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financial aid process

Next Steps After You've Applied

Now that you've been accepted, take time to congratulate yourself for all you've done to get to this point. It's a big accomplishment!

This is the time to really get to know Harford. Use it to explore our programs, apply for financial aid, visit campus, and consider your options. Not sure which major to choose? Advising and Career Services can help. 

Once you're ready to enroll, determine your student type below for the next steps.  Admissions team members are available to help in person at the Student Center or, you may schedule a virtual appointment.

Next Steps (by student type)

I am a Military/Veteran Student

Our Military and Veterans Team will help you navigate your next steps with the College and the military.

I am a high school/dual enrolled student

If you are still in high school and are taking classes at Harford Community College, AND you have applied and received your acceptance letter, these are your next steps:

  • Set up your OwlNet account (Harford's online portal) using the information provided in your acceptance email. This login will also be used to access your OwlMail. Make sure you regularly check both as this is how the College will communicate information for registration, payments, financial aid, and activities.
  • Email to request a meeting with an Admissions Specialist to discuss your courses and schedule. Once you have spoken with an Admissions Specialist, you are ready to register for classes on OwlNet.
  • Sign up for Dual Enrolled Orientation
  • Check your OwlNet account frequently. There is a tab specifically for dual enrolled students that gives you information about support services, dates and deadlines, and activities on campus.
I am a new student 

If you are just starting classes at Harford and will have graduated from high school when you begin, these are your next steps after you apply and receive your acceptance letter.

  • Set up your OwlNet and OwlMail accounts using the information provided in your acceptance email. From now on, this is where the College will communicate all important information: registration, payment, financial aid, etc. 
  • Complete the FAFSA® and apply for scholarships and financial aid.
  • Explore the many programs at Harford and take time to visit the campus. It will help you get a real feel for life on campus.
  • Request your high school transcripts and test scores (if you have taken SAT or ACT) be sent to Harford. Allow 5 business days for processing and review and then email admissions with your name and H-number (your Harford ID number that can be found in your acceptance letter). Your admissions rep will then contact you about whether or not you need to complete Accuplacer® placement testing.   
  • If you need to take the Accuplacer® placement test*, contact the Test Center to schedule an appointment.
  • Once an admissions specialist verifies that everything has been received, you will be provided with information to schedule a My Academic Plan (MAP) session. You will meet one-on-one with an academic advisor to review your schedule and register for the classes. MAP sessions may be conducted in person or virtually using MS Teams. 
  • Now you're ready to register, pay for classes, and sign up for Orientation!

NOTE: Students with qualifying scores  on SAT, ACT, PARCC, Accuplacer, GED, AP or IB tests OR have a high school cumulative GPA of 3.0 (unweighted) may be considered College and Career Ready, and are therefore exempt from placement testing. You must request that your scores be sent to Harford Community College for review.

I am a returning student

If you attended Harford Community College within the past two years, your files and login information should still be active. That means your Harford ID, OwlNet login, and email address are the same as when you previously attended.

If it has been more than two years since you attended, you must follow the instructions provided in your acceptance email to reactivate your account.

Prior to registering for classes, it's a good idea to meet with an advisor to discuss your academic plan. You may contact Advising at 443.412.2301, option 5, to setup an appointment.

NOTE: If you have not successfully completed  college-level English and math, you must complete placement testing before meeting with an advisor. If you completed courses at another college or university, request an official copy be sent to for evaluation. An unofficial transcript may be used only for advising purposes. 

I am a transfer student

Request that your official transcript be sent to Harford to be evaluated. This can be done by any of the following methods:

  • Via email:
  • Via regular mail:
    Harford Community College
    401 Thomas Run Road
    Bel Air, MD 21015-1627
    attn: Transcript Evaluator 
  • Via Parchment Services, the National Student Clearinghouse, or other official transcript evaluation services.   

The process typically takes three weeks and you will receive an email via your OwlMail account when they are completed.

Once completed, schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to discuss an academic plan and determine if you need to take the academic skills assessment test.

Review Transferring to Harford for details regarding:

  • transcript submission
  • credits transferred from your prior institution
  • placement tests and exemptions
  • scheduling and reviewing your academic plan with an advisor
  • frequently asked questions
I am a Visiting Student

If you are currently enrolled at another institution and wish to take a class at Harford, contact Admissions to confirm that your application has been processed and you are cleared to register. Once confirmed, go to the My Academic Life tab in OwlNet, then click Student Registration on the left.

I am a college graduate

If you've previously earned a college degree, either at Harford or at another institution, and are planning to take additional classes, you must first contact Admissions.

Provide official or unofficial transcripts with a conferment/graduation date or a picture of your college diploma to show you have earned a college degree. Unofficial transcripts may be used for advising purposes but you are still required to have official transcripts sent to Harford Community College for evaluation. Unofficial transcripts will not be evaluated.

Provide the Admissions Office with the phone number you prefer to be used when an Academic Advisor calls to set up your academic program planning session

Provide official or unofficial transcripts with a conferment/graduation date or a picture of your college diploma to show you have earned a college degree. 

Paying for Classes

Once you have registered for classes, it is your responsibility to arrange payment prior to the posted semester deadline. Those who do not pay are subject to having classes dropped. To avoid this happening, review the many options that they College has to help with payment.