How do I enroll in courses at COD?

Steps to Enrollment

There are six important steps a student should take before beginning coursework at College of the Desert:

  1. Admission Application
  2. Financial Aid Application
  3. Orientation
  4. Assessment
  5. Counseling/Advising
  6. Registration

The College requires all NEW students to participate in these steps.

1.    Admission Application

Complete the COD Admission Application and submit all necessary transcripts to the Admissions & Records Office.

  • The COD Admission Application is available online and must be completed by all new students intending to enroll at College of the Desert.
  • Continuously enrolled students are not required to reapply. However, two semesters break in enrollment requires a new application.
  • After completing the application, the Admissions & Records Office will email all new students (to the email provided in the admission application) information regarding next steps as outlined on College of the Desert's Getting Started webpage. Students must wait 48 hours to log into their MyCOD Student Portal where they will receive their College of the Desert Student Identification Number that is sent to the MyCOD email account when the student first applies for admission to the College.

2.    Financial Aid Application (optional)

Students in need of financial assistance to help afford college should apply for financial aid.

3.    Orientation

Orientation services are required for all first-time college students and are available to all students entering COD.

  • Students will receive academic planning assistance; information about college facilities, resources, and policies; and a review of student rights and responsibilities.
  • An online orientation is available through WebAdvisor on the MyCOD portal. Instructions for accessing the online orientation are located on the College of the Desert's "Getting Started" webpage.
  • In-person orientation may be available prior to registration periods. Contact the Counseling Center by phone at (760) 773-2521 or visit the Counseling webpage for more information. 

4.    Assessment

All new, first-time students are required to complete basic skills assessments in English, reading, and mathematics. Additionally, any assessments taken five or more years ago are no longer valid for prerequisite purposes.

  • The College utilizes the College Board’s Accuplacer exam to assess the basic skills of entering students. COD counselors will use the score results, along with a set of multiple measures, to help guide the students to appropriate courses and to assist the student to develop a Student Education Plan (SEP).
  • Students are strongly encouraged to refresh their skills in English, reading, and mathematics prior to taking the assessment test. Please contact the Counseling Center or Assessment Center to obtain information about available study guides and web resources.  
  • Visit the assessment webpage to schedule an appointment online. For directions and additional information, please call (760) 776-7413.

5.    Counseling/Advising

Student Education Plans (SEPs)

Upon admission to the College all students are required to declare an educational goal. A specific educational goal, along with a Student Education Plan (SEP), should be completed during the first year of enrollment.

An SEP is a planning tool that students complete online via WebAdvisor Student Planning. Students may attend a Student Planning Workshop provided by the Counseling Center to create a SEP based on future academic and career goals. It outlines a semester by semester plan of suggested courses to take based on major, transfer plans, and sequence of courses.  

Priority Registration will be given to students who work with a counselor to develop a Student Education Plan (SEP), succeed in their classes, and stay on track.

Abbreviated SEP - one to two terms in length designed to meet students' immediate needs that must be created before registering for first term classes.

Comprehensive SEP - a more detailed SEP that outlines completion to students' education objectives. A comprehensive SEP takes into account students' interests, skills, career and educational goals, major, potential transfer institutions, and the steps needed to take on an educational path to complete the educational goal. The comprehensive SEP includes the student's educational goal and course of study requirements, such as the requirements for the major, transfer, certificate, program, applicable course prerequisites or corequisites, the need for basic skills, assessment for placement results, and the need for referral to other support and instructional services. The comprehensive SEP is tailored to meet each student's individual needs and interests and can be created before or after registering for classes.

The Comprehensive SEP is a participation requirement for the following programs:

  • EOPS
  • DSPS
  • CalWORKs
  • Veterans
  • Athletics
  • Reentry

If a student is transferring to College of the Desert from another college or university, prior to scheduling an appointment for an SEP, he or she must:

  • Send official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities previously attended to the Admissions & Records Office.
  • Verify with the Admissions & Records Office that transcripts have been received. 

Counseling faculty are available in the Counseling Center. Counselors will assist students with academic, personal, and career goal setting and provide information about available campus resources to help students achieve their goals. A primary role of a counselor is to assist students in developing a Student Education Plan (SEP).

