International Student Application Process
International students wishing to enroll at Wheelock College need to complete three sets of activities. Click on the links below to learn more about each part of the process.
(If you are an international student interested in applying to ONCAMPUS Boston, Wheelock's college prep partnership with Cambridge Education Group, please visit the ONCAMPUS Boston website.)
- Fill out the Common Application (paper or online). The Common Application is a free online application where you can fill in, save and submit your information and many United States Colleges and Universities accept this application.
- Pay the Application fee - $15 for the paper application. (Please make checks payable to Wheelock College.) Applying using the online Common Application is free.
- Provide an Official High School Transcript. If your transcripts are not in English, they must be translated into English by a recognized agency, such as World Education Services (www.wes.org) or Education Credentials Evaluators (www.ece.org). Applicants must provide a course-by-course evaluation of their transcripts.
- Provide Official College Transcript(s).
- Provide a recommendation from a Guidance or College Counselor.
- Provide an Academic recommendation.
- If English is your native language, provide Official SAT Scores.
- If English is not your native language, provide your TOEFL or IELTS score. The minimum TOEFL score that is required is as follows: 550 Paper Based and 79 Internet Based or a minimum IELTS score of 6.0
- Provide financial certification. International Applicants must complete the Financial Verification Form to show evidence of their ability to pay educational and living expenses while studying in the US. The information provided must demonstrate ability to pay the annual cost of approximately $44,705 and be certified by a bank seal. All documents must also be written in English and documented in U.S. Dollars. The U.S. Consulate will require the same documentation; we suggest you obtain two (2) original letters, one for your records and one for us. We will not accept photocopies or faxes of financial documentation.
Wheelock College does not offer need-based financial aid to international students. Students may qualify for a partial merit scholarship. Wheelock College does not grant full scholarships. For more information on scholarships, click here.
- Schedule an Interview (Interviews are optional and are offered on campus as well as via phone and Skype. To schedule an interview, please contact the main admissions office at email@example.com.)
Once your application is complete, admissions will notify you in writing of the decision. If you are accepted for admission, you should plan to submit your enrollment deposit as soon as possible. After receipt of your enrollment deposit, your file will be forwarded to the Office of Student Success who will issue you a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status (SEVIS Form I-20) for a program of study at Wheelock College.
- Early Action: December 1 - First year students who are interested in learning about their admission decision early in the application cycle may apply under the Early Action Plan. Students must submit their application and credentials by the December 1 deadline and are notified of the admission decision by January 1. The tuition deposit must be submitted by May 1.
- Regular Decision/Rolling Admissions Priority Deadline: March 1 - Wheelock uses rolling decision and students will be notified of a decision within four weeks of completing their application.
International students should be aware that the immigration and visa process can take several months. The following are the steps you should follow to obtain a U.S. visa for entry into the U.S.
1. Read your enclosed SEVIS Form I-20
Your SEVIS Form I-20 indicates that we have created a record for you in the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Your assigned SEVIS ID number is in the upper right corner of page 1 of your SEVIS Form I-20. If any information on your SEVIS Form I-20 is incorrect, please contact Mary McCormack (firstname.lastname@example.org; 617-879-2267). If all of the information is correct, complete item 11 on page 1. Note: The spelling of your name and your date of birth must be exactly the same as reflected in your passport. If your name and/or date of birth on SEVIS Form I-20 are not exactly the same as the information that appears in your passport, please request that we issue you a corrected Form I-20. Please send a photocopy of the passport so that we can make sure that all information is consistent.
2. Make Sure Your Passport is Valid
In order to avoid possible problems applying for a visa or entering the U.S., it is recommended that your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you intend to remain in the U.S.
3. Pay the SEVIS Fee
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now requiring proof of payment of the $200 SEVIS fee before issuing a visa or approving any benefits of status. While immigration regulations indicate that the fee should be paid a minimum of three business days prior to a visa application at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, we suggest that students pay the fee as soon as they receive the Form I-20 to allow sufficient time for DHS to update the fee payment in the student's electronic SEVIS record. Please refer to the Student and Exchange Visitor website for more information: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm.
The SEVIS fee is NOT required from students currently in the U.S. in valid F-1 immigration status. Similarly, the fee is not required from students transferring to a new school or changing to another degree program or level within five months from the completion of the previous F-1 program. However, students who have studied in the U.S. in F-1 status in the past, but have departed the U.S. for longer than a five month period or changed to another immigration status must pay a new SEVIS fee before commencing the new program regardless of whether the student will need a new F-1 visa.
Citizens of Canada and Bermuda are exempt from the requirement to possess a visa to enter the U.S. However, they are still required to pay the SEVIS fee. Proof of SEVIS fee payment for these individuals will be verified at the U.S. port of entry before they are admitted to the United States in F-1 status.
