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International Student FAQs

How do I know if I am an international student?
What is the application process?
Once I apply, how long before I hear from Community College of Philadelphia?
What does a completed application consist of?
What makes my documents official?
What financial documents must I submit?
Do I need to take the TOEFL or SAT test?
May I transfer college credit to Community College of Philadelphia?
How can I check the status of my application?
Do I have to declare a major or a program of study?
Can I just study English as a Second Language?
What is the cost to study at Community College of Philadelphia?
Is financial aid available to international students?
Can I work while in the United States?
What is the deadline for submitting an application?
How do I get a student visa?
Must I hold an F-1 visa to study at Community College of Philadelphia?
I am currently in the United States and hold a nonstudent visa; may I still study at Community College of Philadelphia?
How do I apply for a change of status?
Are there other international students attending Community College of Philadelphia? Where are they from?
What is the weather like in Philadelphia?

How do I know if I am an international student?

We define an international student as someone either seeking an F-1 student visa, or someone who already has an F-1 student visa. If you hold a different type of visa, or a green card, you are not considered an international student at the College.

What is the application process?

All new international students should apply online and then submit official transcript/graduation certificate and financial documents to International Student Services, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA.

Once I apply, how long before I hear from Community College of Philadelphia?

Once you submit your online application, you should receive an email from the International Student Services Office within a few days.

What does a completed application consist of?

New applicants must submit an application, official transcript (with English translation) and financial documents. If you are transferring from a school within the United States, you must also complete and submit a SEVIS Transfer Release Form. Please refer to the checklist to ensure you have all the documents for a completed application.

What makes my documents official?

Official documents must be issued directly from the authorizing institution, such as a bank, school or testing agency. Official/certified copies are acceptable. This means a photocopy of the original has been made, and then stamped/signed/sealed by an official, such as a notary or magistrate. All official documents must have a stamp, seal or be printed on official letterhead paper from the authorizing institution.

What financial documents must I submit?

The financial documents required for the application process include the Financial Support Document, which must be completed by you and all sponsors financially supporting you, as well as proof of available funds.

You must submit either a recent OFFICIAL bank statement or letter on bank letterhead (translated into English) for each person listed as a sponsor. A total of $24,900 must be available. The bank statement must be less than six months old. Bank statements are accepted in all currencies but must be written or translated into English.

Other acceptable evidence of financial support includes bank loans for educational purposes, scholarship letters, investment statements indicating liquid assets and/or government funding.

Do I need to take the TOEFL or SAT test?

We do not require either test—students are given a placement test in English and math upon arrival. If you have taken the TOEFL, SAT or ACT, you may be waived from a portion of the placement test if you have received one of the scores below:

  • TOEFL: 560 Paper (5 in Writing), 213 Computer (5 in Writing), 77 iBT (20 in Writing)
  • SAT: 510 Critical Reading, 470 Math
  • ACT: 21 English, 17 Math

May I transfer college credit to Community College of Philadelphia?

If you have credit from institutions within the United States, you must submit an official transcript, as well as a Transcript Evaluation Form, which should then be submitted to the Transfer Credit and Placement Evaluation Office, 1700 Spring Garden Street, MG-17, Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA.

If you have credit from institutions outside of the United States, you must have your transcript evaluated by an outside company (World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, etc). Please request a course-by-course evaluation. The official evaluation should then be submitted to the Transfer Credit and Placement Evaluation Office.

How can I check the status of my application?

If you have questions about your application, please email the International Student Services Office at ISSAssistant@ccp.edu.

Do I have to declare a major or a program of study?

You must select a major on your application; however, it is possible to change your selection at a later time.

Can I just study English as a Second Language?

We do not have a separate ESL program. Students must apply to the school and will then be placed into ESL courses if necessary.

What is the cost to study at Community College of Philadelphia?

The estimated cost for tuition and fees is about $12,500 per academic year; however, students are required to show at least $24,900 in their financial documents (tuition, fees, living expenses).

Is financial aid available to international students?

No. International students do not qualify for state or federal financial aid programs.

Can I work while in the United States?

While you hold F-1 visa status, you are only allowed to work at the College. While classes are in session, you are not allowed to work more than 20 hours a week. Any other employment is considered unauthorized and is a violation of your visa status.

What is the deadline for submitting an application?

Applications must be received by July 1 for the fall (September) semester and Nov. 1 for the spring (January) semester.

How do I get a student visa?

After you are accepted by the College and receive the Form I-20 from the College, you must apply for your nonimmigrant “student” (F-1) visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest your home. You must bring the necessary supporting documentation to your visa appointment, including your college acceptance letter, proof of payment of SEVIS fee, passport, your I-20 Form and appropriate financial documentation. Required documents depend on the country, so it is recommended that you check with the U.S. Consulate or embassy to determine what you need before your appointment.

Must I hold an F-1 visa to study at Community College of Philadelphia?

Not always. Students on other visa types might be eligible to study at the College, but they are not considered international students. Please contact the office for questions about your visa type and whether or not you can register for courses.

If I am currently in the United States and holding a nonstudent visa, may I still study at Community College of Philadelphia?

Yes, you can still apply for admission to the College. However, you will most likely have to apply for a change of status to an F-1 student visa. Certain nonstudent visa holders, such as B-1, B-2 visitors and F-2 applying for F-1 status, may not begin their program of study until the change of status has been approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

How do I apply for a change of status?

Accepted students on a nonstudent visa may apply for a change of status to an F-1 student visa. In this case, the following documents must be submitted to the assigned USCIS Service Center:

  • Completed Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status—please review instructions
  • Form I-539 Filing Fee—check or money order made payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
  • Original Form I-20, issued by International Student Services
  • Proof of payment of the SEVIS I-901 fee—this cannot be paid until the Form I-20 has been issued
  • Original I-94 Card
  • Copies of passport ID pages, visa and other current immigration status documents
  • Copies of financial support documents
  • Letter explaining why you are requesting the change of status

Please note that the following visa holders may not apply for a change of status within the United States: M-1, C, D, or K nonimmigrants, J nonimmigrants subject to the 212(e) two-year foreign residency requirement, and WT and WB visitors admitted under the visa waiver program.

Are there other international students attending Community College of Philadelphia? Where are they from?

Yes, international students from all over the world, including Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia, study at the College.

What is the weather like in Philadelphia?

When you arrive in August, temperatures will likely range from 70–90 degrees Fahrenheit (21–32 degrees Celsius). In November and December, temperatures can drop to 17–40 degrees Fahrenheit (-8–4 degrees Celsius) and are usually accompanied by snow and ice. These temperatures sometimes last until February. As springtime approaches in March, temperatures begin to rise again to about 45–60 degrees Fahrenheit (7–15 degrees Celsius) and can last throughout spring semester.