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Frequently Asked Questions

If you've got questions, you've come to the right place! Below, you'll find FAQs about various topics that will help you on your way to becoming a Capital student!

F-1 Visa Application Information

How do I obtain a visa to study at Capital University?


  1. Apply and gain admission to the University.
  2. Provide financial certification for the University for the issuance of an I-20
  3. Receive your I-20 from the University
  4. Pay your I-901 SEVIS fee and print the receipt:
  5. Go to the U.S. Consulate’s website for where you live to view the next steps:
  6. Complete the DS-160 form (visa application) pay the visa application fee and check to see if you need to schedule a visa interview or if you can apply through the mail without a visa interview.

Do not wait to start your visa application. Once you have your I-20 from your preferred school, start the visa application process immediately. You may now apply up to a year before school begins.

IMPORTANT: Do not start the visa process with one I-20 if you prefer to go to another school.  Visas are assigned to the school’s I-20.  You are expected to attend the university indicated on the visa for at least the first semester.

Visas and Regulations:  StudyInTheStates by the Department of Homeland Security provides the most up-to-date information for students:

For U.S. F-1 visa application processes and requirements, visit the U.S. Consulate website for your place of residence. Please check the Department of State’s website as a starting point: 

Who must pay the SEVIS fee?

All students applying for F-1 or J-1 status must pay a SEVIS fee and complete I-901. You must print out your fee receipt for your visa interview and for entry into the United States. Dependents (those coming on an F-2 do not need to pay the SEVIS fee.)

Travel and Entry to the U.S.

What documents do I need to show to enter the U.S.?

Students should have the following documents in their carry-on bag. Do not put these travel documents in checked suitcases!

  • Passport (valid for at least 6 months into the future)
  • F-1 Visa (Canadian citizens exempt)
  • SEVIS Form I-20 (F-1)
  • SEVIS fee receipt

It is also suggested to have the following documents with you for RE-ENTRY into the U.S.:

  • Supporting financial documentation (most students use the same as for the visa application)
  • Proof of class registration or documentation of full-time enrollment
  • I-20 signed on page 2 by the Designated School Official
  • Valid passport
  • Valid F-1 visa

It is also recommended to review the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) travel FAQs before coming into the U.S. Students must be prepared to complete forms about items being brought into the U.S.

Am I Guaranteed Admission to the US with a Visa?

Having a visa does not guarantee admission into the US; in reality, the visa only acts as a permission slip for you to arrive at the port of entry. The next part, which includes your interview with a Customs and Border Protection officer, will determine whether or not you will be allowed in.

When can I enter the U.S.?

Students may enter the U.S. in “INITIAL” F-1 status (as a new international student, not a SEVIS transfer student) up to 30 days before the program start date provided on the I-20.

Multiple exits and re-entry to the U.S. during the 30-day window. (Not Recommended!)

Making multiple trips in and out of the U.S. during the 30-day arrival window is not recommended. Students who try this often complain that re-entry at the U.S. border is difficult.

Customs and Border (CBP) officials expect new students who just arrived to be on campus attending orientation and starting classes. When a new student leaves the country, and tries to re-enter, CBP officials may ask many questions about class enrollment, the orientation schedule, and why “you are not in school.”

Tuition and Fees

What are the typical yearly expenses at Capital University?

Our overall Cost of Attendance document details the estimated cost for full-time enrollment. Fees also apply and can be found on our Tuition and Fees page.

When do I have to pay my fees?

Students pay tuition semester by semester. Payment is due by the time the semester begins. Late fees begin after the second week of the semester.

Does the University offer a payment plan?

Please see the tuition payment plan in the Tuition and Fees section of the university website.  Look early, as payments for a payment plan start a couple of months before classes begin.

How may I pay my fees?

Students may pay using these methods:

  • With an electronic check from a U.S. bank account to their student account.
  • On-line with a credit or debit card, but a credit card fee is added.  This could add 2.75 to 3% to your fee.
  • With cash.  However, the law requires individuals paying more than $10,000 in cash to file IRS form 8300.
  • Though an international wire transfer using Flywire: 
Does Capital University offer scholarships?
  • There are no university scholarships available for the Intensive English Language Program (ESL).
  • Full-time undergraduate students are automatically considered for a scholarship. However, students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree are not eligible for any university scholarships.
  • Transfer undergraduate students, who have not already earned a bachelor’s degree will automatically be considered for a scholarship.
  • Law School students are automatically considered for a scholarship at the time of admission to the university.
  • There are generally no university scholarships for other graduate programs.
  • There are some scholarships available for Seminary students, check with the Seminary Admissions Office.
Will my scholarship increase if I have good grades?

Capital University does not increase university scholarships. The scholarship a student receives in their financial aid award letter is available for up to 8 semesters of study as long as the student maintains the required grade point average (GPA) and maintains full-time enrollment. Scholarships will not increase even if tuition increases. Scholarships require full-time enrollment and are available for the fall and spring semesters, but not a summer semester.


How do I travel from John Glenn International Airport to Capital University?

Free airport pick-up is available to students registered to live on-campus at the John Glenn airport (CMH) or the Columbus or at the Ohio Greyhound Station located at 111 E. Town Street.

