Admission & Registration

Admissions Policy

Admission is open to all in-district residents of Community College District 518 who are high school graduates or the equivalent (GED), or non-graduates who are at least 18 years of age. Admission to the College does not ensure admission to a particular course or program of study.

Admission is also open to people in the following categories:

  1. Out-of-district, out-of-state, and international residents.
  2. Students whose connection with a secondary school is severed. Any student who is 16 or 17 years of age and has severed connection with a secondary school, as certified in writing by the chief executive officer of the secondary school in which the student has legal residence, is eligible to attend Carl Sandburg College.
  3. Students currently enrolled in a secondary school program. Students currently enrolled in a secondary school program may be accepted into college course(s). If such courses are offered during the regular school day established by the secondary school or are offered for secondary school credit, prior approval of the chief executive officer of the secondary school must be received.
  4. Admission of students in programs for special groups.
  5. Students less than 16 years of age who have the approval of the chief executive officer of their school and/or the chief student services officer of Carl Sandburg College.

Should it be necessary to limit enrollment, priority will be given to residents of Carl Sandburg College District 518 or to residents of a community college district involved in a cooperative agreement with Carl Sandburg College. The College reserves the right to establish selective admission requirements for any or all programs. All programs and their respective admission requirements will be identified in the College catalog.

An eighth grade reading level as demonstrated by a standardized test approved by the college is required for admission to developmental and credit classes. This requirement does not apply to Corporate and Leisure classes.

Carl Sandburg College will not discriminate in the admission of students on the basis of the student's sex, color, race, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, sexual identity or other protected group status.

Admission to AA/AS/AFA Programs

(Baccalaurate Transfer)

Students enrolling in the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, or Associate in Fine Arts degree programs (baccalaureate transfer) must have completed the following college preparatory courses as outlined in the Illinois Public Act 86-0954:

Subject Years of Coursework Explanatory Notes
English4Written & oral communications, literature
Mathematics3Minimum of one year of Algebra I, one year of geometry, & one year of Algebra II
Science2Laboratory science
Social Studies2History and/or government
Electives2Foreign language, music, art, or vocational education
Flexible Academic Units2Two additional courses from any one or two of the science, social studies, or electives categories in addition to approved courses in math & English such as advanced math, computer science, journalism, speech, & creative writing
Total Academic Units15

College preparatory course requirements for admission to the AA/AS/AFA degree programs as outlined above will be waived for students who have completed 32 semester hours of college coursework (100 level or above) with grades of "C" or better.

The Illinois Board of Education requires that students who wish to enter into a transfer program (AA/AS/AFA) must meet the requirements listed in the above chart (Illinois Public Act 86-0954). Carl Sandburg College is an open admissions community college, students will be admitted to the college without these courses. Students who enroll in certain programs will be required to meet prerequisites to enroll in some courses.

Health Career Program Admissions

Admission to many of Carl Sandburg College's Health Career programs (Associate Degree Nursing, Practical Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Dental Hygiene,  Mortuary Science, Medical Assisting, and Paramedic) is limited and, therefore, competitive. Selection is based on candidates' overall academic performance. The most qualified applicants who are residents of the Carl Sandburg College District or of community college districts involved in a cooperative agreement with Carl Sandburg College will be given preference for admission to these programs. Students who have not fulfilled these requirements when they initially enroll at Carl Sandburg College will be admitted on a provisional basis to the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, or Associate in Fine Arts degree programs. Carl Sandburg College will incorporate in those students' curriculum courses to compensate for course deficiencies.

International Admissions

International students are welcome at Carl Sandburg College. The College is authorized under federal law to enroll students who require an F-1 VISA. Prospective international students should contact the director of  admissions and records (309.341.5234) to discuss their eligibility for admission.

Each student is encouraged to consult with a professional counselor at Carl Sandburg College in the selection of a program consistent with the student's interests and abilities.