Faculty Advisors are available in every academic department. Advisors can provide valuable information about department majors, career pathways, and will work collaboratively with counselors to advise students with regard to the student's educational and career goals. A list of advisors and their contact information is listed in the Schedule of Classes each semester.


Some students may be exempt from the assessment, orientation, and/or the counseling/advising components if they meet certain criteria (Title 5, section 55532). However, students will not be exempt from the admissions and follow-up components. Information about exemption eligibility is available on the Counseling Center webpage.

Students wishing to obtain an exemption in any of the three areas mentioned should submit an Exemption Request, along with supporting documentation, to the Counseling Center. If approved, the Counseling Center staff will clear the student to register for classes. This does not exempt students from meeting prerequisite requirements. For more information, contact the Counseling Center at (760) 773-2520.

6.    Registration

Priority Registration

College of the Desert is committed to the philosophy that all students should have fair and equitable access to courses and programs within the resources and in accordance with State Education Code, Title 5 provisions and guidelines adopted by the Board of Governors. Furthermore, the College believes that students should be able to progress toward their stated educational objectives in a timely manner.

The primary mission of the College is to provide transfer and vocational courses and programs. Therefore, priority is extended to students who have demonstrated satisfactory academic progress toward their declared educational objectives.

Policy on Open Enrollment

Unless specifically exempted by statute, every course, course section, or class which is to be reported for state apportionment, is open for enrollment, and participation by any person who has been admitted to the College and who meets the student success requirements.

Enrollment Procedures

Each student is responsible for his or her registration of classes and for attending classes. Furthermore, each student is responsible for following the rules and regulations in this catalog. The College is not liable if the student fails to read and understand the rules.

WebAdvisor is the secure online self-service access used by College of the Desert students. Students may access WebAdvisor via the MyCOD Student Portal to add and drop classes, pay fees, print class schedules and unofficial transcripts, and view their registration priorities and any restrictions on their accounts, as well as print unofficial degree/certificate evaluations and create a Student Educational Plan (SEP) based on their educational goals.

Schedule of Classes

The Schedule of Classes is the official list of courses offered each semester. The College reserves the right to make additions or deletions to the list of course offerings during the year or to cancel those classes in which enrollment is insufficient or qualified instructors are unavailable.

Every class offered, unless otherwise stated in the official catalog and schedule of classes, is fully open to enrollment and participation by any person who meets the academic prerequisites  and/or corequisites of such class (subject to maximum enrollments) and who is otherwise eligible for admission to, and enrollment in, the College. Go to Catalogs & Schedules for the online schedule.

Adding & Dropping Courses

Students have the ability to adjust their class schedule as needed via WebAdvisor provided that they adhere to all registration deadlines as published each term in the Schedule of Classes. A change of a student’s class schedule can include the following: dropping a class, adding a class, adding or reducing units to a class for which the student is already registered, or changing sections of the same course.

Auditing a Class

In accordance with Education Code, section 76370 and COD Board Policy 4070, auditing is permitted.

  • No student will be allowed to register to audit a full term course prior to the last day to add full term classes.
  • Priority in class enrollment shall be given to students enrolling for credit towards a certificate or degree.
  • Permission to audit a course is granted with the signed permission of the instructor and the appropriate instructional dean on an Audit Course Form. The form is available at the Counseling Center and at the Admissions & Records Office, or online.
  • A completed Audit Course Form with required signatures must be submitted to Admissions & Records Office within 5 business days following the last day to add full term courses.
  • Concurrently enrolled high school students are not eligible to audit courses.
  • A fee of $15 per unit will be charged to audit a course. Payment is required prior to enrolling for audit.
  • Students enrolled in classes to receive credit for ten (10) or more semester credit units shall not be charged a fee to audit three (3) or fewer units per semester.
  • BOGW may not be applied to fees for courses being audited. BOGW can only be applied towards courses being completed for credit only.
  • Students may not audit any course more than three (3) times.
  • Students enrolled as auditors shall not be permitted to change their enrollment in the course to receive credit.
  • Some labs may not be available to students who audit.

