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Students taking Access classes at their high schools

Students taking Access classes at their high schools

Students taking Access classes at their high schools

We are excited that you will be taking college courses through our Early College Access Program (formerly ESSENCE) at your high school. Please watch the video at the bottom of this page for an overview of this process. Classes offered for college credit at our local high schools provide both high school and college credit. Instructors who teach college courses in the high schools are paid HCC adjunct staff who use HCC’s curriculum and text books.

Washington County Public School (WCPS) students will pay no tuition for all early to college classes. WCPS students will pay all fees associated with the classes they register for. All other students will receive a 25% tuition discount based on their residency.

The steps to register for a class taken at your high school (students must complete both steps to register for a class):

  1. Apply for admission if this is your first college class with us. You can apply at HCC will send you an acceptance letter. This letter will contain your student ID number and your login information to our online resources. Keep this letter for future reference. You do not need to wait on the acceptance letter to complete step two.
  2. Register for classes. Select your high school and register for the classes you want to take. The deadline to register for these classes is September 25th for the fall semester and February 15th for the spring semester. Students taking the year-long Precalculus I (formerly College Algebra) class must be registered by January 10th. No registrations will be accepted after these dates. Register for classes here.

After applying for admissions and registering for classes

  • HCC will send you a tuition statement showing your classes and the tuition bill you owe HCC. We ask that tuition is paid by November 1st for the fall semester and April 1st for the spring semester. You can pay your bill online through Self-Service. Instructions on how to pay your tuition including the NelNet Payment plan can be found here.
  • If you register and decide that you do not want to take the class for college credit, you must contact the Admissions Office to withdraw by October 1st for the fall semester and February 25th for the spring semester. Students withdrawing will still be charged the $30 registration fee.
  • The Early College Access Program Supplemental Scholarship is available to students who qualify. Each student must be a Maryland resident, declare a major at HCC, have their social security number on file and complete the FAFSA at Homeschool students or full-time Access students are not eligible for this scholarship. The scholarship application can be found at

Please contact the Financial Aid office if you need assistance with the FAFSA or if you have questions at 240-500-2473. You can access the scholarship link by clicking here.

HCC is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Four-year colleges from across the country will recognize HCC courses in the transfer process because of this accreditation. For more information on transferring from HCC, click here.