Frequently Asked Questions for International Students
Applying for Admission
Please visit our international admissions page and follow the instructions according to your Visa type. Some degree programs may have additional requirements.
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.
Visit the International Admissions office or email firstname.lastname@example.org to seek advice from an international advisor.
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: www.naces.org/members.html.
Bank statements and affidavit of support can be no older than 6 months prior to acceptance.
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 be eligible to receive a transfer acceptance letter.
- 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.
This is called an Initial transfer and it is very common. The most important thing to do is stay in contact with your International Admissions Team. Once you let us know this is your plan, we will open a spot in your application for your I-20 and visa from the other university. Then we will wait for you to arrive in the US and you will immediately send us your I-94. Once we have it and have processed it, we will send you a transfer acceptance letter for you to send to your DSO at the school you are transferring to us from. This will let them send us your SEVIS record.
Registering for Courses
Once you are admitted, registration 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.
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.
Yes. As an international student, you may take one online course per semester.
It is the student’s responsibility to register for all of their assigned ESL classes in the first term of study. Failure to do so will result in a registration hold which will block the student from registering in the future. You can refer to the whole ESL policy for more information.
Students may submit only one additional test score after admission up to 10 days before the start of the term. Once this deadline has passed, ESL placement is finalized. You can refer to the whole ESL policy for more information.
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.
Maintaining Visa Status
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.
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.
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 (DSO) immediate to discuss possible courses of action.
If you lose your status and need reinstatement, you will need to contact an immigration attorney. When you are ready to file for reinstatement, a Wilmington University DSO will create an I-20 for you.
Students usually say they are trying to change status to mean both doing an official change of status and applying for a new visa status. These are different strategies and are further explained on our Maintaining Status page.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes! In addition to the many clubs and organizations offered to our students, we also have the Multicultural Club, which was created specifically with our international students in mind. It is available on Canvas.
Understanding the I-20
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
To add an F2 dependent, students need to submit supporting documents:
- Dependent passport
- New affidavit of support
- (spot to claim dependents on the bottom of the form)
- New bank statement
- 23,600 USD
- +3,000 for each dependent
- Copy of Marriage certificate or birth certificate