequisites.

Q: How do I send my transcripts to TCC?
Most colleges have an online transcript request process which will allow you to have your transcript from that school sent to TCC. Or you can order sealed copies and send them to us yourself. Do not break the seal or transcripts will be invalidated. Have them sent to: TCC Enrollment Services, 6501 S 19th Street, Tacoma, WA 98466. Still have questions, email the Credential Evaluation team (

Q: May I get credit for my AP or IB test scores?
Depending on your score, you may be able to receive credit for certain college courses. Submit your AP or IB test scores to the Enrollment Services Office, bldg 7, for evaluation in person, or scan to the email address above (be sure to write your TCC student ID on the documents!)


Q: What is New Student Advising & Orientation (NSAO)?
New Student Advising & Orientation (NSAO) gives you the info you need to quickly plug into the TCC campus community and to important student resources, such as your student portal and how to register for classes. You’ll be assigned an academic advisor. Sign up for New Student Advising & Orientation online.

Q: Do I need to go to New Student Advising & Orientation (NSAO)?
Participation in the New Student Advising & Orientation is mandatory for all new first-time college students. All TCC students must learn how to register for their own classes and how to access the portal. You will also be assigned your advisor at that time.

The earlier you sign up for NSAO, the earlier you can select classes. Sign-up online as soon as you’ve got a Student ID number and know you’re planning on attending TCC. Be sure you’ve completed your assess your skills step (by taking the placement test) before your scheduled orientation.


Q: Do I need to take placement tests?
All new students seeking a degree/certificate must take placement tests in reading, English and math in order to determine placement in those classes.  The ACCUPLACER placement test is how we determine your current skills so you begin with the appropriate class levels for your success in college. 

There are a few reasons you may not need to take placement tests:

  • If you have attended a prior college and completed writing-related course work and/or math. What to do? Fax or bring an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) to the Assessment office in Bldg. 7, FAX 253.566.6011 or via email to
  • If you are admitted only as a non-credit student.

Read more on all the steps to enroll.

Q: What is the process for placement testing?
The ACCUPLACER placement test is an assessment of your skills in reading, English and math to determine your placement in these courses. Testing takes place in Bldg. 7. It costs $18 and can be paid in person at the Cashiers office in Bldg. 14 before taking the test, or paid online in advance. Photo ID is required for the test. Find out test times and dates or call 253.566.5158.

Students wishing to test at and attend the Gig Harbor Campus (GHC) call 253.460.2424 for exact assessment dates and to make a reservation.

Q: I took the assessment test, and I want to retest. How do I do this?
You have the opportunity to retest any test portion (reading, English or math) if you are unsatisfied with your scores. The Assessment Center allows students to retest once for free but students must wait at least 48 hours after the first test. We strongly suggest reviewing practice questions in advance--students who do get higher scores. Check for test times and dates in advance at 253.566.5158 or click here. You'll re-take your test in Bldg. 7 on campus, or at Gig Harbor Campus (GHC).

Financial Aid

Q: What do I need to turn in to the Financial Aid office?
Here’s what TCC needs you to do to begin the financial aid application process:

Tips on how to apply for financial aid

Q: What’s the deadline for financial aid?
Your deadline depends on what quarter you want to start school. Find out your intended quarter’s financial aid file completion deadline. If you miss a deadline you may still get aid, but plan for it arriving after the quarter starts.  

Time really is money in this case! Submit your FAFSA and your TCC Data Sheet as close to January 1st as you can, and look for your Student Aid Report (SAR) in the mail/email, as it will arrive within two weeks of completing the FAFSA. Respond quickly to any requests for more information—your chance to get the best money possible depends on how promptly you meet requests.

Q: What if I miss the deadline for financial aid?
If you miss the deadline (or file completion date) for the quarter you want to start school, you can still apply for financial aid. However, if you sign up to attend classes you should be prepared to pay for your own tuition and books up front, as any financial aid you may be eligible to receive may not be ready until sometime after the start of the quarter well past the tuition due date. 

Q: Should I wait to find out what financial aid money I get?
No, do not wait to register for classes. Classes fill up quickly. Sign up for a New Student Advising & Orientation (NSAO) and select classes in advance of hearing about your financial aid award.

Q: How can I check the status of my financial aid?
If you have applied for financial aid through the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and TCC has received your processed FAFSA application, then you are eligible to use the new Student Financial Aid Portal. Your user name is your Social Security Number (SSN) and your Password is your global PIN or student’s date of birth (MMDDYY) format.

Students should regularly check their TCC student email (assigned to you when you first applied to the college) since most communication from the Financial Aid office will be sent to your TCC student email. Email is the college’s official and primary form of communication. You can access your email through your TCC student portal.

Q: What is the Student Financial Aid Portal?
The Financial Aid Portal will give you access to view a list of missing requirements and documents, your financial aid awards, and any special messages from the Financial Aid office. It will also have the most up-to-date information available to students—so check there first when you have a question or want to be sure everything is complete! You can also find the student Financial Aid Portal on the TCC student portal.

Q: How will dropping classes affect my financial aid?

  • Any changes in your registration may affect your financial aid.
  • There are serious consequences if you do not attend all classes that your financial aid is based on. 
  • Students must also stay on track by only enrolling in classes required for their program of study.

If you are thinking of withdrawing from one or all of your classes, speak with someone in the TCC financial aid office first! We want to help you avoid problems. Call 253.566.5080, or search staff contacts


Q: Does TCC have scholarships?

