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Equal Opportunity Statement

SOWELA operates under an open-admissions policy and adheres to the equal opportunity provisions of federal civil rights laws and regulations. No one will be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964), sex (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972), disability (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990), or age (Age Discrimination Act of 1975) in attaining educational goals and objectives.



An applicant must be 17 years of age prior to entry into the college.

A state approved high school diploma, or high school equivalency diploma (GED), is required for admission into the associate degree programs and the Practical Nursing program.

Students who are home-schooled or who graduated from a high school that is not approved by the state of Louisiana can be admitted with a GED or with ACT scores of at least 14 in English and 15 in math on a single ACT administration. The ACT scores are required in addition to the required SOWELA placement test scores unless the ACT scores meet the minimum ACT for College level English and math requirements as determined by the Louisiana Board of Regents.

Students planning to enroll should request that their ACT scores be sent to the Admissions Office at SOWELA. SOWELA’s ACT Code is 5064.

Transfer students who have earned college credit at any post-secondary institution, must submit all transcripts from each college/university attended. If the transcript indicates the student has completed a college-level mathematics or English course with a “C” or better, ACT or COMPASS scores will not be necessary.

ASSET, ACT, and COMPASS scores (no older than 3 years) may also be used for placement. Students whose test scores indicate a need for additional preparation in basic skills will be required to enroll in appropriate transitional courses to help prepare them for success in higher level courses.

Students will not be refused admission into the college because of low test scores. Test scores are used for advising and placement purposes only. If an applicant has not demonstrated the ability to benefit from enrollment in college-level courses, then enrollment will be restricted to transitional courses.


International Student Admission

International students are issued a SEVIS form I-20 by SOWELA after the applicant:

  • Completes a SOWELA application.
  • Meets entrance requirements on the COMPASS, ACT, scores a 450 or more on the paper/pencil TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), or a scores a 133 on the computerized TOEFL. If the applicant has completed coursework for regular academic credit at another USA institution, it may be used in place of TOEFL.
  • Provides the following documentation to the Admission’s Office:
    1. Birth certificate or other proof of citizenship
    2. Documentation of high school completion
    3. Affidavit of support (INS Form I-134) or SOWELA’s affidavit of support
    4. Proof of immunization as required of all students.

All documentation must be in English or accompanied by certified translations in English.

An M-I student must be a full-time student and is not allowed to accept any form of employment. An M-I student has 30 days to depart the United States after completion of his/her course of study. For additional information call (800) 256-0483 or (337) 421-6550.

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Transfer Students

A transfer student is a student who has previously enrolled at any college or university. Transfer students may enroll at SOWELA if they are eligible for readmission at the last school attended. A student who is ineligible to return to the previous college may be admitted to SOWELA on probation.

Transfer students are admitted provisionally with approval of the Registrar until all required transcripts have been received.


Transfer Credit

An applicant should submit a currently issued official transcript from all institutions of higher education that he/she has attended within 30 days of the beginning of his/her first semester/session of enrollment. Transcripts become property of SOWELA and part of the permanent student record. Decisions regarding the award of transfer credit will be determined no later than the end of the first semester a student is enrolled.

  • Transfer credit is generally accepted from institutions that are accredited through recognized agencies. Transfers from other institutions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Conversion from quarter hours to semester hours and conversion to a four-point grading scale will be made as needed.
  • Course content, prerequisites and level of instruction will be reviewed.
  • Only grades of “C” or better will be considered for transfer credit.
  • No credit toward graduation will be given for remedial or developmental courses.
  • No credit will be given for courses taken at other institutions while under suspension from SOWELA.
  • Application of transfer credit toward the completion of program requirements will be determined by the student’s academic department.
  • Transfer students must meet all criteria for graduation as stated in the catalog.
  • Grades accepted for transfer credit will not be used in the computation of grade point average for the purpose of determining graduation with honors.



Students from participating high schools may enroll in STEPS (Senior Technical Education Program at SOWELA) if they are a graduating senior (have 17 credits) and need a maximum of two core courses (English, math, or science). Placement test requirements must be satisfied to qualify for this program.

Since a high school diploma is required for admission into an associate degree program, credits taken for associate classes will be banked. The STEPS students must complete their entire senior year at SOWELA and meet all requirements for graduation from the high school before the banked credits will be awarded.

For additional information, contact the counselor at participating high schools or phone the STEPS office at (337) 421-6597.


Non-Matriculating Students

Students who do not want to earn college credit may enroll in a course on an audit basis during the late registration period if space is available. Audit students pay the same tuition and fees as students enrolled for credit.