International Student Admission Steps

New full-time international students need to obtain a Form I-20 to receive a student visa through the U.S. Consul or Embassy in their country. The I-20 indicates that all admission requirements have been met to enter the College. This document is issued through SEVIS, the Student Exchange Visitor Information System. The U.S. Consulates make the final decision regarding whether students will be allowed to enter the United States to study.

All international students must report to Carl Sandburg College on or before the date stated on the Form I-20. Late-arriving students will not be able to register for class.

International students requesting admission and issuance of a Form I-20 must provide:

  • A completed Carl Sandburg College Application for Admission.
  • A Financial Resource Statement verifying the ability of the student or the student’s sponsor to meet all educational and living expenses for one year while attending Carl Sandburg College. This must be signed and sealed by a notary public and accompanied by a letter or bank statement dated within six months of the application. Financial support of approximately $20, 000 (USD) is needed per year.
  • An official transcript that provides evidence of graduation from a secondary school and transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended. Photocopies may be accepted if they are properly notarized as true copies. Transcripts must be translated into English.
  • Official evidence of English proficiency. All full-time and part-time students whose native language is NOT English are required to:
    take TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and earn a score score of 68 on the Internet-based exam, or 190 on the Computer-based exam or 520 on the Paper-based exam.
    submit official transcripts from an accredited United States college or university showing   successful completion (‘C’ or better grade) of a college-level writing course and 6 hours of college-level academic course work requiring reading
    complete ACT with a score of 19 or higher in Reading and Writing Completion of any additional entry requirements for the program of study.

The College will issue an Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility form after students complete the
steps above and qualify for admission.


Students who have previously attended Carl Sandburg College and want to return after an absence of one semester or more must notify the Admissions and Records Office of any changes in name, address, phone number, academic program, etc. Some academic programs have special readmission policies and procedures.

Steps to Enroll

Step 1:  Discover your options at Sandburg

  • Learn more about what Sandburg has to offer. Visit the Welcome Center in building B at the Galesburg campus; or speak with an advisor at the Carthage campus. Take a tour of campus and explore the various educational programs.

Step 2: Submit an application

  • Complete and submit an application at
  • You will receive a welcome letter about 1 week after with your student ID, email and mySandburg login.

Step 3: Apply for financial aid

  • Go to to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for both federal and state financial aid.
  • If possible, apply before February 15th to ensure the aid that you qualify for is available.
  • Carl Sandburg College’s code is 007265.

Step 4: Request official transcripts

  • High school, GED and all educational institutions.
  • Send to: Carl Sandburg College Attn: Admissions 2400 Tom L Wilson Blvd. Galesburg, IL 61401.

Step 5: Take the Placement Test*

*An eighth grade reading level as demonstrated by a standardized test approved by the College is required for admission to developmental and credit classes. This requirement does not apply to Corporate and Leisure classes.

  • This untimed assessment test covers reading, writing and math, and will determine the level of classes you may begin.
  • Prepare for this test before you take it. Go to for practice tests, sample questions.
  • If you would like reading assistance to complete the test, please contact Disability Support Services at 309.341.5262.
  • Register at; or 309.345.3500.
  • Students with documentation of an ACT score of 20 in reading and English, an ACT score of 25 in Math, or a PARCC score of 4 or 5 in math or English may opt out of taking the placement test. (ACT scores must be less than 2 years old)

Step 6: Register for classes

  • Schedule an appointment with an advisor to register for courses. Call 309.341.5237 at the Galesburg campus or 217.357.3129 at Carthage campus.

For additional assistance contact the Welcome Center 309.345.3500

Online/Blended Courses

Online courses offer the same high quality instruction as their equivalent on-campus counterparts. These instructor-led courses are delivered through the Internet. By using the Internet students are able to link to faculty and other students in the class.

With Sandburg Online, learning can be accessible and flexible. If students have a busy schedule, they are able to "attend" class at times that best fit their schedule.

