Before Your Arrive
Applying for a Student Visa
I-901 SEVIS Fee
International Student Handbook
Application for Admission (exchange students only)
Course Registration (exchange students only)
Host Family Preference Form
Travel Information Form
Forms for Exchange Students Only
Applying for a Student Visa
We will mail your Form I-20 to you approximately four months prior to your arrival at Colorado College. This is the form you will need to take to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in order to apply for your visa. Because applying for a visa can be time consuming, it is very important you apply as soon as possible, but not more than 90 days before you begin your studies at Colorado College. You will find additional information on the visa application process on the U.S. State Department website.
When applying for a visa, you should bring the following documents to the U.S. consulate or embassy in your country:
- A Form I-20 obtained from Colorado College. Be sure to sign page 1 and bring all three pages with you;
- Your letter of acceptance from Colorado College;
- An application Form DS-156, together with a Form DS-158. Both forms must be completed and signed. You may obtain these forms at the U.S. consular office at the time of your interview or you may find them on the U.S. State Department website;
- One 2 x 2 photograph. View photo requirements;
- A passport valid for at least six months after your proposed date of entry into the United States;
- A receipt for visa processing fee;
- A receipt for SEVIS I-901 fee.
Financial evidence that shows you, or your parents who are sponsoring you, have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study. For example, if you or your sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bank books and/or statements. If you or your sponsor owns a business, bring business registration, licenses, etc., and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements.
If there are no complications, you should receive a visa stamp in your passport within a few hours or days. The stamp will note the dates for which it is valid, the number of entries to the United States that are allowed, and the name of Colorado College.
Preparing for the Consulate Interview
After you receive your I-20, you will need to schedule an interview with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Appointments for interviews may fill up very quickly, so it's important not to wait until the last minute to schedule yours.
Preparing for the interview with the consular officer will help you overcome some of the nervousness you may be feeling about this process. In general, the consular officer wants to confirm three things: 1) you have a legitimate reason to study in the United States, 2) you have the financial ability to pay for your education and support yourself while in the U.S., and 3) you intend to return to your home country upon completion of your studies. Therefore, you should be prepared to answer the following types of questions:
- Why do you want to study in the U.S.?
- Why do you want to study at Colorado College?
- How did you learn about Colorado College?
- Where is Colorado College?
- How will your studies help you when you return to your home country?
- What are the job opportunities in your country for your field of study?
Pay close attention to these last two questions. For example, if you want to major in Art History, be prepared to answer questions about the potential job opportunities for students with Art History degrees in your home country. If there are not jobs in this field available, the consular officer may doubt your intent to return home.
Verifying Your Finances
Usually you will be asked to show proof of your ability to pay for your studies in the United States. Be prepared to show a copy of your Certification of Finances accompanied by bank statements and letters of support from family members. If your family has bank accounts in the United States, you should be prepared to demonstrate that you still have ties to your home country. Sometimes consular officers will view U.S.-based bank accounts as a demonstration that you do not intend to return home. Also, if you receive a scholarship from CC, don't forget to bring a copy of your scholarship letter with you.
Questions asked to determine your intent to return home after your studies:
Do you have family in your home country? What do they do? What do you intend to do once you complete your studies? What types of jobs will be available for you once you return home?
These questions should give you a general idea of what to expect when you go for your consulate interview. Have a friend ask you these questions so you can practice answering them in a more relaxed setting. Then, when it comes time for the interview, you won't feel as nervous. The main thing to remember is to answer the questions honestly. Trying to tell the consular officer what you think he or she wants to hear will not be successful. Finally, if you are denied a visa, ask for the reason for the denial in writing. Then, contact our office with this information. Sometimes it is a simple matter that can be remedied in a second visit. If you do not get the reason for denial in writing, it is very difficult for us to advise you on ways to remedy the situation.
