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International (F-1) Students (Policy)

Office of Origin: Student Engagement and Support
Responsibility: Vice President, Student Affairs; ESL Specialist
Date Adopted: 9-28-90
Dates Reviewed: 8-15-08, 1-19-22, 11-9-21
Last Date Board Approved: 9-23-08, 5-15-18, 6-26-18, 3-29-22

Defining an international (F-1 visa) student

Lake Michigan College (the College or LMC) 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 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: 

  1. Furnishes non-immigrant students with a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.”
  4. Has a Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) and as many Designated School Officials (DSO) as we deem necessary. 


Prospective international students must complete requirements as listed on the International Student Checklist 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. The transcript or certificate must be evaluated by an independent international credential evaluation service; any fees incurred for the evaluation service are the responsibility of the applicant. The evaluation must include, at a minimum, whether the secondary school experience is equivalent to U.S. high school completion/graduation. 

Applicants within the U.S. who are transferring to LMC from another U.S. college or university must also submit all required admissions documentation.  

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:

  1. 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”. 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 they attend LMC.
  2. 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 and course fees. The deposit is held exclusively for LMC tuition and  course fees.. 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.
  3. Any scholarships the student has earned may be deducted from the total deposit amount.  The scholarship funds must be received by LMC prior to reducing the deposit amount.

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 or ITP, IELTS, MET, etc. Prospective students must make sure that the College has an official copy of their test score as part of the I-20 eligibility determination. The ESL (English as a Second Language) Specialist will determine whether the prospective student has met their language requirement.. 


International students are required to purchase and provide proof of medical and repatriation insurance prior to their arrival in the U.S. LMC does not maintain coverage for students and is not responsible for any medical, hospital, evacuation, or repatriation expenses incurred by the student. 


Employment opportunities for international students on an F-1 full-time student visa are limited. As stated by the State Department, 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 DSO  prior to starting any form of employment.


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 policy.

International Student Checklist
Declaration of Finances Form
Student visa webpage from the State Department 
Transfer of College Credit Policy

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