  • The TCC Foundation gives over $200,000 per year of scholarship money to TCC students, both incoming and current students. Scholarship criteria can be based on academic achievement, athletic or artistic talent, financial need, particular fields of study or involvement in the community, among many others. The scholarship application season is usually January through March for the following academic year. Students can apply for TCC Foundation scholarships online. 
  • You can also research external scholarships that fit your profile.   
  • We also recommend students create a profile at a free web-based scholarships clearinghouse for Washington students.
  • Learn more about Ways2Pay4College—attend workshops on campus January through March to increase your chance of winning a scholarship. Look for announcements in your portal and student email, or sign up on InsideTCC to receive announcements if you're not yet a student at TCC.

Q: What is the deadline for scholarships?

  • Scholarship application season for most colleges (including TCC) is usually January through March for the following academic year. 
  • At TCC we also have a smaller application cycle for awards in early summer, with applications due in July.
  • Students can also research external scholarships. The deadlines for these awards vary.


Q: When is tuition due?

  • Quarterly tuition and fees are due approximately three weeks before the quarter starts.
  • The last day to get a 100% refund for the quarter is the last business day before the quarter begins.
  • Keep track of important dates on the academic calendar.

Q: How much is tuition?

Tuition Fee Chart
There are also fees charged which are specific to a particular course (materials or studio use, for instance) or for certain universal services (such as technology).

  • Credit students
    In-state tuition is calculated depending on how many credits you’re taking. A typical course load of 15 credits (three 5-credit classes) would be $1,073/per quarter and approximately $4,080/per year (3 quarters) during the 2013-14 school year. 
    Out-of-state (or non-resident/international) tuition for a typical course load of 15 credits (three 5-credit classes) would be $2,818/per quarter and approximately $9,315/per year (3 quarters) during the 2013-14 school year.
  • Non-Credit students
    Non-credit class tuition varies by class. Tuition for specific courses is listed by class in the Continuing Education schedule.

Q: How will tuition be paid if I’m receiving financial aid?

  • Tuition will be applied electronically for students who have been awarded a financial aid grant or scholarship and are enrolled full-time (12 or more credits), or have notified the Financial Aid office in writing that he/she plans to attend less than full-time.
  • Students receiving other tuition assistance should contact the Cashier's Office at 253.566.5011 or stop by Bldg. 14. Classes that have not been paid will be dropped to allow other students an opportunity to enroll.

Note: If you are unable to pay tuition by the tuition deadlines, you may stop by the Enrollment Services Office in Bldg. 7 and ask for a payment extension.   
An automatic tuition payment plan is available to students not receiving financial aid.


Q: I’m a veteran.  How do I pay for school?/Is there someone to talk to?
In addition to completing the regular steps for enrollment to TCC like any other prospective student, veterans must also inprocess with the Veterans Affairs office in Bldg. 14 before being certified for their benefits from the VA. At that time you will be briefed on VA policies, as well as how they apply to your benefit. There are several people who can help you through the process. 

  • Outreach & Recruitment staff can answer any questions about becoming a student, and we also host regular TCC Admission Information Sessions to walk you step by step through the enrollment process.
  • Veterans Affairs Coordinator is available for appointments in Bldg. 14, adjacent to the Financial Aid office, and can be reached at 253.566.5081. 
  • A staff member from the Veterans Corps is also available to provide additional support to our military students and family members. Their office is located in Bldg. 14 near the Financial Aid office and can be reached at 253.566.5364 or email vcorps. They can provide information about community services and supports including housing, employment and counseling services.

Campus Tour

Q: Can I tour the campus?
For a guided tour, campus tour hours are available on the outreach website. You can sign up online for one of our regularly scheduled tours, or call the Outreach & Recruitment office at 253.566.6042. 

Child Care

Q: Does TCC have child care available to students?
Yes, we have the Early Learning Center. Due to the popularity of the center, fill out your application/waiting list form as soon as possible. All children are enrolled from the waiting list. How to Enroll

Q: How much is TCC’s child care?  Is there payment assistance?
TCC’s child care rates are determined depending on whether you are a student, staff/faculty or community member. There is a sliding scale for students depending on income level for those who do not have other forms of child care assistance or subsidy.

Parking/Student IDs

Q: Where do I park?

  • Students are required to display a current parking permit for both day and evening classes.
  • Visitors may park in designated visitor parking spaces located on all sides of the Tacoma campus (see campus map), or pick up a courtesy parking permit at the Enrollment Services office in Bldg. 7 for use during your enrollment process. You may also get a temporary parking permit from the Security Office located in Bldg 14. 
  • Parking permits are not required for Gig Harbor (GHC) campus.

Q: Where do I get my parking pass/How much is it?

  1. At the MyTCC student portal register your vehicle under the ‘Campus Services and Maps’ tab. 
  2. After students have registered their vehicle(s) online they may pick up their permit at the Parking Counter in Bldg. 14.

Student parking is already paid for in the cost of tuition through the Community Safety Fee. For those students excluded from the fee, the charge is $15 per quarter (which includes ABE, AESL and GED).

Q: Where do I get my student ID card?
New and returning students should obtain a TCC Student ID card. It will allow access to computer labs, printing capability, use of the fitness center, free and discount admission to student programs and events, as well as discounts from local merchants--and more. The ID card is valid through the current academic year.

The ID card is free but if you misplace it or want an additional card, the fee is $5.25 per card. You can obtain your card from the Campus Public Safety office in Bldg. 14. 

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