How to Apply

Admission Requirements for Degree-Seeking F-1 Visa Students

The application procedures specified below are for international students (transfer and initial) intending to study at HCC on an F-1 student visa.  

Permanent residents and international students in other visa categories should contact the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records at the campus they plan to attend for assistance in enrolling at HCC.

F-2 visa holders: Effective May 29, 2015, an F-2 dependent (spouse or minor child) of an F-1 student in the United States may study part-time in any certified program at an SEVP-certified school at the postsecondary level, as long as it does not amount to what regulations define as full-time for an F-1 student.  Click here for specific admission requirements. 

Application Deadlines

App Deadline chart 15-16

Required Documents

1.  Complete the appropriate online International Student Application (initial or transfer student) 

All applications should be submitted online. Incomplete or inaccurate information will delay the processing of your application. In some instances, applicants may need to submit the PDF version of the application and return it to the CIE via email or mail.

2.  $50 non-refundable application fee. You can pay the fee in several ways.

3.  Proof of financial support

  • Affidavit of Financial Support (page 5 of the International Student Application) completed, signed and dated by your sponsor. The affidavit must be dated within six months of the term you plan to enroll at HCC.
  • Bank letter (must be in sponsor's name, in English, and on official letterhead). It must show a minimum of USD $20,481 for one year of study at HCC (two semesters) and be issued within six months of the term you plan to enroll at HCC. 

Students with scholarship from the Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission (SACM) and the Embassy of Qatar must present a "Letter for Admission Purposses" issued to HCC for the term they plan to enroll. Upon conditional admission to HCC, applicants must present the official Financial Guarantee before a Form I-20 can be issued.

4. Transcripts
(Academic Records)

To be eligible for admission to an associate degree program at HCC, applicants must submit documentation that they have the equivalent of an Associate or higher degree, or a standard high school diploma, or a high school equivalency certificate (GED).

High School

  • If you graduated from a high school in the United States, please request that final, official transcripts be sent to HCC in a sealed envelope or electronically from your high school. Transcripts must include your final grades and graduation date. Opened transcripts are considered to be unofficial and will not be accepted.
  • If you graduated from a high school outside of the United States, your transcripts, graduation certificates and/or exam results must be evaluated by a NACES-approved agency to prove equivalency with a U.S. high school diploma (general or document-by-document evaluation and translation, if transcripts are not in English)--unless you attended and graduated from a secondary school in these countries. Countries included in this list are exempt from the evaluation requirement. Click here to learn which documents you must submit in order to prove graduation from secondary school.
  • If you graduated with an International Baccalaureate (IB), final, official IB results must be submitted directly from International Baccalaureate to the Center for International Education at Hillsborough Community College.


  • If you have attended a university or college in the United States, request that final, official transcripts from all institutions attended be sent to HCC in a sealed envelope or electronically directly from the issuing institution.
  • If you have attended a university or college outside of the United States, submit a course-by-course evaluation of your academic transcripts by a NACES-approved agency in order to be considered for transfer credit. Transfer credit may count towards the degree requirements at HCC. Click here for more details.

5. Proof of English Proficiency

To be admitted to HCC, international student applicants from non-English speaking countries must submit proof of English proficiency, for example, a TOEFL score of at least 61 (iBT), or an IELTS band score of 5.5 or higher. Click here for more information on how you can provide proof of your English proficiency if English is not your native language.

SAT/ACT scores are NOT required for admission purposes and are not accepted as proof of English proficiency, but they will be used for consideration in determining placement into academic coursework. Request your official score reports from the College Board to be sent directly to the Center for International Education at HCC. Test scores may not be older than two years.

6. Submit a copy of your valid passport. F-1 students transferring from another U.S. institution must also submit a copy of their F-1 visa, a copy of their current Form I-20 and the Transfer Clearance Form, completed by their current International Student Advisor.

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After your application is received

Once your application is complete, your file will be reviewed. Please be careful in submitting all appropriate documents, as incomplete or improperly completed items will result in a delay in processing your application. Initial F-1 students who are accepted to HCC will be sent an official Arrival Guide with an Acceptance Letter and Form I-20. You will use this I-20 to apply for your F-1 student visa at your local United States Embassy or Consulate. The Arrival Guide will provide you with detailed information regarding next steps on your way to enrollment at HCC.

After admission and before attending orientation

7. Submit proof of health insurance. All international F-1 students must submit proof of health insurance before enrolling in courses at HCC. Visit to enroll in the College-preferred health insurance plan.