How to Apply

ECC is committed to diversity and inclusion and welcomes applications from students seeking to study full-time in the U.S. on an F-1 or J-1 visa. Our goal is to support your educational dreams whether you want to earn a U.S. degree, transfer to a top university, or improve your English. We will help you work toward a bright future. Applying to ECC as an international student is easy, and we have more than 120 degree and certificate options to choose from.

BEGIN APPLICATION

Step 1: Submit Application and Required Documents

New International Students

  • Apply online and upload all required documents through the online application system.
  • If you do not have reliable internet access, you may complete the PDF application and submit the required documents by email to internationaladmissions@elgin.edu.
  • By postal mail to:
    • Elgin Community College
      Center for International Education and Programs
      1700 Spartan Drive
      Elgin, IL 60123-7193
      USA
  • By fax to +1-847-931-4897

The following documents must be submitted to be considered for admission to ECC as an international student:

  1. Completed application for admission.
  2. Signed International Student Financial Agreement, which certifies your ability to meet expenses for your first year of studies.
  3. Pay $50 processing fee.
    • You can pay online via international wire transfer via Flywire™ wire transfer, by check/money order drawn on U.S. funds payable to Elgin Community College, cash, or over the phone by credit card by calling Student Accounts at +1-847-214-7380.
  4. Evidence of Financial Support showing at least $20,310 for one year of study.
    • U.S. federal regulations require you to certify your ability to meet all expenses for your first year of studies. All prospective F-1 students must submit financial documentation certifying access to funding for the duration of their studies pursuant to 8 CFR ยง 214.2. Students must submit an English language official bank statement or letter on bank letterhead certifying the account holder's name, current balance, and date of the statement. Certification must show available funds of $20,310 for first-year expenses at ECC, exclusive of travel expenses. Certification of funds must be dated within six months of issuing the I-20. You may submit financial documentation electronically. Tuition may increase annually.
  5. Affidavit of Sponsorship
    • Anyone who is contributing financially to your education (including family members) must complete an Affidavit of Sponsorship.
  6. Transcripts from High School/Secondary School
    • Transcripts must be certified and submitted in English; translation or evaluation services may require an additional fee to be paid by the student to an outside credential evaluation service.
    • If you haven't completed high school/secondary education, you may apply if you meet the following requirements:
      • Age 17 years or older by intended start date at ECC
      • Submission of high school/secondary transcript showing completion of at least 11 years of secondary education (equivalent to junior-level standing in high school).
      • If you have completed post-secondary courses (university or college), we strongly encourage you to submit official, English-translated copies of transcripts for possible credit. You will need to have your transcripts evaluated by a college-approved transcript evaluation service.
  7. Photocopy of Passport. Include photocopies of the biography page and the identity page with your photograph.
    • If you are currently in the U.S., please include a copy of your electronic I-94 record and your current visa or visa stamp.
    • If you have applied for a change of status, please submit a copy of any I-797 forms received from USCIS.
    • You must show proof of age in the form of a valid birth date on your passport or official government-issued identification. You must be at least 17 years old by the start of classes to be issued a Form I-20 or DS-2019 by ECC.

Transfer Students

If you are transferring from a school in the U.S. to ECC, you must also submit the following:

  1. Transfer Release and Verification Form - PDF (if applicable). If you are transferring from another school in the United States, ask your school to complete the Transfer Release and Verification Form.
  2. Copy of visa
  3. Copy of most recent I-20 from your transfer-out school.
  4. Transcripts from the current institution. In order to apply for transfer credit, you will need to also submit your transcripts to our Records department for evaluation and complete the Transcript Evaluation Request Form.

Students Seeking Reinstatement

If you are currently in the U.S. and out-of-status on your F-1 visa, ECC may be able to help you regain your F-1 status. USCIS allows F-1 students who have fallen out of status to apply for reinstatement if certain conditions are met. Applications from students seeking reinstatement are accepted on a case-by-case basis throughout the year for enrollment at the next available program start date. Please contact the Center for International Education and Programs at +1-847-214-7809 for specific information and advice related to your individual situation. Once you have met with a DSO at ECC and received confirmation that you are eligible for reinstatement, you can submit an application online, you may begin the Reinstatement Application online or download and complete the Reinstatement Application - PDF. You'll have to submit additional documentation to USCIS.

Students Seeking a Change of Status to F-1 Visa

If you are currently in the United States on a non-immigrant visa, you may be eligible to change your status to F-1 without exiting the U.S. Applications from students seeking a change of status are accepted on a case-by-case basis throughout the year for enrollment at the next available program start date. Please contact the Center for International Education and Programs at +1-847-214-7809 for specific information and advice related to your individual situation. Once you have met with a DSO at ECC and received confirmation that you are eligible for a change of status, you can apply online. You may begin your Change of Status application online or complete the Change of Status Application - PDF.
Questions? Check out our Change of Status FAQ page.

English Proficiency Requirements

You don't need to be proficient in English to be accepted to ECC, and we don't require the TOEFL or IELTS. However, if you're not proficient, you'll take an English language proficiency test when you get here so we can place you into the appropriate level, if needed, in the Intensive English Program.

