Frequently Asked Questions for International Students
Applying for Admission
A: Please visit our international admissions page and follow the instructions according to your Visa type. Some degree programs may have additional requirements.
A: Due to FERPA regulations, staff cannot disclose personal information to anyone other than that particular student. If you would like someone else to be able to access your records, you may fill out a disclosure form.
A: Visit the International Admissions office or email International@wilmu.edu to seek advice from an international advisor.
A: Transcript evaluations do not expire, but must fit the following criteria: Official course–by–course transcript of US college(s) and/or any member of www.NACES.org course–by–course evaluation of foreign educational credentials. (All transcripts MUST be official – COPIES ARE NOT ACCEPTED). Official transcripts must be sent directly from the US institution or Evaluation Agency in a sealed envelope*. For a complete list of evaluation agencies please follow the link: http://www.naces.org/members.html.
A: Bank statements and affidavit of support can be no older than 6 months prior to acceptance.
A: If you already attend another U.S. college or university and have a valid F–1 visa, you can transfer to Wilmington University by following these steps:
- Submit application for admission (available online).
- Submit all documentation required to attend Wilmington University as an international student. This includes all forms, fees, transcripts and any additional program–specific requirements. You will then receive an acceptance letter and a transfer form.
- Submit the acceptance letter to your current school. Your current school will need to transfer your record from the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to Wilmington University.
- Meet with a Wilmington University Designated School Official (DSO) to review your testing, registration, issue of an I–20 upon SEVIS release.
You can review all admission deadlines on our international admissions page.
Please note that Block II admission is not always possible for F-1 students due to the full-time schedule requirement. Please contact International admissions if you are interested in Block II admission.
No. International students are not eligible for federal financial aid. Therefore, you do not need to complete the FAFSA. However, you may be eligible to apply for scholarships.
Registering for Courses
A: First time registration must be completed with an International Admissions Advisor. Future registrations may be completed online using MyWilmU online student service portal. Registering online allows you immediate access to course availability without having to wait in line. You may also visit any of our locations to register. Please note that it is your responsibility to know and follow guidelines for maintaining your student visa status.
A: Undergraduate students must enroll in 12 credits per semester. Graduate students must enroll in 9 credits per semester. If you are in the last semester of your program, you need only take the classes required to complete your program. Please contact your program coordinator (for graduate students) or academic advisor (for undergraduate students) to review your program for completion before contacting a Designated School Official (DSO) to receive an authorization and guidance when you begin your last semester.
A:Yes. As an international student, you may take one online course per semester. If you are not in your final semester and are taking summer classes, please contact your Designated School Official (DSO) in regard to online courses.
Maintaining Visa Status
A: You are responsible for maintaining your status by registering full time in each required semester, and adhering to the restrictions for online study. International students are required to maintain and complete a full course of study each semester while attending Wilmington University. A full course of study consists of 12 credits per semester for undergraduate students and 9 credits per semester for graduate students. Please see above regarding registration for online courses and what to do in your last semester of study.
All international students are responsible for making satisfactory progress toward degree completion. Thus, all international students must work collectively with the DSO and academic advisors or program coordinators. See Contact Academic Advising to contact your advisor or program chair/coordinator.
A: Dropping below the minimum GPA for your degree level can result in academic probation or suspension and can negatively affect your student visa status. If you are having trouble maintaining your GPA, please contact your Designated School Official (DSO) immediately. Grades of FA (Failure due to absences), NA (Never Attended), and I (Incomplete grades) result in no credit for the course and can cause students to drop below a full course load and result in the loss of F–1 Visa status.
A: If you fail to maintain lawful F–1 Student Visa status and wish to continue studying at Wilmington University, contact the Primary Designated School Official immediate to discuss possible courses of action.
A: Your Designated School Official (DSO) at Wilmington University will assist you in petitioning for reinstatement provided you meet eligibility requirements. Visit the International Admissions office to meet with your primary DSO. If you do not meet particular criteria, please consult an immigration attorney.
If you meet the conditions for reinstatement, submit the following items to your DSO:
- Completed USCIS Form I–539, the Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
- Personal check or money order for $370, payable to the US Department of Homeland Security.
- Personal cover letter (written from you) requesting reinstatement to F–1 status and explaining your circumstances. Your letter should explain clearly and concisely how the violation of F–1 status resulted from circumstances beyond your control or how the failure to be reinstated would result in extreme hardship. Attach any additional supporting documents.
- Photocopy of all previous I–20 form(s).
- Photocopy of current financial support documents (no more than 3 months old.)
- Photocopy of your passport photo page–include any other pages that contain the expiration date, any extensions, or any biographical information.
- Photocopy of your most recent visa (stamp), used to enter the United States.
- Photocopy of the Original I–94.
- Photocopy of transcript and course registration (available on WebCampus.)
- New Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) I–20 (issued after all other requirements are met.)
- Letter from your DSO.
- Copy of the SEVIS I–901 Payment.
A: After compiling and completing all documentation, please photocopy your entire reinstatement application package for your records and submit the original to the Designated School Official (DSO) before mailing it to the USCIS Vermont Service Center:
USCIS Vermont Service Center
75 Lower Welden Street
St. Albans, VT 05479
Please note that the decision to reinstate you to lawful F–1 status is entirely up to USCIS. Further, reinstatement can take up to four months, and you are not eligible for any F–1 status benefits (e.g. practical training or on–campus employment) until a decision to reinstate is made.
A: If your application is approved, USCIS will mail you an approval letter, and your F–1 status resumes.
A: If your application is denied, you will receive a denial notice. Please follow the instructions given in the denial notice from USCIS.
A: Students are automatically dropped from courses if they are absent from the first two course meeting. Please be aware that if you are automatically dropped from a course, you may fall below the number of credits required per semester to maintain your Visa status.