While the courses begin and end on specific dates and the course work has assigned deadlines, you can work at your own pace within the deadlines. For more information, please check our Web site at

Blended learning combines both traditional (face-to-face) classrooms with online coursework. This type of class can be structured a variety of ways, but typically it meets in the classroom once a week, and then the student completes the rest of the week's activities online. This provides a more flexible schedule, but keeps the personal touch of face-to-face meeting time. Because of the added online coursework, students can finish the same hours and the same course rigors with half the time or less being spent in the classroom.

Dual Credit Opportunities for High School Students

Carl Sandburg College works cooperatively with the various high schools within the Sandburg district that wish to provide college-level courses for their students during the junior and senior years. Dual credit allows eligible students to receive both high school and college credit for successfully completing college-level courses. These college courses may be offered at the high school location or the student may attend at one of the Carl Sandburg College campuses. Students must have the permission of the high school and obtain sufficient scores on a placement test to enroll in college courses. For detailed information, please contact the Welcome Center 309-345-3500 or .

Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI)

Carl Sandburg College is a participant in the Illinois Articulation Initiative. The General Education Core Curriculum was incorporated into the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees effective Summer 1998. Since completion of the Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degrees does not complete the Illinois Transferable General Education Core Curriculum (IAI GECC), students will need to complete the general education requirements of the school to which they transfer. For further information about IAI, go to the Web site at

Study Abroad

Carl Sandburg College works in conjunction with the Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs (ICISP) and other Illinois community colleges in order to provide semester study abroad programs for its students to Canterbury, England; Carlow, Ireland; Salzburg, Austria; Seville, Spain; and Xi'an, China, and to offer summer study abroad to Salzburg, Austria; San Jose, Costa Rica; Dijon, France; Hyderabad, India. These programs are intended to provide students with a better understanding of the world via living and studying in different cultural environments around the world. Students reside with host families for all programs except Australia, China, and Ireland, where students stay in apartment or residence hall accommodations. For all programs requiring language courses, no prior experience is required. However, students with previous language experience will be tested and placed in the appropriate classes. During their study abroad, students are registered as Carl Sandburg College students and receive course credit directly through the College. Students are required to have a 2.75 or higher GPA, a "C" or better in English 101, and 12-15 hours of college credit in order to participate in ICISP Study Abroad programs.  In addition to these regular opportunities, other opportunities for short term study abroad are available from year to year.

Partnership Agreements

Community College Partnership with Bellevue University

Carl Sandburg College and Bellevue University (Neb.) have entered into an Articulation and Community College Partnership. Any Carl Sandburg College student who attends Bellevue University and has earned their Associate Degree will have all of their credits accepted at Bellevue and will have all of their General Education requirements fulfilled but must satisfy the Kirkpatrick Signature Series requirement (specific to Bellevue University).

Chamberlain College of Nursing

Chamberlain College of Nursing is a not for profit Nursing college, offering degrees ranging from Bachelor’s degrees through Doctoral degrees in Nursing. Sandburg’s agreement offers students who receive their RN degree from Sandburg to transfer into their BSN program.

Community College Educational Agreement

The Board of Trustees of Carl Sandburg College and the Illinois Community Colleges listed below have entered into an agreement for the purpose of providing additional educational programs to the citizens of each district involved in this agreement. Students will pay the resident tuition and fees of the institution they attend. Details for eligibility to participate in this cooperative agreement are available by contacting the Admissions Office, 309.341.5234.

Participating Colleges

  • Black Hawk College
  • Carl Sandburg College
  • Danville Community College
  • Elgin Community College
  • Heartland Community College
  • Highland Community College
  • Illinois Central College
  • Illinois Valley Community College
  • John Wood Community College
  • Joliet Junior College
  • Kankakee Community College
  • Kaskaskia College
  • Kishwaukee Community College
  • Lake Land College
  • Lewis & Clark Community College
  • Lincoln Land Community College
  • McHenry County College
  • Moraine Valley Community College
  • Morton College
  • Prairie State College
  • Rend Lake College
  • Richland Community College
  • Rock Valley College
  • Sauk Valley Community College
  • South Suburban College
  • Southwestern Illinois College
  • Spoon River College
  • Waubonsee Community College

Culver-Stockton College

Carl Sandburg College has signed an agreement with Culver-Stockton College (Canton, MO) designed to ease the concerns of Sandburg students who wish to transfer to Culver-Stockton. The partnership involves the articulation of all of Carl Sandburg’s classes to a course equivalent at Culver-Stockton. This agreement should create seamless transfer opportunities for our students.