Withdrawals & Grade Responsibility

Students are expected to plan their schedule carefully with the aid and approval of an advisor and endeavor to maintain that schedule through the semester. Students should attend all classes in which they originally enrolled and are responsible to drop courses they have stopped attending via WebAdvisor.

A "W" grade is a part of a student’s permanent record and cannot be removed unless they are in accordance with state regulations, Title 5, sections 55024 and 58508. The state provides for alleviation of a "W" grade if the basis is due to an extraordinary circumstance or an allowable exclusion. The state defines:

Allowable Exclusions i.e., Military Withdrawal (called to duty).

Extraordinary Conditions - College and/or classes inaccessible due to natural disaster; student responding to certain events (flood, fire); or student had to evacuate home as a result of natural disaster events.

Students are held accountable for every course for which they have registered and are responsible for their own class schedule and any changes made via WebAdvisor. Although faculty may drop students for non-participation/non-attendance, students should not expect the faculty to drop them for non-participation/non-attendance. If a student fails to drop or withdraw from a course by the established deadlines, the student may receive an “FW” grade for that course. To assure transactions are correct, College of the Desert recommends that students print out a class schedule after completing registration and/or after adding or dropping a course.

The designated student grade responsibility date shall occur at the 75 percent point of a semester or session. Students who do not withdraw by the deadline indicated in the class schedule will receive a grade of A, B, C, D, F, FW, P, or NP. All grades become a part of the student’s permanent record.

Conditions for Petition to Withdraw

Extenuating circumstance petitions to withdraw from a class after the grade responsibility date must be presented within two years from the time the grade was assigned.

Effective Fall 2009, only students who have received a FW grade are eligible to petition for a withdrawal (W). Students who have verifiable extenuating circumstances may petition for an exception to withdraw from a class once the grade is recorded. The student may petition for authorization to receive a withdrawal (W) in the following manner:

  • A formal petition must be submitted through the MyCOD Portal by the student.
  • Proof of the extenuating circumstances being cited as reasons for withdrawal, or unsuccessful course completion, must be submitted.
  • The instructor of each course in question must be consulted. In the event the instructor of record cannot be contacted, or is unavailable, the appropriate Instructional Dean will act on his or her behalf. College of the Desert defines extenuating circumstances as serious and compelling reasons, which are limited to the following:
    • Illness, hospitalization, or medical reasons    
    • Employment
    • Relocation
    • Illness or death of a family member or loved one
    • Incarceration

Limitations on Enrollment

Limitations on enrollment are restrictions imposed due to the nature of the course such as prerequisites, corequisites, intercollegiate competition, honors, public performance or restrictions imposed in the number of students who may enroll in a course subject to "first come, first serve" or due to health and safety considerations, facilities limitations, faculty workload, the availability of qualified instructors, funding limitations, the constraints of regional planning, legal requirements imposed by statutes, regulations, or contracts, or other such limitations as designated by the District. Students on probation or who are subject to dismissal may also experience a limitation as to the number of units in which they are allowed to enroll until they have removed themselves from probation or dismissal status.

Prerequisites, Corequisites, & Advisories

Complete course prerequisites, corequisites, and advisories are listed in this catalog and on WebAdvisor after the course descriptions. These requirements are intended to ensure students a reasonable chance of success. Questions regarding course eligibility should be discussed with the faculty advisor.  

Prerequisite is a course or courses, skills, or a body of knowledge that students should possess prior to enrolling in a course or program. Prerequisites indicate the College of the Desert course which must be taken prior to enrollment in a given course. Prerequisite requirements must be met before enrollment is permitted.  Prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or better.   

Corequisite is a course or courses students are required to take simultaneously in order to enroll in another course. Corequisite represents a set of skills or a body of knowledge students must acquire through concurrent and continued enrollment in another course or courses in order to receive a "C" or better in the course requiring the corequisite.  

Advisory is a condition of enrollment that students are advised, but not required, to meet before or concurrently with enrollment in a course or educational program. An Advisory suggests skills, experiences, or a body of knowledge with which students would achieve a greater depth or breadth of knowledge or skill development, but without which students are likely to receive a satisfactory grade.

