How Do I pay for my tuition if I am on scholarship?
Steps for Payment through a Private or Third Party Scholarship:
Private Scholarships for college students are offered each year by a variety of companies and non-profit organizations.
The following steps are required for Private Scholarships:
- The donor will need to send the scholarship check to:
Houston Community College
ATTN: Head Cashier
3100 Main St., 11th Floor
Houston, Texas 77002
- Included with the check should be a cover letter with the following information:
- the recipient’s name
- student ID number
- P number or social security number (if applicable)
- award period
- any restrictions Please Note: Restrictions may include a number of required course load; whether the scholarship covers books in addition to tuition and fees; the student is allowed to receive a balance check for the unused portion of the funds.
*If the donor does not send the check to the head cashier, the processing of your scholarship will be delayed. Checks for private scholarships should NOT be sent to Houston Community College Scholarship Foundation or to your local Houston Community College Campus.
Third Party Scholarships:
Scholarships from the following agencies are considered third party scholarships. In this case, the sponsor is under contract with HCC.
- Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission
- Ambassade De La Republique Gabonaise
- Embassy of Qatar
The following steps are required for Third Party Scholarships:
The student must bring, in person, a printed copy of the final letter of commitment from their sponsor to any one of the Houston Community College cashiers every semester and each time they add a class or the student charges increase. Classes will be dropped when the letter of commitment is not updated in the student account even though the charges may remain.
IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP THE LETTER OF COMMITMENT UPDATED BY SUBMITTING THE NEWEST VERSION EACH TERM AND EACH TIME THE STUDENT’S CHARGES INCREASE.
You will have a hold placed on your student account when your scholarship is not paid per your student account information. The hold will block college services including enrollment and transcripts. It is always the student’s responsibility to understand the rules of your scholarship. Please remember SACM enforces their payment policy for online courses.
Online classes for SACM students:
Special note to students who are sponsored by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM):
The SACM requires students interested in taking online classes to first obtain approval from their academic advisor at the Mission before enrolling in these classes. Once you have identified the online class of interest, please take the following steps:
1. Immediately contact your academic advisor at the SACM with the name of the course and its number.
2. Obtain approval in writing.
3. Enroll in the class only after approval has been granted by SACM
Please Note: The Office of International Student Services is not responsible for submitting scholarship letters to the cashier’s department. It is the students’ responsibility as you are not properly enrolled without completing all payment paperwork.
*Students with scholarships from Venezuela CADIVI must contact the Bursar’s office every term to obtain the payment instruction letter. The letters will be mailed or emailed to the student.
Are there local scholarships or Financial Aid for F-1 students?
F-1 Students do not qualify for Financial Aid, however, through the HCC Foundation there are several scholarships available to you.
- The Computer Science Technology Scholarship
- The Society of Iranian American Women for Education Scholarship
- The Southwest Intensive English Program Endowed Scholarship
- The Northeast College Scholarship.
By completing a single scholarship application, an HCC student can apply for all of the different scholarships offered through the HCC Foundation to help pay for his or her tuition, fees and books.
The HCC Foundation's online scholarship application for the 2014/2015 academic year will be available until 2:00 p.m. Friday, June 13, 2014. Please visit the HCC scholarship website at www.hccsfoundation.org for more information and how to apply.
Is orientation mandatory for international students?
Yes, all international students must participate in orientation.
When I arrive in Houston, where do I need to report my arrival?
You must go to the Office of International Student Services & Study Abroad (OISS&SA) at 3100 Main, Houston, TX 77002 (first floor of the garage) to report your arrival with a Designated School Official/ International Student Advisor (DSO/ISA). There may be consequences if you fail to do so.
Can I take classes without completing English for non-native speakers?
Any student who, in the determination of the instructor and counselor, cannot be expected to benefit from the class because of the student’s limited command of the English language may be dropped from the class. The consequence of this is that you may lose your F-1 status. You need to assure that you are in the right program from the beginning, so please see your college counselor for proper advisement.
When does school start, and when should I physically be in town?
We recommend that you be in Houston one month prior to starting school, so you can get settled in before classes begin. However, you may not enter the United States more than 30 days before your program start date listed on your SEVIS Form I-20. You must report your entry into the United States at the Office of International Students & Study Abroad at 3100 Main St. Houston, Texas 77022 prior to registration. Refer to the check in schedule for when to report to the OISS&SA.