Community College Alliance with Franklin University

The Community College Alliance (CCA) is a unique educational agreement between Carl Sandburg College and Franklin University of Columbus, Ohio. This agreement allows Carl Sandburg College graduates to complete a bachelor's degree without leaving the Sandburg campus. After earning an associate degree or completing at least 60 transferable semester hours credit, students can earn a bachelor's degree through a combination of on-campus and online classes at Sandburg and online classes through Franklin University. There are 13+ majors in an online format that fit the students' career and lifestyle needs without the barriers of time and location. Beyond the bachelor's degree, students may also pursue the Vantage MBA in a completely online format in as few as 17 months. For detailed information, please contact the Admissions Office.

Dual Enrollment with Knox College

Carl Sandburg College and Knox College have partnered on a dual enrollment program for students who intend to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Knox upon completing an associate degree at Sandburg.  Students can apply for the dual admission program as early as their senior year in high school through the beginning of their sophomore year of college (30 semester hours). Students accepted to the program must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average.

Illinois College

Carl Sandburg College and Illinois College in (Jacksonville, IL) have an articulation agreement for students who wish to transfer to Illinois College upon completion at Sandburg. All of Sandburg’s transferrable classes have been articulated at Illinois College and those who receive their degree, with a qualifying GPA ,will enter Illinois College at Junior status.

Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University is giving Carl Sandburg College students the opportunity to continue their education through online studies. The primary program in the partnership benefits those who are wishing to pursue their B.S.N. at Indiana Wesleyan but there are several other degrees available through the agreement.

Monmouth College Pipeline Program

Carl Sandburg College has partnered with Monmouth College to create a program for students who desire to obtain a Bachelor's degree at Monmouth but earn their Associate's degree at Carl Sandburg prior to transferring. The program allows for students to meet with advisors from both institutions each semester and allows students access to various events and facilities on the Monmouth College campus. Inquiries can be directed to the Welcome Center, at 309.345-3500 or

Dual Admissions with Saint Ambrose University

Carl Sandburg College has entered into a dual admissions agreement, which permits students who intend to transfer to Saint Ambrose upon completion of their Associate Degree access to facilities, student events and other resources while attending Sandburg. Students must apply at both institutions upon entry into college and must work with an advisor from both institutions at the beginning of each semester.

Transfer Agreement with University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (ACES)

Carl Sandburg College and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) if the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have a cooperative agreement to help facilitate transfer students who wish to pursue a degree in one of the Agricultural Science programs at UIUC. Sandburg students who pursue the Associate in Science degree, with an emphasis in Agriculture, will be required to complete 12 semester hours of online work from UIUC and travel to their campus a couple of times per semester as part of their class requirements.

BOT/BA Degree Program with Western Illinois University

Carl Sandburg College signed a partnership agreement with Western Illinois University (WIU) to facilitate the transfer of students who have earned or are pursuing an associate degree at Sandburg and who wish to enroll in the WIU Board of Trustees BA degree program. This flexible program enables the mature place-bound student to earn a bachelor's degree with as few as 40 semester hours taken through WIU in an online format or on campus. Once a student is accepted into the BOT/BA program, the tuition and fees rate is frozen for four years (if the student maintains continuous enrollment). Although a major may not be earned, a minor may be achieved by completing the exact academic requirements listed in the WIU Undergraduate Catalog. For detailed information, please contact the Admissions Office.