Application Requirements and Procedures
for International Students
An international student is a citizen of a country other than the United States who is authorized to remain in the United States for a temporary period as a non-immigrant student (F-1 visa) and who intends to return to his/her home country.
Note about Visitor's B1/B2 Visas:
Please be aware that B1/B2 visa holders who arrived in the USA on or after April 12, 2002 may NOT take academic courses until such time that they receive approval for F-1 status from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
To apply for admittance into Bucks County Community College and for issuance of the I-20, students must provide all of the requested documents (see Application Checklist). All documents must be received by the established application deadlines:
|Fall Semester (begins late August)||July 1st|
|Spring Semester (begins mid January)||November 1st|
Please note that embassies will not award visas more than 120 days prior to the start of the semester, and all financial documents must be no more than six (6) months old. Students seeking to transfer to Bucks should submit a completed application packet at least four (4) weeks prior to the start of the semester. In all cases, please submit applications with all documents are specified on the Checklist, as incomplete applications cannot be processed.
Bucks County Community College will consider for admission, foreign students who meet the criteria below:
- Student has demonstrated that they have completed secondary school (high school) level education. A copy of a secondary school and college or university (if applicable) record/transcript with a literal translation in English must be turned in with application. Foreign transcripts must then be evaluated by any agency which is a member of NACES, as these agencies are recognized by the Department of Education. Evaluations performed by any other organization will not be acceptable. Due to federal law, please keep in mind once you turn in any documents to the College, we are unable to return them to you.
- Student has demonstrated financial support to cover expenses for one full year; at present, this amounts to $20,000USD.
- Student has submitted all required documents as indicated on the application checklist.
- Student has verifiable English skills commensurate with level of credit study at Bucks County Community College. TOEFL is required, and its score will determine whether a Language Training or Academic I-20 can be issued. If the applicant is in the area, then Bucks County Community College's Placement Test will be administered in its stead. Even with TOEFL results, all accepted students must take the Placement Tests prior to registration.
Foreign students, by Pennsylvania law, are not considered residents; therefore, they are not eligible for state- or county-subsidized tuition. International Students will be charged the Out-of-State tuition and fees. All international students must attend both fall and spring semesters taking at least 12 credits each to maintain full-time status. Financial aid is not available to foreign students.
Verification of financial support in the amount of $16,500 (breakdown of costs appears below) is necessary for issuance of the I-20. To establish that the student and/or sponsor has these funds, a bank statement (personal savings or checking account) is required. If shareholdings, 401Ks, or retirement plans are used, only the amount that is liquid will be given consideration. Income statements and mortgage information can be helpful but will not be counted toward the overall financial requirement. Please note that:
- All financial documents must be originals, including signature of bank official or notary. Photocopies or faxed copies of bank statements are not acceptable.
- The amount required does not include travel expenses or optional summer classes.
- All financial statements must be within six (6) months of anticipated started semester.
- If you have accompanying dependents, you must provide additional funding @ $3,000/dependent.
- You cannot expect to work or receive financial aid after you arrive.
- Non-English documents must be accompanied by an official English translation.
Cost of Living
It is often difficult to predict the actual expenses that a student will encounter during one year. The following estimates are meant to serve as a guideline for planning your finances and serve as minimum amount necessary for an international applicant. The total cost of completing an associate's degree is based on the credit requirements for the program of study selected (the student's major choice). The cost of tuition is calculated on an out-of-state/international rate.
- Minimum Tuition and Fees: $11,138
- Books and Supplies: $500
- Health Insurance and medical expenses: $1000
- Personal Expenses: $5,000
- TOTAL: $17,638
Upon receipt and approval of all completed and signed documents, Bucks County Community College issues Form I-20. Overseas students must take I-20 and current passport to the nearest United States Consulate to interview for a student visa. Once approved, the student is expected to arrive at the College at least two weeks prior to, but no more than one month before (per federal guidelines), the start of classes to allow for assessment testing and registration. A copy of the stamped and approved I-20 form must be submitted to BUCKS upon arrival in the United States.
Students applying for Change of Status must provide the same documentation, along with Form I-539 at the time of their request. Once approved, a copy of their stamped I-20 must be submitted immediately to the College.
Note: If you require documents be mailed an overseas address, please include a $60 US money order or check drawn on a US bank for postage.
After review of all documentation and Form I-20 has been produced by the College, the student is required to file government form I-901 and pay the associated fee. This fee must be paid before the student’s appointment at a local embassy, or, for those changing status must be received before adjudication of change.
As part of the application process, please be aware of the responsibilities you will assume as a student attending Bucks. You will be responsible for the following:
- To enroll in the International Student Health Insurance plan by the first day of the semester or to provide proof of equal coverage
- To maintain a full-time course load (12 credits or more per semester - Fall and Spring) and understand that only (1) online course is permitted within a 4-course semester.
- To NOT withdraw from a course without permission from the Director of Admissions
- To provide your own room and board
- To provide your own transportation to and from the College
- To NOT accept employment off-campus unless approval has been received from USCIS
- To maintain a valid passport and 1-94 card
- To notify the Director of Admissions of any address, major, or name changes
- To be personally responsible for keeping your status in the United States legal and current