Early Start (High School, Home School, GED)

Early Start for High School and GED Seeking Students

Eligible high school, home school, and GED students may take up to two college courses per semester at any of our campuses or education centers. Some classes may be counted toward your high school graduation requirements (check with your high school counselor); all count on your college transcript and most OTC coursework will transfer to other accredited colleges.

All Early Start applicants must be at least 16 years old and must limit their OTC course load to two classes per semester. Otherwise, all other regular admission, registration and payment procedures apply. Early Start students are not eligible for federal financial aid.

*Early Start should not be confused with the 'Early Leaver' term used by many high schools.  Students graduating early from high school in December/January, should follow the getting started steps for First-Time College Students

The following list will help you get started at OTC:

Apply for Admission

Complete the application online. You will receive your confirmation letter within 10 business days. 

To see registration dates click here.

Complete Orientation

All new OTC students are required to complete orientation prior to meeting with an advisor and enrolling in classes. Orientation is strongly recommended for readmitted students who have been away from OTC for awhile. Start the online orientation.

Take the Placement Test

COMPASS test scores are required for all students who do not have ACT scores, or their ACT scores are older than 2 years.  Placement scores are also required for transfer students who have not taken English and/or math in college and for students pursuing certain allied health programs. Walk-ins are accepted with photo identification. For more information, including testing times, see placement testing.

In order to do as well as possible, students are encouraged to review sample questions prior to taking the test.  It is also strongly recommended that students complete the placement test in two separate sessions.  Trying to complete all three subtests at the same time can cause fatigue and result in lower scores. 

It is important that you do your best on the placement test because test scores determine which educational path you will take at the College, which can impact your eligibility for financial aid.  For more information, see placement test score results

Complete the Early Start Permission Form

Meet with an Academic Advisor

Stop by Student Services where you will be seen on a walk-in basis.  Please indicate that you are an Early Start student and bring your photo ID and signed permission form with you.

Register For Classes

The earlier you register, the more choices of you will have in class offerings and times. Summer and Fall registration will begin in April. Spring registration will begin in November. See Registration Dates.

Make Tuition Payment Arrangements

By registering for classes, each student accepts responsibility for payment of all tuition and fees due the college.  Every student must make tuition payment arrangements by the final fee payment deadline to complete class registration. For a complete list of deadline dates, see Tuition Payment Information.

Tuition Payment Options

  • Option 1 - Make an immediate payment with a credit card or echeck through QuickPay.  Log in to MyOTC; Select the "Access OTC" tab; QuickPay.
  • Option 2 - My Payment Plan.  Select MyPay-Monthly or MyPay-Delayed Payment. You can register for MyPay MyWay AFTER you have registered in classes for the upcoming semester. The sooner you enroll with MyPay MyWay, the more payment plan choices you will have.  Log in to MyOTC; Select the "Access OTC" tab; My Payment Plan.

Get Your OTC SmartCard

All students are required to have an OTC SmartCard.  This will serve as your official college ID and as a debit card.  If you are due a refund from the college, it will be applied to your SmartCard.