The District has established procedures by which any student who does not meet a prerequisite or corequisite or who is not permitted to enroll due to a limitation on enrollment, but who provides satisfactory evidence, may seek entry into the class according to a challenge process.

Any prerequisite or corequisite may be challenged by a student on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. The prerequisite or corequisite has not been established according to the District's process of establishing prerequisites and corequisites;
  2. The prerequisite or corequisite violates Title 5, section 55003 (Policies for Prerequisites);
  3. The prerequisite or corequisite is either unlawfully discriminatory or is being applied in an unlawfully discriminatory manner;
  4. The student has the knowledge or ability to succeed in the course or program despite not meeting the stated prerequisite or corequisite;
  5. The student will be subject to undue delay in attaining the goal stated in the Student Education Plan (SEP) because the prerequisite or corequisite course has not been made reasonably available.

The determination of whether a student meets a prerequisite or corequisite shall be made prior to the student's enrollment in the course.

Students who are seeking to challenge a course prerequisite or corequisite are encouraged to consult with a counselor in the Counseling Center to receive guidance on how to complete the process and on the validity of a challenge prior to it being submitted.

Basic Skills Course Limitation

Basic skills or pre-collegiate courses are designed to prepare students for college-level work. Students may be required to enroll in certain basic skills courses if the assessment process indicates they will benefit by this special preparation for college-level courses. A total of 30 units are allowed. Any student who completes a total of 30 units in any combination will be notified and referred to a counselor for educational planning or exceptions to the limits. Basic skills courses may not be used to satisfy general education requirements for an associate degree. Exceptions to the basic skills limitations are: students enrolled in one or more courses of ESL, or students identified by the District as having a learning disability as defined in Title 5, section 56036.

Students who are financial aid recipients are reminded that only 30 units of remedial course work are excluded from the established unit limit for financial aid eligibility. Please check the Financial Aid Office webpage for further details on courses excluded from remediation.

Courses Related in Content

Title 5, section 55040 (c) The policies and procedures adopted by the governing board of each community college district pursuant to subdivision (a) may not permit student enrollment in active participatory courses, as defined in section 55000, in physical education/kinesiology, visual arts, or performing arts that are related in content, more than four times for semester courses. This limitation applies even if a student receives a substandard grade or “W” during one or more of the enrollments in such a course or petitions for repetition due to extenuating circumstances as provided in Title 5, section 55045. See pages 146-148 for courses related in content.

Maximum Unit Load

An average class load for fall and spring semesters is considered to be 12-17 units. Students working full time are encouraged to carry a reduced load. Students with advanced standing, and having a “C” average (2.0 grade point average) or better, are permitted to enroll in a maximum of 19 units. During the summer term an average class load is two classes; however, students may be limited to a total of 7 units. During the winter term, an average class load is one class; however, students may be limited to a total of 7 units.

Students who wish to obtain a variance from the above unit limitations should meet with a counselor in the Counseling Center to discuss their need for an overload and for assistance in completing a Request to Add Class form. Upon completion of the form, students should set up a meeting with the Interim Dean of Counseling or designee to discuss their prior academic performance and their reasons for requesting a unit overload. The Interim Dean or designee will provide final approval for a unit overload if deemed appropriate.  

Multiple Enrollments

College of the Desert does not permit a student to enroll in two or more sections of the same credit course during the same term unless the two sections are short term courses that do not overlap within the same term (Title 5, section 55007.a).

Overlapping Enrollments – Time Conflicts

College of the Desert does not permit a student to enroll in two or more courses where the meeting times for the courses overlap (Title 5, section 55007.b).

Students with Minimum Unit Requirements1

Category Minimum Units
Athletes 12
ASCOD Officers 5
CARE Students 12
EOPS Students 12
Full-time Financial Aid Recipients 12
3/4 Time Financial Aid Recipients 9
Half-time Financial Aid Recipients 6
International Students 12
TRIO ACES Students 12
Veterans' Benefits Recipients Varies by Program

 Each program may have additional eligibility requirements. Please contact the program for additional information.