What is a DSO?
DSO stands for Designated School Official. A DSO is responsible for reporting and updating information to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) about each F-1 student’s situation.
International Transfer Students
What is a transfer student?
A transfer student is any student who has previous college work and plans to pursue a certificate or degree at HCC. Transfer students are required to send official transcripts from each previously attended college or university. Counselors evaluate transfer work at the time the degree plan is filed.
Students are encouraged to meet with an HCC counselor prior to registration but no later than their first semester of enrollment to complete their degree plan. Transfer students should follow the basic procedures for admission.
Are there transfer limitations?
Students who intend to transfer to baccalaureate degree programs should be aware of possible limitations on lower-division course work. Universities will generally not accept in transfer or toward a degree program, more than 66 semester credit hours of lower division academic credit.
How does concurrent enrollment affect me?
An international student with an I-20 from another college or university wishing to concurrently enroll at HCC must submit written permission from that college or university. English language skills and satisfaction of course prerequisites apply.
Is the TOEFL required for admission to HCC?
No, you do not have to take the TOEFL to be admitted to HCC; however, international students planning to enroll in an academic program must demonstrate English language proficiency. This can be accomplished by a counselor’s recommendation to take an appropriate test.
What happens if I already took the TOEFL?
If you already took the TOEFL and scored over 550 or scored 213 on a computer-based test and 79 on an Internet-based test (iBT), you will be exempt from taking the Intensive English Program.
What is the COMPASS ESL test?
A variety of assessment instruments are used to determine placement into programs and courses at HCC. One of the instruments we use to determine English proficiency for non-native speakers is the COMPASS ESL (English as a Second Language), which we use for placement purposes.
Can CLEP scores be used to satisfy full time enrollment?
No, CLEP scores cannot be used to satisfy full time enrollment. However, you can receive credits for a CLEP score.
What is the Texas Success Initiative (TSI)?
The State of Texas and Houston Community College requires that all students must be tested to determine readiness to enroll in college-level courses. This requirement is referred to as the Texas Success Initiative (TSI). A major emphasis of TSI is to ensure that all students be tested to determine if they are “college ready” in reading, writing and mathematics. Testing is mandatory and must be completed prior to one’s first enrollment at HCC, unless it is determined that the student has been waived or exempted from TSI requirement. See your college counselor for more information.
F-1 Status, Insurance, Work
If I lose my F-1 status, what do I need to do?
You may need to leave the United States to re-establish student status by re-entering the country with a new I-20 or by filing a reinstatement request with the Department of Homeland Security. For more information, please refer to the reinstatement instructions of the OISS&SA website.
If I do not finish my studies by the completion date on the SEVIS Form I-20, what do I do to stay in school and finish my degree program?
You will have to meet with a DSO/ISA at the OISS&SA at 3100 Main St. and determine how much time is needed to complete your degree program. Then you must present new financial documents to verify the financial support needed to extend the date of your SEVIS Form I-20. Your DSO?ISA will advise you. We can extend your program’s end date in annual increments if requested by the student BEFORE the end date on your SEVIS Form I-20. If you fail to extend the date, you may lose your F-1 status.
Do I need insurance?
Yes. All students holding an F‐1 Visa will be automatically enrolled and charged for the Houston Community College endorsed International Student and Accident & Sickness Insurance Program. You may download a copy of the Accident & Sickness Insurance booklet and access other helpful information from www.studentinsurance.com/Schools/TX/HCC/ or get information from Health Insurance FAQ’s.
Can I apply for a waiver of the health insurance fee?
A waiver of the health insurance fee may be requested online from the insurance company (click on “Waive Online”) with proof of acceptable alternate insurance as follows:
Acceptable Alternate Health Insurance Plans:
- A government or scholarship sponsored plan that meets Houston Community College’s waiver criteria
- A job‐based employer health insurance plan (or covered as a dependent under a job‐based employer health insurance plan).
Note: individual policies (Example: Plans offered online to individuals) are not considered acceptable alternate health and will not be accepted.
Can an international student work?
International students may work up to 19.5 hours a week on campus, if you are in good academic standing. For special permission to work off campus CPT or OPT must be granted. For more information see F1 Services and Forms.