Are You Maintaining your F-1 or J-1 Enrollment Requirements?

By this point in the semester, you probably have a good sense of what your challenges are or will be in your class schedule.  Are you thinking about making any adjustments?  Maybe you are enrolled in more credits then you can handle this semester.  Perhaps, you have discovered one of your elective classes is just not a good fit for you or maybe you are struggling in a difficult course (we have all experienced that).

If you are thinking about revising your schedule for any reason, note the university Drop/Revision Deadline is October 14, 2016.  See the University academic calendar. Before dropping any courses please make sure the change in your credits will not cause a status violation.  Remember as a student in F-1 or J-1 visa status, you must maintain full-time enrollment during the fall and spring semester.  For undergraduate students full-time is defined as 12 credits or more.  For graduate students full-time is typically 9 credits.  Audited courses do not carry any credit and therefore do NOT count towards full-time enrollment.  In addition, only one online course can count towards your full-time enrollment each semester, so most of your classes need to be on-campus.  

KEEP YOUR F-1/J-1 STATUS SAFE!  Before making any schedule changes, make sure you 1) will still be enrolled in full-time credits OR 2) qualify and are authorized by OIS for a Reduced Course Load (RCL) before dropping below full-time.  More information about the RCL eligibility and request process can be found on the OIS website.  Among others, there are specific exceptions available to students in their first semester who may be unfamiliar with U.S. teaching methods, English language, reading requirements, etc.  You must be authorized for the RCL BEFORE dropping below full-time, so please speak with an OIS advisor and submit your RCL form in advance of the drop deadline.

You should also always consult with your academic advisor about your enrollment before making any changes to your course schedule.  You can review the NC State University Policy about Adding & Dropping courses on the NC State policies website

Please plan carefully and think about both your academic plan and immigration status when making any changes to your enrollment.  Your academic advisor may not be familiar with F-1 or J-1 requirements.  It is your responsibility to know your visa regulations and protect your status.

If you have questions about F-1 or J-1 regulations concerning your enrollment, contact OIS!