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International (F-1) Students Policy
Office of Origin: Student Engagement and Support
Date Adopted: 09-28-90
Date Reviewed: 08-15-08
Last Date Modified & Approved: 09-23-08, 05-15-18, 6-26-18
Defining an international (F-1 visa) student
The College defines an international student as a non-United States (U.S.) citizen residing or intending to reside as a non-immigrant in the United States for the purposes of obtaining an academic degree conferred by the College. This policy applies to students seeking an F-1 visa to study at Lake Michigan College (LMC).
LMC was first approved as a School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Students on 8-14-2002. LMC is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrants as international students and will comply with all federal regulations. To comply LMC:
- Furnishes non-immigrant students with a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20).
- Keeps records of Form I-20’s issued to non-immigrant students holding F-1 visas. Federal law and regulations require colleges to update and maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) records of non-immigrant students in F and M visa categories.
- May include the following statement in publications, catalogs, brochures, literature, and other materials produced by the College, “This school is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant students.”
- Has a Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) and as many Designated School Officials (DSO) as we deem necessary.
REQUIRED ADMISSIONS DOCUMENTATION FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Prospective international students must complete requirements as listed on the International Student Checklist1 as part of determining their eligibility to study and obtain an F1 visa at LMC. Documentation needed includes but is not limited to the following:
Proof of Secondary Level Education Completion
Copies of transcripts and diplomas for ALL secondary school work (both U.S. and non-U.S.) to prove completion of secondary level education. Transcripts must list course titles, semester hours, and grades for the courses taken by the applicant. Documents must be sent to LMC directly, and translations are required for any documents not originally written in English. These translations must be complete, word-for-word, and in the same format as the original document. Translation and any fees incurred from translation services are the responsibility of the applicant.
Applicants within the U.S. who are transferring to LMC from another U.S. college or university must submit, in addition to secondary school transcripts and diploma documentation, a copy of their current I-20, official college or university transcripts from their current and past institutions, a copy of their F1 visa, and a copy of their I-94 record.
Certification of Finances
International students must be financially self-supporting while studying in the U.S. As such, prospective international students must prove to the College that they have the ability to self-finance their education at LMC by:
- Demonstrating proof of sufficient money in U.S. dollars to meet the “Lake Michigan College Minimum Cost of Living Estimate” as documented on the “Declaration of Finances Form”2. The prospective student must provide a bank statement that shows ability to self-support while attending LMC. If a sponsor is covering the prospective student’s education and living costs, then the prospective student must provide a bank statement and letter from the sponsor that testifies to the sponsor’s willingness and ability to support the student while he/she attends LMC.
- Before issuance of I-20 form, the prospective student must pay a one-time deposit approximately equal to the costs of the first year of tuition, fees, and on-campus housing (if living on campus). The deposit is held exclusively for LMC tuition/fees and on campus housing. The deposited funds will be held until the student leaves Lake Michigan College or transfers to another institution. At that time, any remaining deposit funds will be refunded to the student.
Academic English Language Proficiency Scores
The prospective student must provide a verified score report from an internationally recognized English for academic purposes language proficiency test, such as TOEFL iBT, IELTS, MELAB, etc. Prospective students must request a score report of the test to be sent from the test developer (ETS, Cambridge English, CaMLA, etc.) to the College directly as part of the I-20 eligibility determination process. The verified score report will be reviewed by the Director of ESL (English as a Second Language) to determine enrollment eligibility.
International students are urged to have hospitalization insurance. LMC does not maintain coverage for students and is not responsible for any medical, hospital, evacuation, or repatriation expenses incurred by the student.
EMPLOYMENT AS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT
Employment opportunities for international students on an F-1 full-time student visa are limited. As stated by the State Department3, F-1 students may not work off-campus, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. After the first academic year, F-1 students may engage in Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion) related to their area of study, which must be authorized by the Designated School Official [the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and USCIS], prior to starting any form of paid employment.
TRANSFER CREDIT FROM FOREIGN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
Lake Michigan College does not evaluate post-secondary international transcripts. Prospective international students who wish to transfer credit from colleges and universities outside the U.S. must have their foreign transcripts and credentials evaluated by an independent international credential evaluation service. The cost of such services is the responsibility of the international student. See Transfer of College Credit policy4.
Responsibility: Vice President of Student Engagement and Support; Director of English as a Second Language
1International Student Checklist
2Declaration of Finances Form
3Student visa webpage from the State Department website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/student-visa.html
4Transfer of College Credit Policy