May 24, 2024  
Catalog/Handbook 2015-2016 
Catalog/Handbook 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission for International and Visa Students

International students interested in attending Polk State College should familiarize themselves with the International Student website. International students may also request information to be sent via e-mail at: International student admission guidance is available at Polk State College’s International Student website. 

Polk State College is authorized to enroll non-immigrant alien students. International students enter the United States with F-1 Visas specifically for the purpose of obtaining an education. All international students attending Polk State College and holding F-1 Visas are required to attend on a full-time basis (minimum of 12 credit hours per term including fall and spring) and pay out-of-state tuition and fees during their entire enrollment. Students with F-1 visas are required to attend school two consecutive semesters, spring and fall, as full-time students.  The summer semester is considered the student’s vacation period.

Anyone who enters the United States with a visa other than an F-1 is here for purposes other than obtaining an education. Most visa holders are eligible to attend school while in the U.S. as long as attending school does not interfere with their original purpose for being here. Many visa students are required to pay out-of-state tuition and fees during their entire enrollment at Polk State College. Some visa students are eligible for Florida tuition rates after one year of residency in Florida. Students should check with the College’s Admission and Registrar’s office to determine their eligibility to attend school and for information regarding Florida tuition rates. Details on Florida tuition rates can be found at on the Residency page.

International and visa students must submit all required documents and meet all conditions for admission by the following deadlines:

  • Fall Semester or Term I (Aug.-Dec.): May 15
  • Spring Semester or Term II (Jan.-early May): October 15
  • Summer Semester or Term III (May-early Aug.): March 15
  • In the event the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the deadline is extended until the next open business day.

In addition to the regular admission procedures, international and visa students are required to complete additional admission requirements. International students should begin the admission process approximately six months prior to the beginning of the semester in which they wish to enroll.

International students who complete the international student admission requirements by the semester deadline are issued a SEVIS Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant (F-1) Student Status.

For academic and language students, the SEVIS I-20 form is used to show acceptance to Polk State College and to apply for an F-1 Visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate office in foreign countries. It may also be used to apply for a change of status to F-1 for those who are already in the United States.

International Student Admission Requirements:
These admission requirements apply to international students seeking admission to degree-granting programs and to those seeking admission to the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Program. All requirements must be completed before the SEVIS Form I -20, Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant (F-1) Student Status, is issued.

Degree-seeking international students must show proficiency in English by meeting one of the requirements listed below. International students who do not demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English may enroll in the College’s English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Program. These students must take the Levels of English Proficiency Exam (LOEP) for placement in a reading, writing, and grammar course in the EAP Program. The EAP Communications course is also highly recommended to improve speaking and listening skills.  All international students must follow the steps on the International Student website.


International Student Transcript Requirements:
Students must provide official high school, upper secondary, and post secondary transcripts from all high schools, colleges, and universities they have attended. If transcripts are in a language other than English, a certified English translation must also be provided. A certified translation service in the United States may provide the translation. Students should request an official copy of their foreign transcripts to be sent directly from the foreign institution to an evaluation service. Polk State can evaluate most high school transcripts at no cost to the student.  Students should submit an official copy of the high school transcript directly to the Admission and Registrar’s office.  All transcripts and/or official evaluations must be received by the College prior to attending classes.

Transcripts from international secondary institutions must be evaluated “document by document” for equivalency to U.S. high school graduation, and college/university transcripts must be evaluated “course by course” for consideration of college transfer credit. For upper-division consideration, be sure to request that your evaluation distinguishes between upper-division and lower-division coursework. Note that English taken outside the United States will not satisfy ENC1101 or ENC1102 regardless of college level. The student must pay the cost of the transcript evaluation. The application for evaluation may be downloaded from an evaluator’s website. Students may visit to select an approved evaluator. Polk State College most commonly uses Josef Silny & Associates and World Education Services.

I-901 SEVIS Fee
Prior to visa application, and once an I-20 form is issued, the student must pay a USD $200 SEVIS fee to the Department of Homeland Security. Form I-901 information and an application are available at The fee should be paid at least two weeks prior to visa application. A receipt must be presented at the time of visa application. This I-901 fee is in addition to the visa application fee. For information on the visa application process, students may visit

Within the first three weeks of the semester, students must officially report to the school and present a valid visa, SEVIS I-20, I-94 card, and valid passport to the International Student Advisor as proof of eligibility to attend school. Photocopies of these documents are made for the student’s file. Then the student is registered in SEVI as “arrived and registered for classes.”

International Students Holding Other Non-Immigrant Visas
Students who wish to attend Polk State College who hold other visas may apply to the College. All regulations relating to English proficiency, transcripts, and the use of evaluation services are the same as those for F-1 Visa holders. Students must present a valid visa or I-94 card as proof of eligibility to attend school prior to the start of classes.