International students must follow Federal guidelines in order to maintain their legal status in the United States. Knowing these basic regulations will help us advise our students in their academic endeavors at IU Kokomo.
In order to maintain status, students must be enrolled full-time for each fall and spring semester. Enrollment in summer sessions is not required, unless a student begins a program of study at IU in the summer.
- For undergraduates this means enrolling in at least 12 credit hours each fall and spring.
- For graduate students this means enrolling in at least 8 credit hours each fall and spring.
- Only ONE online 3-credit class will count toward full-time enrollment requirement. During their final semester, students MUST complete their online course work prior to or at the same time they complete their other classes. If the online course work continues after their program at IU ends, their legal status in the United States will be terminated.
- Recognized block schedule curriculum can be considered full time despite having lower credit hours per semester. Special documentation and agreement must be made with OISS.
There are some exceptions to full-time enrollment that are designed to assist students, but all exceptions need to be authorized by OISS before students drop below full-time. Dropping below full-time without authorization from OISS is a violation of F-1 status!
Examples of exceptions:
- A first-semester student who is advised by an academic advisor to take less than a full load of courses due to language difficulties or unfamiliarity with US teaching methods;
- A student who must drop a class because they were placed in an incorrect level by an academic advisor.
- A student in his/her final semester of coursework who does not need a full load in order to complete degree requirements;
- A student who is advised by a doctor to under-enroll due to a severe medical condition. (documentation by a US medical doctor, licensed clinical psychologist, or doctor of osteopathy is required)
In special circumstances, international students may take courses at IU and other institutions at the same time. Students must contact OISS before making such decision.
The Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status, or I-20, is a legal document all F-1 international students use to stay in the United States. All I-20s have an expiration date. If students need more time to complete their programs, students may file for an extension request.
In an extension request, students must provide the contact information of their respective academic advisors. The academic advisors can help student by filling out the approver section on the request. In the “Additional Information or Comments Concerning this Request”, Academic Advisors should state the number of credits and semesters that the students need to graduate.
F-1 student can apply for on-campus positions, including on-campus entities associated with IU-Kokomo (Cafeteria, Bookstore, etc.). There are certain restrictions to this type of employment. F-1 student cannot work off-campus except for a few special circumstances. Students must contact OISS for approval before starting employment. Unauthorized employment can result in serious consequences including termination of legal status and deportation.
The Saudi Arabia Culture Mission, SACM, is responsible for granting scholarships for many Saudi Arabian students studying in the United States. SACM periodically sends out requests to obtain information on their scholarship recipients as a mean to monitor student success. Academic Advisors can assist students by providing academic progress reports on these students.