Classification of Students

Freshman: A student who has completed fewer than 30 units of college credit.
Sophomore: A student who has completed 30 or more units of college credit.
Post-Graduate: A student who has been awarded a degree and has enrolled for further study.    
Full Time: A student enrolled for 12 or more units during the Fall and Spring semesters. A student enrolled for 6 or more units during the Summer and Winter terms.
Part Time: A student enrolled for fewer than 12 units during the Fall and Spring semesters. A student enrolled for fewer than 6 units during the Summer and Winter terms.

Residency Requirements

This section of the catalog provides a general summary of the principal rules on residency and their exceptions. For the detailed rules used by the Admissions & Records Office for residency determination, reference should be made to regulations of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges in Sub-Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 54000) of Division 6 of Chapter V of Title 5 of the California Administrative Code, and the regulations and guidelines available at the Admissions and Records Office. These regulations are subject to change without notice by the State Legislature.

Resident/Non-Resident Fees

Each person applying for admission to a California community college is, for purposes of admission and/or tuition fees, classified as a “California resident" or as a “non-resident” according to the Admission Application completed by the potential student. Students classified as California residents will be subject to pay the stated California resident enrollment fees in effect at the time of admission as stated in the corresponding Schedule of Classes. Students classified as non-residents will be subject to pay non-resident tuition in addition to the stated California resident enrollment fees in effect at the time.

A “California resident” is a person who has resided within California for at least one year and one day prior to the first day of the term of enrollment and can provide documentation of his or her intent to make California their permanent residence.

A “non-resident” student is one who does not have residence in the state for more than one year prior to the residence determination date and cannot provide documentation of intent to make California their permanent residence.


Applicants classified as non-residents will receive notice of their status to the email address provided on the Admission Application.

Students who have been classified as non-residents are not automatically reclassified as residents. It is the responsibility of the student to request reclassification to residency status.

A Residency Questionnaire along with the required documentation must be submitted to the Admissions & Records Office before the start of the term (not the start date of the course) and by the deadline published in the Schedule of Classes to be considered for a residency adjustment. Residency Questionnaires submitted after the start of the term will be considered for the next term.

The petition must be accompanied by documentation verifying the student’s intent to become a California resident, evidence of physical presence in California, and/or evidence of financial independence. Title 5, sections 54002-54028 and Education Code, section 68040 clearly state that the burden of proof to clearly demonstrate both physical presence in California and intent to establish California residence lies with the student. Failure to provide requested residency information will result in a determination of non-resident.

The Residency Questionnaire Form with complete instructions is available online; log into the MyCOD Student Portal, and under the WebAdvisor icon, click on A&R forms. Questions regarding residency should be directed to the Admissions & Records Office at (760) 773-2516.

If you do not have the required documentation the State requires for residency determination by the College, you will need to pay the out-of-state fees due or drop your classes before the term begins so you are not responsible to pay the fees; failure to drop classes before the term begins will result in you paying the non-resident fees. This is a State audited item and fees cannot be changed. NOTE: If you are applying and enrolling during the first week of the term, you are responsible for fees due regardless of residency; it is too late to request or submit a Residency Questionnaire for the term in which you are applying.

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens must provide proof of immigration status.

Applicants who are U.S. citizens but have resided in California for less than two years, much provide proof of:

  • Intent of become a California resident
  • Physical presence in California
  • Financial independence

A student seeking reclassification as a resident, who was classified a non-resident in the preceding term, shall be determined to be financially independent or dependent.

A student who has established financial independence may be classified as a resident if the student has demonstrated clearly physical presence and intent to be a California resident for one year prior to the residence determination date.

In determining whether the student has objectively manifested intent to establish California residence, financial independence shall weigh in favor of finding California residence, and financial dependence shall weigh against finding California residence.

Financial dependence in the current or preceding calendar year shall weigh more heavily against finding California residence than shall financial dependence in earlier calendar years. Financial dependence in the current or preceding calendar year shall be overcome only if (1) the parent on whom the student is dependent is a California resident, or (2) there is no evidence of continuing residence in another state.

Establishing Residence

A person capable of establishing residence in California must couple his or her physical presence in California with objective evidence that the physical presence is with the intent of making California his or her permanent home. The burden is on the student to demonstrate clearly both physical presence in California and intent to establish California residence. The following explanations will assist in determining physical presence and intent.

