FAQs

Can I start my program at any time?

We have five terms per year beginning in September, November, January, March and May. Each term is 15-weeks long with four week extensions for incompletes. You can begin your program with the start of any term.

Will I be assigned an advisor, and will I be able to communicate with that person on a regular basis?

When you matriculate (become a degree-seeking student) at Empire State College, you are assigned a mentor who will work with you throughout your program at Empire State College. You will have regular contact with your mentor through whatever means is most convenient to you - mail, phone, fax or e-mail. If you are taking courses as a non-matriculated student, you will have access to our on-call or first-term advisor, as needed, for help with choosing courses from term to term, or deciding on a direction or area of study should you decide to matriculate.

How much of the degree has to be taken through a partnership school to meet residency requirements?

For an associate degree, 64 semester credit hours are required for degree completion. Of these, 24 must be taken from our institution. Up to half of these can be cross registered at other regionally accredited colleges, if approved within the degree plan.

For a bachelor's degree, 124 semester credit hours are required for degree completion. Of these, 31 must be taken from our institution. Up to half of these can be cross registered at other regionally accredited colleges, if approved within the degree plan.

Will courses from other colleges transfer into your partnership school?

Empire State College will transfer all credit (courses with grades of C and above) acquired at another regionally accredited college or university, provided that it is relevant to the degree program.

How will classes be delivered?

Classes are delivered completely at a distance in web-based formats. Learning materials designed for success at a distance include course guides, contemporary texts and reading; cassettes, videos, software (depending on the course); and online discussion areas. There are no residency requirements at the associate or bachelor's level.

Is there a placement test?

No. All accepted applicants must have a high school degree or GED and demonstrate the ability to do college-level work in the application essay.

Do you have study guides for the courses offered?

There is a course guide for every course. The course guide will tell you when to do the readings, when to participate in online discussions, and when to do pieces of writing. It's your roadmap to the course, the piece that ties all of the information together into a structured, guided study.

Do I have to own a computer to do distance learning?

No. You don't have to own a computer, but you must have access to one with Internet capability to do distance learning. However, some instructors will substitute offline assignments for military students when necessary, but you are still usually expected to access the course online at least part of the time.

Does your school accept credits from foreign institutions?

Yes. The student must have the official transcript sent directly to Empire State College from the institution, and request an evaluation of the transcript by World Education Services, INC (WES). Students request an evaluation by submitting an Application for Evaluation of Foreign Educational Credentials with a copy of their transcript to WES. Applications are available through Empire State College.

Can I take CLEP and other tests for credit towards a degree?

Yes. Empire State College accepts credit scores earned on a wide variety of college-level examinations such as CLEP, DANTES, Regents College Examinations, and Thomas Edison College Examination Program (TECEP). You can access information on standard exam scores and credit awarded on pages five through nine of the student guide, click here.

Can I continue my degree while deployed?

Yes. Airmen can keep in touch with their tutors (instructors) through the mail, phone, fax and e-mail.

How many courses can I take at a time?

You can take as many courses as your time permits, but we recommend taking 4-6 credits per term. Each 4 credit course requires approximately 10 hours of study per week.

Will tuition assistance cover the costs for this type of study?

Air Force TA pays 100% of tuition (up to $250 per semester hour) up to a $4500 cap, for all eligible Airmen in the program. Airmen are responsible for the remaining tuition, fees and the cost of course materials. To participate, complete a Tuition Assistance Application. Once approved you will be issued a TA Authorization document indicating the Air Force portion of tuition. Send the TA Authorization document when you enroll in courses at Empire State College.

How do I apply for grants/financial aid?

If eligible, all participants have access to any financial aid offered by the institution. For more information, please visit our financial aid web site.

How do I use my VA benefits?

To use your VA benefits, provide the appropriate form to Jessica Lansing, Office of the Registrar, Empire State College, Two Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. You can request a form by calling 800-847-3000, or by e-mailing Jessica.Lansing@esc.edu.

You can find out the amount of your VA benefits by calling 800-827-1000.

Do I pay in-state or out-of-state fees?

There are no in-state or out-of-state fees. Tuition and fees are on a per credit basis for distance learning.

How do I use my VA benefits?

To use your VA benefits, provide the appropriate form to Jessica Lansing, Office of the Registrar, Empire State College, Two Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. You can request a form by calling 1 800 847-3000, or by e-mailing Jessica.Lansing@esc.edu. You can find out the amount of your VA benefits by calling 1 800 827-1000.