Higher Education Council of Columbus

Explanation of program

The Higher Education Council of Columbus is an association of eight colleges and universities located in the greater Columbus metropolitan area. As a service to students at the participating institutions, the Council approved a cross-registration program for regularly enrolled, full-time (12 or more credit hours) undergraduate students. The objective of the cross-registration program is curriculum enrichment, exposing students to an area of study that is unavailable on their home campus without having to complete an extensive admissions process or pay additional instructional fees at the host institution.

The participating HECC institutions are:

  • Capital University 
  • Central Ohio Technical College 
  • Columbus College of Art and Design 
  • Columbus State Community College
  • Franklin University 
  • Ohio Dominican University
  • Otterbein University
  • The Ohio State University 

Download the HECC study plan form (Word)


Ohio State students should not attempt to circumvent HECC registration rules. Students are not permitted to “switch” to HECC if they have already enrolled for a class at the host institution. Students will be prohibited from registering through the HECC program that term and will be expected to pay host institution fees.

Ohio State students cannot enroll and pay at Ohio State, pay at another HECC institution, and participate in this program. Rationale: If you have enrolled and paid fees at both institutions, you do not qualify as a "visiting" student for HECC cross-registration purposes. If you have enrolled and paid fees at Ohio State and concurrently attending another HECC institution, you may not return to Ohio State to take a course under the auspices of the HECC program. Once you have scheduled and paid for courses at Ohio State, you are automatically ineligible to participate in the HECC program that term.

The total number of credit hours an Ohio State student may schedule during the term, including HECC, may not exceed the maximum number authorized by the student's Ohio State college of enrollment.

Ohio State students are eligible to participate in the HECC program in their second semester of enrollment at Ohio State with a GPA of at least 2.0. Note: Students participating in ROTC through the HECC program are eligible to take an ROTC course during the first semester.

HECC cross-registration is available to undergraduate Ohio State students who register and maintain a full-time status (12 credit hours or more, prior to HECC registration) for the term in which they participate in this program. If an Ohio State student falls below a full-time status, they will be required to withdraw from the HECC program and the cross-registered course or pay the host school directly for that course to maintain enrollment in that class.

Participation in the HECC program is limited to one course per term and a maximum of three courses in the life of a student’s undergraduate studies.

  • Cross-registration is not available to students who have been academically dismissed from The Ohio State University.
  • Graduate students at Ohio State are not eligible to register for courses through the HECC program.

The philosophy of cross-registration is that HECC students will fill what would otherwise be empty spaces in classes after general registration has occurred at participating schools. In order for an Ohio State student to cross-register a course, an open space must be available after the host school’s student population has registered for classes. Each host institution determines its own HECC registration time frame. Due to the timing of the HECC registration period for Ohio State students at host schools, it is possible that a particular section or entire course could be closed by the time an Ohio State student attempts to register using the HECC program. If a student feels they “must” register for the course in question and cannot risk being closed out due to space limitations, the student may want to investigate other options (registering and paying fees directly as a “special” student at the host school) rather than use the HECC program. Thus, because space guarantees cannot be made by registration time, required courses for a student’s major or for graduation purposes are discouraged from HECC cross-registration. When extenuating circumstances exist, the student must submit an explanation from their Academic Advisor and approval from the college secretary or designee.

The major benefit of the program is that the student will not pay tuition costs for the additional cross-registered course at the host institution. A student may be charged, however, for other enrollment-related fees such as lab fees, parking fees, etc. The host school will determine these fees. The student must be prepared to pay the fees at the time of registration at the host institution.

The regular course grading option for HECC coursework is by traditional letter grade only. All HECC coursework taken at a host institution will be converted to semester-hours once it is posted to the student’s Ohio State record.

Courses taken at a host institution through the HECC program are treated as if they were taken at Ohio State (with some slight modifications). HECC coursework is not “converted” to transfer credit (or “K-credit”). Once a student is confirmed as an HECC registrant for a term, “HECC 3970” is posted to the student’s current Ohio State schedule. The amount of credit given for the HECC 3970 class is equivalent to the amount taken at the host school. At the end of the term, the host school automatically forwards an official grade to the Office of the University Registrar. The student does not need to request a transcript be sent for the HECC course. The letter grade for the cross-registered class is then posted directly to the HECC 3970 class that appears on the student’s schedule. The letter grade will be calculated into the student’s Ohio State grade-point average (unlike traditional transfer credit). The HECC 3970 class will remain on the student’s permanent record.

The host’s course will not be directly articulated into an Ohio State course on the student’s record. Since the intent of cross-registration is curriculum enhancement, there should be no course equivalency at Ohio State for the cross-registered course. It is up to the student’s academic advisor and/or college office to determine how the HECC class will be utilized in the student’s academic program. No grade or transcript of the cross-registration course will be available to the student from the host institution.

An Ohio State student must meet with their academic advisor well in advance of the term they would like to participate. The student and advisor complete a Study Plan, confirming what course will be taken at the host institution and how it will be used in the student’s program of study at Ohio State. Signatures of the student, academic advisor and/or college secretary are required on the Study Plan. Students should review course offerings before meeting with an advisor. The student must be in a paid, full-time status at Ohio State for that term.

The completed Study Plan should be submitted to Attn: HECC.  

Students are not fully registered through the HECC program until they have completed the cross-registration at the host institution. 

As it is the host school’s prerogative to accept cross-registrants, retroactive HECC cross-registration after the host school’s registration period has closed is not permitted under any circumstances. 

Students are prohibited from withdrawing from the HECC class or the HECC program by using the web or by requesting a withdrawal through an academic advisor.

  • To withdraw from an HECC class, the student must complete an HECC Drop Form with the HECC Coordinator in the Office of the University Registrar at Ohio State. Please email Attn: HECC.
  • The completed form will be submitted to the host school’s registrar’s office for processing. The student must comply with the withdrawal date established at the host institution.
  • Drop dates are effective the date the student signs the drop form with the HECC Coordinator.
  • Capital University | 614-236-6150 |
  • Central Ohio Technical College | 740-755-7600 |
  • Columbus College of Art and Design | 614-222-4009 |
  • Columbus State Community College | 614-287-2573 |
  • Franklin University | 614-341-6249 |
  • Ohio Dominican University | 614-251-4651 |
  • Otterbein University | 614-823-1240 |

Please contact the applicable host institution for their HECC registration dates.