Physical Presence

A.   A person capable of establishing residence in California must be physically present in California for one year prior to the residence determination date to be classified as a resident student.

B.    A temporary absence for business, education, or pleasure will not result in loss of California residence if, during the absence, the person always intended to return to California and did nothing inconsistent with that intent.

C.    Physical presence within the state solely for educational purpose does not constitute establishing California residence regardless of the length of that presence.


A.    Intent to make California home for other than a temporary purpose may be manifested in many ways. No one factor is controlling.

B.    A student who is 19 years of age or over and who has maintained a home in California continuously for the last two years shall be presumed to have the intent to make California home for other than a temporary purpose unless the student has evidenced a contrary intent by having engaged in any of the activities listed in subsection (f) of this section.

C.    A student who is under 19 years of age shall be presumed to have the intent to make California home for other than a temporary purpose if both the student has evidenced a contrary intent by having engaged in any of the activities listed in subsection (f) of this section.

D.    A student who does not meet the requirements of subsection (b) or subsection (c) of this section shall be required to provide evidence of intent to make California home for other than a temporary purpose as specified in subsection (e) of this section.

E.    The following factors are considered in determining California residency (a minimum of 3 must be provided):

  1. Ownership of residential property or continuous occupancy of rented or leased property in California;
  2. Registering to vote and voting in California;
  3. Licensing from California for professional practice;
  4. Presence of spouse, children, or other close relatives in the state;
  5. Showing California as home address on federal income tax form;
  6. Payment of California state income tax as a resident;
  7. Possessing California motor vehicle license plates;
  8. Possessing a California driver’s license;
  9. Maintaining a permanent military address or home of record in California while in the armed forces;
  10. Establishing and maintaining an active California bank account; and/or
  11. Being the petitioner for a divorce in California.

F.    Conduct inconsistent with a claim of California residence includes, but not limited to:

  1. Maintaining voter registration and voting in another state;
  2. Being the petitioner for a divorce in another state;
  3. Attending an out-of-state institution as a resident of that state; or
  4. Declaring non-residence for state income tax purposes.

Exceptions to Residency Rule

Exceptions to the residency determination as set forth above will be applied to certain factual situations. If the student would otherwise be classified a non-resident, but fits within one of the following exceptions, he or she will be granted resident classification until he or she obtains such classification.

Examples of some exceptions are:

  • A minor whose parents moved from California prior to the residency determination date will retain resident classification if he or she remains in California and continues full-time attendance at College of the Desert.
  • A student who is a minor and who has been self-supporting and in California for one year preceding the day before the term will be granted resident classification.
  • A child or spouse of a member of the armed forces stationed in California will be granted resident classification. A student who is a member of the armed forces not assigned to California for purposes of education will be entitled to resident classification.
  • Adult aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence and present for one year will be given resident classification. Minor aliens may use their parent’s durational presence to satisfy the one-year requirement.
  • A student holding a valid credential authorizing service in a public school and employed in a certificated position by a community college district will be given resident classification.
  • Certain refugees may claim exception from non-resident tuition with documentation from the Department of Homeland Security evidencing that the student is a refugee and establishing that he or she has been a California resident for one year.
  • A student who is a full-time employee of a California school enrolling in courses necessary for credential qualifications will be given resident classification.

California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption (AB 540)

Any student, other than a non-immigrant alien, who meets all of the following requirements, shall be exempt from paying non-resident tuition.

  • The student must have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years. Students that graduate early from high school may use years in middle school to meet the three years of attendance requirement.
  • The student must have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for example, passing the GED, California High School Proficiency exam, or California High School Exit Exam).
  • An alien student who is without lawful immigration status must file an affidavit with the College stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so. Students who are eligible for the AB 540 exemption must complete and submit the California Non-resident Tuition Exemption Request along with the appropriate evidence of high school completion. Please visit the Admissions & Records Office webpage for the AB 540 Exemption Request.

