Fall 2021 Enrollment Updates & FAQs

Fall 2021: Enrollment Requirements for International Students

5/1/2021

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released guidance regarding international student enrollment requirements for Fall 2021, which extends the requirements set forth from Fall 2020. 


Full Course Load Requirements for F-1/J-1 International Students 

Continuing Students

If you are a continuing international student who was enrolled in the Spring 2021 semester and who is physically located outside the U.S.:

  • Students with valid visas planning to return to Kent State for Fall 2021 may request an updated travel signature if your travel signature on page 2 of your I-20 is more than 1 year old. 
  • Continuing students without a valid visa may apply for and be granted a new visa.
  • If you have been issued an I-20 with a scanned or electronic signature, it will remain valid, so long as you carry a printed copy with your signature. 
  • If you plan to remain outside the U.S. and enroll as a full-time student in remote courses, we will be able to maintain your SEVIS record as "ACTIVE," which means that the time you have previously accumulated studying in the U.S. is preserved for CPT and OPT considerations.
  • In order to maintain an "ACTIVE" SEVIS record, undergraduate student must maintain a minimum of 12 credit hours, and graduate students must maintain 8 credit hours unless approved for an RCL (Reduced Course Load Request).

If you are a coninuting F-1 student who was enrolled in Spring 2021 , currently in the U.S., or returning for Fall 2021:

  • Register for a full course of study if you have not already done so. There is no limit to the number of remote classes that can count toward the fullcourse of study requirement.

If you are an F-1 student who is changing levels or transferring from another SEVIS-institution and you have not left the U.S.:

  • Register for a full course of study if you have not alerady done so. There is no limit to the numner of remote classes that can count toward the full course of study requirement. 

Reduced Course Load (RCL)

An international student may be eligible for a Reduced Course Load reduction for the following reasons:

  • Academic Difficulty
  • Documented Illness, Medical, or Psychological Concern
  • Completion of Course of Study (Last Semester)
  • Thesis/Dissertation work requiring fewer than 8 credit hours

A student that believes they are eligible for an RCL must submit an RCL request. More information is available on the RCL webpage. 

New Students 

If you are a new student who is physicall located outside the U.S. before the start of Fall 2021:

  • You may defer your admission to a later semester. If you decide to defer your admission, please email intladm@kent.edu. Please note that not all programs permit a Spring semester start date.
  • Consider enrolling in online classes. Please note that if you begin courses online and are not able to obtain a visa later, your program may not offer a method to complete your program entirely online.
  • If you decied to begin your studies remotely, you must request that your I-20 start date be deferred. To defer your I-20 start date, please email  i20@kent.edu.
  • Eligibility for CPT and OPT may be affected. To be eligible for CPT or OPT, you must have been fully enrolled in an academic program in a qualifying status for at least 1 academic year. If you are not physically present in the U.S., you are not considered to be in status (unless updated guidance from SEVP & DHS determines otherwise).

If you are a new student who plans to arrive to the U.S. physicall for Fall 2021:

  • Participate in International Student Orientation and the appropriate academic orientatino (Destination Kent State - DKS for undergraduate students, or Graduate Student Orientation for graduate students. ESL students should participate in ESL Orientation. 
  • Enroll in a full course of study with at least 1 in-person course. Undergraduate students must enroll in at least 12 credits, and graduate students must enroll in at least 8 credits.
  • Late Arrival Letters may be requested by emailing isss@kent.edu if you have a visa appointment scheduled. The last date for late arrival for undergraduate students is Septemeber 1, 2021. ESL & Graduate students may be considered on a case by case basis with permission of the academic department.

If you are transferring to Kent State from another SEVP college, university, or high school, were enrolled in the Sprng 2021 semester in your previous program and have not left the U.S.:

  • Participate in International Student Orientation and the appropriate academic orientatino (Destination Kent State - DKS for undergraduate students, or Graduate Student Orientation for graduate students. ESL students should participate in ESL Orientation. 
  • Register for a full course of study . There is no limit to the number of remote classes that can count toward the full course of study. Undergraduate students should enroll in at least 12 credits, and graduate students should enroll in at least 8 credits.

Flowchart 


Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find updates about travel restrictions?

Carefully consider any and all travel plans. There are a number of travel restrictions in place across the world.

Will I need to self-isolate/Quarantine?

What if I can't get a visa appointment?

You may defer your admission to a later semester. If you decide to defer your admission, please email  i20@kent.edu.

Consider enrolling in online classes. Please note that if you begin courses online and are not able to obtain a visa later, your program may not offer a method to complete your program entirely online. 

Eligibility for CPT and OPT may be impacted. To be eligible for CPT or OPT, you must have been fully enrolled in an academic program in a qualifying status for at least 1 academic year. If you are not physically present in the U.S., you are not considered to be in status (unless updated guidance from SEVP & DHS determines otherwise).

Late Arrival Letters may be requested by emailing isss@kent.edu if you have a visa appointment scheduled. The last date for late arrival for undergraduate students is September 1, 2021. ESL & Graduate students may be considered on a case by case basis with permission of the academic department.

I am an incoming F-1 student. What is the difference between deferring my admission versus deferring my I-20?

  • Deferring your admission means to wait to start your studies to a later semester. You can defer your admission for up to one year. Contact intladm@kent.edu for information on how to defer your admission
  • Deferring your I-20 means that you intend to start studying remotely/online, but you do not plan to come to Kent State this semester. You can defer your I-20 by contacting i20@kent.edu

How Can I speak with an ISSS Advisor?

Make a virtual appointment or call during phone advising.

Will my visa be canceled if I am studying from my home country?

If you have an F-1 visa, your visa will not be canceled if you are studying from your home country, even if your SEVIS record is terminated. The SEVIS termination would not affect your F-1 visa.

Where can I find more resources?

As always you should frequently check your Kent State email, read the ISSS Newsflash, and check the ISSS website at www.kent.edu/isss

How can I find out who my academic advisor or program coordinator is?

Start by looking under your Student Information in FlashLine. Here are the instructions: https://www.kent.edu/flashline/news/how-can-i-find-out-who-my-advisor. If that information is not available, instructions are below based on your education level:

Undergraduate Students: Find An Advisor

Graduate Students: Please find department contact information here: https://www.kent.edu/graduatestudies/graduate-programs

ESL Students: You can contact the ESL center at eslreg@kent.edu.

I tried to schedule an appointment with my academic advisor on KSU advising but nothing is available in the next few days.

We recommend emailing or calling your academic department to help you connect with an academic advisor

Does KSU international student health insurance cover COVID-19 testing?

Yes. The KSU international student health insurance covers all aspects of COVID-19. More information can be found here: https://www.kent.edu/policyreg/university-policy-regarding-international-students-requirement-have-health-insurance

Am I eligible for the covid-19 vaccine as a new international student at kent State?

Yes! You are eligible and even encouraged to set up an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine upon your arrival to Kent State. You can learn more here: https://www.kent.edu/coronavirus/vaccine.

Will the Vaccine be covered by my kent state Student Health Insurance?

The U.S. government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all international students. 

what measures is KSU taking to keep me safe?

Kent State University’s reopening committees continue to work for a safe return to campus. To ensure an outstanding and safe experience for students, faculty, staff, and visitors, everyone should practice daily symptom checks and the Flashes Safe Eight principles: https://www.kent.edu/coronavirus/flashes-safe-eight#while-on-campus

How can I advocate for Kent State’s International Students?

Numerous KSU student organizations are engaged in political advocacy in support of our international students