Students who believe they satisfy the English language proficiency requirement as required by federal law must present proof of such proficiency by submitting one of the following:

  • a minimum TOEFL score of 197 on the computer-based version, 527-530 on the paper-based exam, or 71 on the Internet-based exam; or
  • a minimum IELTS band score of 6.0; or
  • a minimum Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) score of 50; or
  • a minimum score of 60 on E3PT; or
  • a minimum score of 95 on the Duolingo English Test; or
  • completion of ELS Language School level 109 with a B or better; or
  • completion of EF UPiBT test with a minimum score of 50; or
  • a minimum score equivalent to the B2 level of LanguageCert;
  • graduation from a high school where English was the mode of instruction; or
  • graduation from a post-secondary institution with the equivalent of a bachelor's degree where English was the mode of instruction; or
  • completion of college-level English composition with a grade of C or better; or
  • satisfactory score on the ACT or SAT exam for placement into ENG 101, see Testing Scores Summary for most updated scores, or
  • completion of the ECC Intensive English Program.

If you do not submit proof of English language proficiency, you will need to take the English language proficiency test during orientation week before registering for classes for which you qualify. Many students enroll in the Intensive English Program prior to enrolling as a student (also called matriculating) into courses in your area of study.

As an incoming international student, you'll take placement tests in Writing, Reading, and Math to assess your skill levels and place you in the appropriate classes.

Step 2: Arrange Housing

International students attending ECC can choose from a variety of housing options, including the International Student Homestay Program, a private apartment, an extended-stay hotel, or living with family or friends. You must be at least age 18 or older to rent an apartment or hotel (in most situations).

ECC offers an International Student Homestay Program for full-time international students and scholars interested in living with a local family. To apply for the homestay program:

  1. Submit an application for homestay.
  2. Sign and submit the ISHP Application for International Students - PDF.
  3. Submit a letter of introduction written to your host family.
  4. Once a placement has been made, pay a $100 placement fee via flywire.com or by calling Student Accounts at +1-847-214-7380.

Step 3: Acceptance Package

Once we receive your completed application materials, an acceptance package will be mailed to you within one to two business days. Your acceptance package will contain the following official documents:

  • Acceptance letter to ECC
  • Form I-20

Also, ECC will email you a copy of your Form I-20 and some important enrollment information.

ECC will mail your acceptance package to the address indicated on your admissions application. Per SEVP guidance, your acceptance package and Form I-20 can only be mailed directly to you, the student, your dependents (if applying for F-2 status), or, for minors, your parents or guardian.

Step 4: F-1 Visa Interview

You must present yourself at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country to apply for the appropriate visa. You will need the documents sent to you in your acceptance package so be sure to keep the documents safe! The U.S. Department of State provides information to international students on preparing for the visa interview. You must also pay the I-901/SEVIS fee online prior to your visa interview.

We encourage you to utilize the free resources provided by EducationUSA, the U.S. Department of State network of over 430 international student advising centers in more than 175 countries and territories.

Step 5: Complete Pre-Arrival Orientation

There are many enrollment steps that you can complete remotely prior to arriving in the U.S. Please log in to the secure International Student and Scholar portal at international.elgin.edu using your accessECC Portal credentials. You can also refer to the Enrollment Checklist to complete many enrollment steps remotely.

Step 6: Arrive in the U.S.

Once your visa has been approved, please email us at internationaladmissions@elgin.edu so we can plan for your arrival. You should make plans to arrive in the U.S. at least 24 hours prior to the start of orientation. Refer to your acceptance letter for specific arrival information.

Please note that students in the International Student Homestay Program may only move into the homestay the Saturday or Sunday immediately prior to the start of orientation. If you arrive before your homestay is available, you are responsible for your own housing and transportation. Please review some International Student Application Info Pamphlet - PDF to prepare you for life in the U.S. and in Elgin.

Application Deadlines

New, initial students outside the U.S.

We accept applications for international student admission on a rolling basis throughout the year. New, initial students outside the U.S. should apply by the priority deadline to allow time for visa processing. Students should plan accordingly to meet these deadlines. Please note that late applications received from new, initial students outside the U.S. will be deferred to the next available session date.

Program Start DatePriority DeadlineFinal Day to Submit Application and Required Documents
August (Fall semester academic courses begin; Fall Intensive English Program Session I begin) June 15 July 15
September (Fall Intensive English Program Session II begin) June 15 August 15
October (Fall Intensive English Program Session III begin) June 15 September 15
January (Spring semester academic courses begin; Spring Intensive English Program Session I begin) November 1 December 15
February (Spring Intensive English Program Session II begin) November 1 January 15
March (Spring Intensive English Program Session III begin) November 1 February 15
June (Summer semester academic courses begin; Summer Intensive English Program begin) April 1 May 15

Students in the U.S. Transferring from a U.S. Institution

Transfer students in the U.S. on a valid F-1 visa and in Active status in SEVIS may apply for admission up to the Wednesday prior to the start of classes. Please contact the Center for International Education and Programs at +1-847-214-7809. for orientation program information based on your program start date and intended program of study.