It is your responsibility to maintain your status. If you are unsure of whether you need to register for another course, contact the International Admissions office to speak with an advisor. Falling below the required number of credits per semester could jeopardize your eligibility and cause you to lose your visa status.
A: Wilmington University does not offer on–campus housing. However, the university’s proximity to the cities of New Castle, Wilmington and Dover provide many options for off–campus housing. Visit Student Services for more information about apartments and roommate searches.
A: Wilmington University does not require international students to have health insurance. However, it is strongly recommended that students obtain health insurance while living in the United States. Health insurance providers can be found by searching the internet for providers in Delaware. For available plans, please contact International Admissions at 302.356.6741 or via email. If you are already enrolled, you may find additional information on the Multicultural Club Blackboard page in the resources for international students section.
A: Once you register for your first course, you may obtain your student ID at any of the following locations:
- New Castle (University Information Center)
Monday–Friday (9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
- Dover (Main Reception Desk)
Monday–Friday (9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
- Wilson Graduate Center (Main Reception Desk)
Monday–Friday (9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
- Brandywine (Main Reception Desk)
Monday–Friday (9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
You will need to bring a government–issued form of identification with you, such as your passport.
A: Yes, you may obtain a driver’s license. Please contact your DSO for appropriate documents. You may obtain a driver’s licenses through the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the state where you reside. As an international student, you do NOT need Social Security numbers to get a driver’s license. For a list of required documents for the issuance of a driver’s license, please visit the appropriate DMV website for more information.
A: Social Security numbers can only be obtained if you have a job or job offer. Because of the employment limitations, you should not expect to qualify for a Social Security Number during your first academic year, and should only expect to qualify after Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT) or on–campus employment is granted. You do NOT need Social Security numbers to get a driver’s license, to open a bank account or even to rent an apartment. We can assist you by providing you with the documentation you need. Please contact your Designated School Official (DSO) for appropriate documents.
Additional information is available on the Social Security Administration website.
A: Yes. In addition to the many clubs and organizations offered to all Wilmington University students, we also have a multicultural club that was created specifically for our international students and is available through Blackboard.
Understanding the I-20
A: The I-20 is a multi–purpose document issued by a government approved, U.S. educational institution certifying that a student has been admitted to a full–time study program and that the student has demonstrated sufficient financial resources to stay in the U.S. The I-20 is officially titled the "Certificate of Eligibility" because with it, a student is "eligible" to apply for an F–1 student visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. A student’s spouse or children will also each need their own I–20 to obtain F–2 dependent status, if desired.
Getting the I–20 from a U.S. school is not enough to obtain legal F–1 student status; entry into the U.S. with the appropriate F–1 documents or approval for a change of status from another type of nonimmigrant visa (see Change of Status) is required.
A: After a student completes their admissions process, the admitted students’ names and other biographic information are entered into the U.S. government’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System database (SEVIS). The SEVIS database processes the information and produces an I–20 no more than 120 days prior to the program start date. The Designated School Official (DSO) prints and signs the I–20 and then provides it to the student. If a student needs to update or change information on the I–20, the DSO makes these requests through SEVIS to produce a new document.
A: Yes. After receiving an I–20 from your school, you must make an appointment to apply for the F–1 visa at the local U.S. embassy or consulate in your country (the visa is needed to be allowed entry into the U.S. in F–1 status). You must present both the F–1 visa and the I–20 to a U.S. Immigration inspector upon arrival at the port–of–entry .
A: Once you have arrived in the U.S. and passed through the border inspections process (either at an airport, seaport or land border), the I–20 is used for identification purposes and proof of legal and academic status. Typically, students must show their I–20 at the Social Security Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The I–20 is also shown to employers in the hiring process for on– or off–campus employment. Off–campus employment information and/or authorization will be printed on page 3 of your I–20.
A: As an international student, you may only travel during university breaks or during the summer semester or with proof of a medical emergency. If traveling abroad, you must take your I–20 with you. The I–20 is required to reapply for a visa (if needed) and for re–entering the U.S. Before departure from the U.S., you must have your travel approved by a Designated School Official (DSO). You are not permitted to travel during required semesters, or to miss class due to travel. When you have made your travel arrangements, bring a copy of your itinerary and your I-20 to the International office to obtain a travel signature. You must have your travel approved and obtain a signature each time you leave the United States. Please plan ahead and get your travel endorsement several weeks before departing the U.S. to avoid the holiday rush.
A: The "completion date" is entered into item #5 on page 1 of the I–20 based on a your particular major and degree level. This is an estimate of time the University feels it may take to fulfill all degree requirements. However, if you are not able to finish the program on that date, an extension must be requested from the Wilmington University International Admissions Office at least one month before the completion date expires.
According to U.S. Immigration regulations, the "completion date" is defined as the day final degree requirements are completed. The actual completion date may not necessarily be the day of the graduation ceremony or the date on the I–20 (In fact, many students actually finish their degree requirements before the completion date on their I–20).
The completion date is considered to be the last day of final exams of the semester degree requirements are fulfilled.
The completion date is the day on which all degree requirements are fulfilled, such as filing the thesis or dissertation. If there is no research component to the degree program (such as in the M.B.A. program), the completion date would be the last day of final exams of the semester the degree requirements are fulfilled.
The 60–day Grace Period.
When you complete a study program, you have a 60–day grace period to either 1) depart the U.S., 2) request a school transfer, or 3) change visa status.
A: Some international students do not need I–20s. If you are maintaining another nonimmigrant status other than F status in the U.S., an I–20 is not needed. Dependent children in E, H, I, J, L, M, N, 0, P, R, or S status need to change status after their 21st birthday.