The fee can be paid to DHS either:
- over the internet with an electronic application form and a credit card;
- by mailing a paper application with a check or bank draft drawn in U.S. dollars to a processing center in the U.S.; or
- by making a payment at a participating Western Union in your area.
There is currently no mechanism to pay the fee at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate or at a U.S. port of entry. You must have proof of payment when applying for the visa and entering the U.S. We strongly recommend that you pay the fee online with a credit card whenever possible to secure an immediate receipt.
All students who pay the SEVIS fee will receive a formal receipt that should be used as proof of fee payment. The receipt Form I-797 will be sent to the mailing address provided on the Form I-901. This receipt notice will take time to process and to arrive in the mail. Although fee payments may be entered into the immigration (SEVIS) record, it is strongly recommended that students retain the fee receipt with other important immigration documents to use as needed.
4. Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to obtain a valid F-1 visa
Citizens of all countries, except citizens of Canada, are required to have F-1 visas to enter the U.S. to study. You must contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to initiate your visa application. Most Consular Posts will process an application 120 days prior to the start date of the academic program listed on your SEVIS Form I-20. Please refer to the following U.S. Department of State (USDOS) website for more information: http://contact-us.state.gov/cgi-bin/state.cfg/php/enduser/std_alp.php
To apply for a visa, you will need to submit the following documents to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate:
- Application for Nonimmigrant Visa (Form DS-156) which can be obtained from any U.S. Consulate or downloaded from the following USDOS website: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/forms/forms_1342.html.
- Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-157), for all male applicants between the ages of 16 and 45, which can be obtained from any U.S. Consulate or downloaded from the following USDOS website: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/forms/forms_1342.html.
- Contact Information and Work History For Nonimmigrant visa applicant (Form DS-158), which can be obtained from any U.S. Consulate or downloaded from the following USDOS website: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/forms/forms_1342.html.
- Application fee (check with the Consulate for the fee amount and how it must be paid or visit the following USDOS website at http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/fees/fees_1341.html).
- One photograph (2 inches square [51 x 51mm], showing full face, without head covering, against a light background). Refer to the Visa Application Instruction for more details.
- Your Passport.
- Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status (SEVIS Form I-20) from Wheelock College.
- Form I-797 Receipt or online proof of SEVIS Fee payment.
- Admission letter from Wheelock College.
- Original financial documents proving the availability of sufficient funds as reflected on your SEVIS Form I-20.
- Documents which demonstrate that you intend to return home after your studies (see explanation below).
All visa applicants are now required to schedule an appointment for an interview. Please keep in mind that it may take a few weeks to schedule an appointment, so you should initiate your visa application as early as possible. Before your interview, practice answering questions in English about your visa application, your plans in the U.S., and your plans after you return home. Be positive and respond to questions with clear, concise answers during your interview.
You may not need to do anything special to prove that you intend to return home. It may be sufficient for you to explain, if asked, that you plan to return to your country to work, to continue your studies, or to do whatever you plan to do when you return home. However, you may be required to prove that you have such strong ties to your country that you will return there. If you believe it is likely that you will need to prove this, or would like more information, please read the handout entitled Proving "Nonimmigrant Intent" for U.S. Visa Application Purposes and refer to the Visa Process Guide on the following USDOS website: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/tempvisitors.html
Once you have obtained your F-1 visa, you are ready to travel to the U.S. Immigration regulations allow you to enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days prior to the start of your program indicated in section 5 of your SEVIS Form I-20. You must carry with you items 6-11 listed in Step 4. Place these documents in a folder or envelope that you will have with you at all times during your travel. During your trip to, or upon your arrival in, the U.S., you will be given a form called Arrival Record/Departure Record (Form I-94). Using a pen, print the information requested on this form, making certain to spell your name exactly as it is spelled in your passport.
When you arrive in the U.S., you will apply for "admission" and an Immigration Inspector will examine your documents.
You will need to present the following documents:
- Form I-94.
- Passport with valid F-1 visa.
- SEVIS Form I-20.
- Proof of SEVIS fee payment.
You will need to have the following documents ready to present, should the Inspector ask for them:
- Admission letter from Wheelock College.
- Original financial documents.
- Documents which demonstrate your intent to return home.
The Immigration Inspector may ask you one or more questions. If you are asked about the funds that will pay for your studies, answer the question and offer to show the Inspector your financial documents. If you are asked about your "intentions," answer the question and offer to show the Inspector the documents that demonstrate your intent to return home.
If you have the required documents and there are no more questions, the Inspector will "admit" you to the U.S. by processing your passport, your Form I-94, and your SEVIS Form I-20. When you leave the inspection area, make certain you have all your documents in your possession.
Questions regarding obtaining a visa and gaining admission to the U.S. should be directed to Mary McCormack, Associate Vice President for Student Success (email@example.com; 617-879-2267).