How to Apply

Admission Requirements for Degree-Seeking F-1 Visa Students

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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: 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

18-19 Admissions deadlines

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.

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

3.  Proof of financial support

Students with government sponsorships or grants/loans (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Sweden, Norway, etc.) who present preliminary financial statements for admission purposes ("Letter for Admission Purposes," CSN, Lanekassen, etc.) must submit final, official financial guarantees by the program start date of the term they plan to enroll. 

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 by the given application deadline. 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 must be submitted in order to prove graduation from secondary school. Official high school transcripts must be submitted directly by the issuing institution by the application deadline.
  • 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.


  • You are required to submit final, official transcripts from ALL U.S. institutions previously attended, by the given application deadline, or immediately upon completion of your current term if you are still enrolled by the deadline. Transcripts may be submitted in a sealed envelope from the institution or electronically. If official transcripts have not been received by the I-20 program start date, a review of transfer credit for your first term at HCC can no longer be guaranteed, and you may be required to take the placement test before enrolling in coursework. 
  • If you have attended a university or college outside of the U.S., you are required to submit a course-by-course evaluation of your academic transcripts by a NACES-approved agency by the given application deadline.  Acceptance of transfer credit is subject to review by HCC and cannot be guaranteed.

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 (no band lower than 5.0). 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:
SAT/ACT scores are NOT required for admission purposes, but they will be used for consideration in determining placement into academic coursework. If you took the SAT or ACT, request that your official score reports from the College Board be sent directly to the Center for International Education at HCC. Test scores may not be older than two years and must be received by the application deadline.

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.

Conditional Admission to USF

HCC's university transfer agreement with the University of South Florida (USF) provides Conditional Admission to USF! When you apply for admission into one of HCC's Associate in Arts transfer programs, you can choose to receive a conditional admission letter from USF. Just select the option that you would like to receive the letter when you complete our online International Student Application! When you apply for your F-1 student visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country, you can present this letter along with your admissions letter from 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.