I-901 SEVIS Fee for F-1 Students
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will collect a fee to cover the costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is a web-based program that collects and maintains information on international students throughout their studies in the U.S. All international students who have I-20's issued after September 1, 2004 are subject to this fee.
More information about the fee is included below. Please read this information carefully and contact our office with any questions regarding payment of the fee.
Who pays the fee? How much is it?
Those who wish to enter the United States as a student with a Form I-20 dated on or after September 1, 2004 must pay the fee. The fee is $100.
When do students pay the SEVIS fee?
You must pay the fee before going to the U.S consulate or embassy for your visa interview.
How is the fee paid?
We recommend that students pay the fee online. The system accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards.
You may also pay the fee through the mail by submitting a completed Form I-901 and a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank and payable in U.S. currency. Complete the Form I-901.
When must the fee be paid?
The fee must be paid to ensure that the payment can be deposited and recorded in SEVIS prior to the scheduled visa interview. The interviewing consular officer will confirm that the fee has been paid by accessing SEVIS. To allow for adequate processing time the fee must be paid:
- At least three business days prior to the visa interview date for electronic submissions.
- For regular mail submissions, 15 business days should be allowed before the scheduled visa interview. This time frame allows adequate time for the fee payment to be received at the DHS address listed on the Form I-901, deposited, and recorded in SEVIS.
- Add local mail processing times to these processing times for accuracy.
How will the payment be verified?
The payment will be recorded in the SEVIS system. However, it is recommended that the paper I-797 or the internet-generated receipt be brought to the visa interview.
- Individuals who file electronically will be able to print an electronic receipt immediately at the time of payment.
- DHS will issue an official paper receipt (I-797) for every payment received.
- Individuals who are paying by mail, may request Express delivery service for the I-797 receipt at an additional cost of $30.
What if I have problems paying the fee?
Please contact our office immediately if you experience any problems.
Application for Admission
Once you have been selected by your home university to attend Colorado College, you will need to submit a CC application. Completed applications may be returned to us by mail or by fax (719-227-8182). Once we receive your application, we will issue your acceptance letter and I-20 form. Four-year, degree-seeking students should NOT complete this form.
Download the Application for Admission.
As an international exchange student, you may register for your classes through our office. Degree-seeking students will receive separate instructions on course registration over the summer.
We realize the process of registering for classes can be confusing, and we encourage students to contact us with any questions. Remember that you will have time during the orientation to meet with your academic advisor, speak with your professors and look at the required reading for your courses. We will also meet individually with you to discuss your courses, and if necessary, you will be able to change them during this time.
Things to keep in mind while selecting classes:
- Courses at Colorado College are taught on a "block system," where you will study one course at a time for 3 1/2 weeks. Therefore, you cannot enroll in more than one class during any given block period, although you are encouraged to list several choices on the form.
- The number given for each course is an indication of its difficulty. (For example, MA 313 is a 300-level course.) Classes taught at the 100-level are considered introductory courses for students with little or no familiarity with a subject; courses at the 400-level are normally for fourth-year students who are specializing in that area.
- As a liberal arts college, Colorado College encourages students to take a broad range of courses in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. In fact, most students at Colorado College do not pick a major until sometime in their second year. Most exchange students taking courses in their area of specialty find they are comfortable taking 200 and 300-level courses. If you want to take a course in a completely new area, such as American politics, it is recommended that you start at the 100-level.
- If you change your mind about a course, you may drop it and add another one at any time prior to the beginning of the block, or by the fourth day of the block.
- Students have the option of taking courses on two different "tracks." In a given course, you may choose to be graded on the G track or the P track. On the 'G' track, you will receive one of the following letter grades: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D or No Credit. On the 'P' track, you will receive one of the following: S (passing with an A though C-); CR (earning a D+ or D) or No Credit (a D-, or below).
- Don't forget to check with your home university about what you'll need to need to do to transfer credit back from Colorado College. Make sure you're aware of any policies that apply to exchange students studying abroad.