Please Note

  • Students, who hold non-immigrant visas [for example, Tourist (B-1, B-2), Foreign Student (F-1), NAFTA (TN & TD), and Exchange Student (J), ECT] are not eligible for this exemption. B1 & B2 (tourist visa) students are not allowed to attend College of the Desert.
  • Students who enroll into classes pending notification of approval for the qualifying semester are responsible for the quoted tuition.
  • Students who are approved based on the submitted documents will receive a refund on the non-resident tuition they have paid. The burden of residency proof rests with the applicant.


All fees must be paid within the time frame allotted to avoid a drop for non-payment. Please refer to the College website for current fees.

  1. Enrollment Fees for Resident Students: Fees are listed on the College website for each semester or intersession.
  2. Tuition Fee for Out-of-State Residents (Non-Residents):  A tuition fee, based on that of a contiguous district, as permitted by Education Code, section 76140, is charged to all students who have not been legal residents of California for one full year. See College website for the current fee. Questions relating to the establishment of California residency should be directed to the Admissions & Records Office. 
    Exemption of Non-Resident Fees: Under California law, waivers of the non-resident portion of tuition and enrollment fees may be granted to the following:
    1. Members of the military who are on active duty assigned to California, their spouses, and their dependent children. 
    2. Students who have attended high school in California for three years or more, and will have earned a diploma or the equivalent before classes begin. This includes undocumented aliens and all others who meet the criteria even if they have established residency in another state subsequent to graduation from a California high school. 
      Documentation is required for both categories. Please contact the Admissions & Records Office for specific information 
  3. Tuition Fee for Foreign Students: Foreign students will be charged the same fee as Out-of-State Residents, which includes in-state California fees, computed as stated in section 2 above. See College website for the current fee.
  4. Credit by Examination Fee: A non-refundable application fee, equal to the State mandated enrollment fee, is charged for Credit by Examination. Please check the Admissions & Records Office webpage for current fees.
  5. Duplicate Diploma/Certificate Fee: A fee is charged for a duplicate diploma/certificate. Please check the Admissions & Records Office webpage for current fees.
  6. Enrollment Verification Fee: Students requesting enrollment verification pay a nominal fee. Enrollment verifications are obtained by completing an online request form. Enrollment verifications requested for the purpose of student loan deferment are fee exempt. Additional information is available on the Admissions & Records Office webpage.
  7. Health Fee: Assembly Bill No. 2236, passed by the California State Legislature, and under authority of Education Code, section 76355 authorizes College of the Desert to charge a Health Fee for the operation of a Student Health Center. Exempted students include:
    1. All active duty military personnel attending classes on a military base and their dependents.
    2. Apprentice students. 
    3. All students who depend exclusively on prayer for healing in accordance with a bonafide religious sect.
  8. Health Occupations Programs: College policy requires each student enrolled in Health Occupations programs which require patient contact for the development of specific skills to secure insurance coverage against liability for malpractice.
  9. Instructional Materials Fee: Students may be required to provide required instructional and other materials for a credit or noncredit course, provided such materials are of continuing value to the student outside the classroom and provided that such materials are not solely or exclusively available from the District.
  10. International Student Insurance: All international students enrolled at COD or in the Intensive English Academy must either purchase the COD international student health insurance plan or provide proof that they have purchased another health insurance plan that is accepted at medical facilities in the United States and is valid for the entire duration of their stay in the country. Information regarding benefits and costs of the COD international student health insurance plan are available in the International Education Program Office.
  11. International Student Processing Fee: The College shall charge a student who is both a citizen and a resident of a foreign country a fee to process his or her application for admission. This processing fee and regulations for determining economic hardship may be established by the Superintendent/President. The fee shall not exceed the lesser of (1) the actual cost of processing an application and other documentation required by the U.S. government; or (2) one hundred dollars ($100), which shall be deducted from the tuition fee at the time of enrollment.
  12. Parking Fee: A fee is charged to students for parking permits. A valid permit must be displayed to park on campus. There is a charge for replacement of parking permits. Citations are assessed for violation of parking regulations.
  13. Refund Processing Fee: A fee is charged for the processing of a refund. Please check the Bursar's Office webpage for additional information.
  14. Student Center Fee: Approved by student vote in accordance with Education Code, section 79121, for the purpose of refinancing, constructing, enlarging, remodeling, refurbishing, and operating a student center.
  15. Student Representation Fee: Approved by student vote, this fee is to support student government representatives who may be stating their positions and viewpoints before city, county, and district government, and before offices and agencies of the state and federal government. Students may refuse to pay, for religious, political, financial, or moral reasons, in writing to the Admissions & Records Office at the time of initial payment of fees.
  16. Transcript Fee: An official transcript of a student’s record is obtained by completing the Transcript Request online. Sealed transcripts sent directly from the College to the destination requested by the student are considered official unless unsealed. There is no charge for the first two official transcripts provided a student orders the transcripts through the Admissions & Records Office (allow minimum of 21 working days). Additionally, a student may receive an official transcript same day by paying a $25.00 fee at the Bursar’s Office and then taking the receipt to the Admissions & Records Office.