Credit Examination

A student may take a credit examination in a course if that student has fundamental knowledge of the content and/or skills associated with the course. Permission to take the credit exam must be granted by the head of the academic department offering the course; however, credit examinations are not available for all courses. A nonrefundable fee is assessed for each credit exam. An 80% proficiency performance is required for a grade of “Pass”. A credit exam for an individual course may be taken only once.

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Full time Student Status

Full time students are those that are registered for at least twelve (12) semester credit hours during a regular semester and at least six (6) semester credit hours during a summer session.


Course Load

Students will be allowed to enroll for a maximum of nineteen (19) semester credit hours in the Fall and Spring semesters and ten (10) semester credit hours in the Summer term. Only with the written recommendation of the Department Head and approval from the Dean of Instruction is a student permitted to exceed those enrollment limits.

Proof of Residency

A resident is defined as one who has lived in Louisiana for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the first official day of classes for the semester they wish to attend. A student may not establish residency while residing in Louisiana for the primary purpose of attending college.

All new students must provide proof of Louisiana residency. Acceptable documentation may include:

  • Valid Louisiana driver’s license with an issuance date of 12 months or more.
  • Louisiana vehicle registration with an issuance date of 12 months or more.
  • Most current state/federal tax return or other document that indicates a student’s official domicile

Selective Service

In accordance with the requirements of Louisiana Law R.S. 17:3151 and the Federal Selective Service Act, male applicants who are between the ages of 18 and 25 must provide written evidence that they have registered with Selective Service before they will be allowed to register for classes. Acceptable documentation may be a copy of the applicant’s Selective Service Registration card or a printout from the Selective Service web site indicating the applicant’s status.

The following categories of applicants are exempt from this requirement:

  • Males currently on active duty in the military.
  • Veterans who submit a copy of their DD214 discharge certificate.

Link to Selective Service Online Registration Verification


Orientation is conducted each term for new students by Student Affairs to acquaint each student with the staff, buildings and grounds, policies, and rules and regulations of SOWELA.

Each student will be assigned a departmental faculty adviser after the orientation. The faculty adviser will assist the student with curriculum advisement and scheduling of classes at registration.

Download Selective Service Application



As required by Louisiana Law R.S. 17:110, all first time students born after 1956 must provide proof of immunization against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria and meningitis as a condition of enrollment. Forms are provided to students at orientation to be completed by their physician/health unit.

Students will not be allowed to complete the registration process until they have satisfied the immunization requirement.

A waiver may be signed by the student; however, in the event of an outbreak of measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, or meningitis on campus, the college will require the students who are not immunized to stop attending classes until the outbreak is over or until they submit proof of adequate immunization.

LCTCS Immunization Form


Student ID Cards

All students enrolled at SOWELA must have an ID card. This will permit immediate identification of SOWELA students and should be carried while on campus. ID cards are required for security purposes and for library services.


Indebtedness to the Institution

Students who do not meet their financial obligations as scheduled are not permitted to continue attending classes. The campus will not release a transcript or other information unless the financial account of the student is paid in full and the student is in good standing.


Non-Sufficient Funds

Returned checks The charge for each returned check is $25.00. If the check is written payable to SOWELA by a student or on his behalf and is returned to the College, that student will forfeit all check writing privileges with SOWELA in the future. Payment by cash, cashier's check, money order, or credit card will be required.
Putting a stop payment on a check will not constitute an official resignation from the College.


Library Fines & Replacement Fees

Fines will be assessed for overdue books and other materials borrowed from the library. For non-returned items, the cost of replacement will be charged to the student. Unpaid fines and replacement fees will be added to the student’s bill and will result in a hold being placed on the student’s records.


Career Counseling

Career counseling is available to all applicants through Student Affairs. Upon completing an application and providing placement scores, each applicant meets with a counselor. During this initial interview, the counselor also provides the applicant with information such as course costs (tuition, academic excellence fees, registration fees, books, and supplies) and sources of student financial aid. Other counseling and referral services are available to all students through the counselors in Student Affairs between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday- Friday.

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Student Records

All student records are confidential and only Enrollment Management personnel are allowed to access the student files.

Students who wish to review their records may do so through the Office of the Registrar.

Students are expected to notify the Registrar’s Office of all changes in their legal name, permanent address, and/or telephone number. A copy of legal records should be submitted to document a name change. The College is not responsible for a student’s failure to receive official information due to an incorrect name or address.

Students sign a release at orientation which allows Enrollment Management to provide enrollment and other information to employers, financial aid agencies (WIA, Dislocated Workers, etc.) and other educational institutions on a “need to know” basis.


Tuition and Fees for Out-of-State Residents

Tuition for out-of-state residents is double the tuition for Louisiana and Texas residents. Academic excellence, operational, and other fees are the same as for residents.

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