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International Students

Southwestern Community College is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students with F-1 visas. Students own F-1 visa status must pay out of state tuition and can not be considered residents of the state. Proficiency in the English language and satisfactory academic records are important factors in the admission decision for all applicants from outside the United States. International students must have graduated from a secondary school that is equivalent to secondary schools in the United States.

Nonimmigrant students are subject to the same considerations as United States citizens in the determination of residency status for tuition purposes except that holders of B, C, D, F, H, J and M visas may not be considered residents for tuition purposes, and their dependent relatives may not be eligible for a tuition rate less than the out-of-state rate. Alien Registration Card holders are admitted in the same manner as citizens of the U.S.

The College cannot provide federal financial aid to most international students; therefore, students must have sufficient funds to cover all living expenses, tuition and fees for the duration of the student’s course of study. A notarized financial resource statement is required of all international applicants. Student housing is not available on campus, and international students are expected to make their own housing arrangements. International students must be enrolled full time for each semester.

An official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report is required of all international applicants, at the student’s expense, except those from countries where English is the native language or unless the applicant is a transfer student from another accredited United States institution with English transfer credit. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 500 for the paper-based test, 173 for the computer-based test and 61 for the Internet-based test. A certified copy of the international student’s original educational record, to include all previous academic experiences, is required of all degree, diploma or certificate-seeking students. If the original record is written in a language other than English, then a certified copy of an English translation and evaluation by an approved outside source is required at the student’s expense. A record of certain immunizations may also be required.

Application packets for international student enrollment are available from the Registrar’s Office.

Undocumented Alien Students

The following policy statement is in effect as of August 1, 2011 as mandated by the NC law.

  • An undocumented alien who is a high school student attending a North Carolina high school may enroll in college level courses consistent with state college access policies.
  • An undocumented alien who graduated from a U.S. high school may enroll in curriculum classes provided that the student:

1. Take the placement test.
2. Register on the last day of registration.
3. Pay out-of-state tuition.

The student is not eligible to enroll in programs that lead to state licensure or requires a state driver’s license.  Licensure requires the student be a resident. 
A GED is not accepted for admission to a degree program.

  • An undocumented alien may enroll in non-college level courses or programs including Adult Basic Education, Adult High School, English as a Second Language and other continuing education courses less than college level.

For more information or clarification concerning this new policy, please contact the Dean of Students at 828.339.4245 or Registrar at 828.339.4406.

International Student Application Deadlines:
October 1st for Spring Semester
May 1st for Fall Semester 

Download the Application for International Students

How to Submit International Transcripts

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