Polk State College Reviews
I choose Polk State College because they offered Part 141 Aviation Training and both an Associate of Science Commercial Pilot and a Bachelor of Science Commercial Aviation. The professors have been great to work with. The advisors and Financial aide and cashier departments have been a nightmare. Neither advisors, cashiers nor financial aide email or phone calls receive any response. Numerous email and phone calls and messages are left unanswered. The only responses I got were actually going to the school and spending hours to speak to these people. I had several scholarships coming in to Polk State. However, to pay for classes I was always forced to go into the school. In a few cases the scholarships were sent as checks, I then had to cash the checks and take them to the cashiers office to apply them to my account at Polk State. And there were two separate accounts, one for my classes, another for my flight program. So if a scholarship arrived to the school. Polk state would not allow me to apply the money to my outstanding balance due. I had to wait for the school to send me a check. Then cash the check and take the cash to the school to apply it to my account. The few times I waited for several hours to speak to someone in financial aide, I was told that the financial aide director didn't believe my questions required a meeting and she had to devote her time to more valid questions from other students. The advisor I worked with during my initial request, botched my degree and put me down for a different degree than actual. This caused my scholarship to be delayed and having to pay in full out of pocket. This was after my requesting several times that he fix it and put the proper degree down on my school degree of study information. It took the VA director getting involved before the advisor changed the degree to list the proper information.
This is a general observation of Polk State College. I will write this review here and other places because of great concern for the college and its check and balance practices. I will not get into specifics, but there is great concern for the handling of the financial aid of student's education. I have attended and I have known others to have to same confusion and frustration. Of course financial aid is not easy to navigate; however, this school manages to compound confusion by not making sure those who handle financial aid are all properly trained and versed on what factors need to be counted and considered. So, the experience becomes more cumbersome than necessary and this has been going on for several years. Conclusion: This makes the experience of obtaining an education a nerve racking event not knowing if where you stand financially is really where you stand.
I liked Polk State. I had minor hiccups with FA but nothing that took longer than 10 minutes to fix. The PA program had great Professors with reasonable workloads. I loved their 8 week fast-track courses too. I finished my BAS in 1.5 years with the 8 week blocks. Polk is priced fairly cheap & offers lots of online options. Solid choice if you want to be debt free, finish quick, and be able to work.
Polk State is a great school. I loved it there and I liked the majority of my Professors. I only had a small negative experience with one Professor and even that really wasn't a big issue. My main issue is with Polk's FA Department and their advisors. My advisor would only respond when I bombarded him with e-mails. I would get one response for every 4-5 e-mails. When he finally responded, he would give me a copy and paste answer instead of answering my questions. No guidance at all. FA is a nightmare. Not one semester did they not mess something up. I was locked out of classes due to their errors on three separate semesters. I would have to contact the Director directly who would then have it corrected. Funny how the Director e-mails them once and everything's fixed, meanwhile I had e-mailed and called for a week and got nothing done. Polk is a good school, they just need to get their FA and advisors on the same level as the rest of the college. Also, if you're going to take classes on campus, go to Lakeland. Winter Haven is dirty and in a bad part of town. Lakeland is pretty and in a good location.
Polk State College is a great starter school for you to get your most basic classes in for your Associates. It's very common for students to transfer to other universities to finish their Bachelors. Polk State currently has quite a few options themselves for BAS degrees, but not everything. It's a great school to graduated for business though. Saved a lot of money by staying at the college instead of transferring, and I finished a year ahead with fast track courses.
I have mixed feelings with Polk. PROS: Cheap tuition, Lakeland campus is pretty, reasonable expectations from Professors, 8-week block scheduling that makes managing school easy. CONS: Financial Aid is a nightmare. They gave FA (even though I don't qualify) around 9am on a Friday. At 5:00pm on the same Friday,which was also the business day before priority registration started, they e-mailed me to return the funds or be locked out of registration. I had no issue returning the funds once they made me aware they had been deposited on to my school account, but I was extremely upset that they waited until 5pm on Friday to notify me. I was even more irritated when I could not register for classes on Monday because of this. It took me until Tuesday and four phone calls to get someone who understood that I needed to return funds. They also don't offer every class every semester so it holds up your degree at times, and trying to reach my advisor is like trying to see the back of my head without a mirror. However, their online system is easy to navigate and their instructors are good at helping their students succeed. Polk is not a bad school, but it will require you to consistently play an active roll in your education and it will require the patience of a Saint.
Polk State has a very friendly atmosphere. The number of students is low, meaning teachers can help you one on one when needed. There is available tutors for every subject, and a great student success center on every campus. The multiple campuses throughout Polk county make it easier to pick up classes close by.
Was able to transition from my Associate's degree to my Bachelor's degree completely online, which was nice while also working full-time as a nurse. I was also able to complete the program in 3 semesters, which allowed me to finish quickly and continue on to my Master's Degree.
I graduated from Polk State College in Dec 2014 with my Bachelors in Business Administration. Polk State College offered online and night classes that worked out great with working full time. The price is also cheaper than other colleges around for a Bachelors. They have a few campuses that you can take your classes at depending on your location or the classes that are being taken. They do have large class sizes when I took classes at the campus, but with most of my classes online, it was not a big concern for me.