Frequently Asked Questions

Can I study English as a Second Language at GRCC while on an F-1 visa?

No. F-1 students must provide proof (TOEFL or IELTS scores or other means) of college level English proficiency.

What is the minimum TOEFL score required by GRCC for admission?

A minimum score of 71 on the internet based is required for admission to GRCC.

Does GRCC have a dorm or housing for international students?

GRCC does not provide housing for students. Students should have housing arrangements prior to arrival. Explore housing options and resources in the greater Grand Rapids area by visiting

When should I arrive in Grand Rapids?

International students can arrive no earlier than 30 days before the start date on the form I-20. New students should plan to arrive 2-3 weeks prior to the semester start date to complete placement testing, advising and the required Orientation.

When should I register and where?

International students are required to take GRCC's placement tests prior to registration and enrollment. The tests measurs a student's skill level in math, reading and English. Test scores are used to place students in appropriate courses. New international students will meet with an academic counselor to receive guidance and assistance with course selection and enrollment.

How many credits should I be enrolled in to maintain my F-1 visa status?

As an F-1 student, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations require that international students be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits per semester.

What is the form I-20?

The form I-20 is the official document that all US colleges and universities issue to international students to indicate they have met all admission requirements. The form is required for students to obtain the F-1 student visa.

How much is the SEVIS fee?

Beginning September 1, 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will collect a congressionally mandated fee to cover the costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).

International students and exchange visitors are subject to this fee, which will be used to administer and maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), support compliance activities, and establish SEVIS Liaison Officers establish SEVIS Liaison Officers to provide information and assistance to students and schools.

Those who wish to enter the United States either as a student or an exchange visitor with a Form I-20 dated on or after September 1, 2004, are responsible for the SEVIS fee of $200.