Please Note

All fees are subject to change according to changes in the California Educational Code and the State Legislature.

All information relative to enrollment fees and health fees is subject to change as mandated by the California Community College Board of Governors and California law.

Accident Insurance

The Health Fee entitles students to accident insurance. This policy covers accidents on campus or campus-related activities only. Athletes engaged in interscholastic sports have separate coverage.

Medical Insurance

Students may voluntarily purchase supplementary health insurance to cover sickness and hospitalization at minimum cost. This insurance is required for all foreign students each semester.

Financial Aid Recipients

All financial aid recipients, including those receiving scholarships should do the following prior to receiving their funds:

  • Check campus email for recent financial aid announcements and updates.
  • Verify financial aid file is complete by viewing the required document status information on the Student Self Service Portal via WebAdvisor.
  • Visit the Financial Aid Office website to view disbursement dates, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), withdrawal policy, and other pertinent information.

Payment Plan

College of the Desert offers a payment plan option to pay enrollment fees. The optional payment plan is offered for a $20 processing fee. For more information on the payment plan, please go to the Bursar's Office

To establish a repayment plan for prior semesters' account balances, the following fees apply:

  • $25 for 3 to 6 payments
  • $45 for 9 to 12 payments  
  • $2 fee for single payment to pay off account balance

Students' repayment plans must be paid in full in order to register for classes or access official transcripts.

Refund Policy

Students receive an automatic refund if the College cancels a class or if the student finds it necessary to drop a class or classes within the deadline to be eligible for a refund. Refunds are issued beginning the sixth week of the semester and are either mailed to the student’s address on file with Admissions & Records Office or returned as a credit to the credit card from which fees were originally paid. There will be a $10 processing fee deducted from the refund when the student initiates a reduction of program. Students may request a refund prior to that time by completing a refund request form available in the Bursar’s Office. Refunds of less than $10 will not be processed automatically and must be requested in person from the Bursar’s Office.

Limitations on Refunds

Enrollment, Student Center, and Student Representation Fees are refundable if class is dropped on or before the "last day to drop and be eligible to receive a refund." See Schedule of Classes for deadline dates. Contact the Admissions & Records Office for deadlines attached to short-term classes.

The student health fee is refundable if classes are dropped on or before the "last day to drop and be eligible to receive a refund" if the student completely withdraws from school. It is not refundable for a reduction of program.

Non-resident and foreign student tuition fees are refundable for a reduction of program or a complete withdrawal. See Schedule of Classes for deadlines to drop and be eligible to receive a refund.

Parking Fee Refunds

The parking fee is refundable if classes are dropped on or before the "last day to drop and be eligible to receive a refund," if the student completely withdraws from school. The parking sticker must be returned to the Bursar's Office to receive a refund.

Returned Checks

A service charge of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) will be assessed for any check returned to College of the Desert by a bank. Students who have a returned check will be notified by the Bursar's Office. A hold will be placed on the students’ records preventing any registration activity (including registration for subsequent terms), having transcripts sent, and verification of enrollment or other transactions. The hold will remain until the financial obligation is met.

College Bookstore

A service charge of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) will be assessed for any check returned to the College Bookstore by a bank. Students who have a returned check will be notified by FedChex, a recovery service working on behalf of the Bookstore. A hold will be placed on the students’ records preventing any registration activity (including registration for subsequent terms), having transcripts sent, and verification of enrollment or other transactions. The hold will remain until the financial obligation is met.