Please email arrival information to Jennifer Adams at at least 2 weeks before your arrival.

I am new to Capital University and have questions regarding the various Orientations. Which do I attend? Who should I contact?
Orientation Undergraduate Students Graduate Students ESL Students
Advising & Orientation (A&O) Engagement. It is a mandatory program for all new first-year and undergraduate transfer students. Students will learn about undergraduate degree requirements, academic advising, and the registration process. Orientation is in the summer and can be done virtually for overseas students.  All students should attend Welcome Weekend activities in person. A&O sessions are coordinated by the Student & Community Engagement Office.  Yes No No
Departmental/Program Orientations: The various graduate programs, departments, and schools at the University will schedule orientation activities for their own graduate students.  Yes Yes Yes
International Student Orientation is a mandatory program for all international students.  This orientation focuses on immigration policies, health insurance, U.S. academic systems, cultural adjustment and other information about resources to assist with living in the United States.   Yes Yes Yes
Smooth Transitions: this is an optional program spanning a couple of days.  It allows students to move in early, work with a peer mentor that will check on you throughout the first year of study, develop a community and learn more about racial equity and social justice. Optional No Optional
How and when will I register for classes for my first semester?

Undergraduate students: will be registered before starting classes in the summer. An advisor will reach out to you to talk about your schedule and necessary changes.

ESL students: will be registered for classes after orientation placement testing, using during the first week of classes by the ESL department.

Graduate students: The academic department will contact you by email about class registration prior to the start of the semester.

Academic calendars:

The ESL program typically follows the undergraduate calendar.

Health Care and Health Insurance

Where can I go if I need health care?

Capital University has a Health and Wellness Center that is available for full-time students. The Campus Health and Wellness Center (Kline Clinic) is located between the Blackmore Library and Battelle Hall.   CHW provides free mental health counseling and referrals to local providers for medical care. Students who do not have transportation can receive a transportation voucher to help them get to a local clinic, hospital or doctor’s office. The university is also close to many hospitals and urgent care centers.

What if I am under 18 when I start university?

Students under the age of 18 should have their parents select a “Power-of-Attorney” who is in the U.S. and can give authorization for their student to receive medical and/or mental health care.

Who Must Have Health Insurance?

Health insurance is required for all students on Capital University’s I-20 (F-1 status) or DS-2019 (J-1 status). Capital University IEP students on F-1 status are automatically enrolled in the Capital University International Student Plan through EIIA International Student Health Insurance Plan (EIIA) unless students have documented they are enrolled in a Government Health Insurance Plan or an employment based plan. International student health insurance is not compliant with the U.S. Affordable Health-Care Act.

The EIAA plan has the following coverage. Any waiver from the EIAA plan requires a review and approval by the director in the Center for Global Education Office no later than the end of the 2nd week of classes. The plan must meet or surpass EIAA’s coverage:

  • $100,000 coverage per accident or illness
    • Please see plan details for co-pays for physician, hospital and emergency room visits
  • $25,000 repatriation of remains
  • $100,000 medical evacuation
    • Pre-existing condition coverage after the first 6 months of enrollment
    • Maternity care coverage
  • $10,000 inpatient treatment of mental and nervous disorders including drug or alcohol abuse
    • $1,000 of outpatient treatment for outpatient mental/nervous disorder
    • No daily limits for hospital stays

The cost of EIAA is $124.00 per month for students. Students are charged per term on their student account. Enrollment periods for IEP are:

Term Cost
Fall (August 1 - December 31) $620.00
Spring (January 1 - July 31) $868.00
Summer, new students (May 1 - July 31) $360.00

Dependents can be added, but at a higher rate.  Please contact the director of The Center for Global Education for fees and enrollment.

Student Athletes and additional health insurance requirements:

The international student health plan through EIIA covers injuries sustained from intercollegiate athletics up to $5000 if they purchase the rider coverage. Students MUST purchase a health insurance rider policy at additional cost to cover potential collegiate sports injuries. The cost of this plan runs about $500. This insurance is purchased at the beginning of the fall semester and covers the entire academic year.

What if I am not on F-1 status, may I purchase the international student health insurance?

Full-time students in other non-immigrant visa categories can be added to the international student health insurance plan. The insurance plan is not available to U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents or those with approved refugee or asylum status.

Can I cover my spouse or children on the international student health insurance?

Yes, non-immigrant dependents can be added to the plan at an additional cost. However, this plan limits well-care coverage of $5000 a year and does not cover pre-existing conditions for the first 6 months of coverage.  (A pre-existing condition is a medical condition you have before starting the health insurance plan, such as becoming pregnant before enrolling in the insurance plan.)


May I work on-campus?

Full-time international students on legal F-1 status are restricted to no more than 19 hours per week of employment. If a student holds more than one job on-campus, the combined hours worked cannot exceed the weekly maximum hours allowed.

During summer and school breaks, full-time international students on legal F-1 status are allowed to work up to 29 hours per week. 

May I work off-campus?

There are different forms of off-campus work authorization for students on legal F-1 status, but students must meet the requirements for off-campus employment work authorization and receive this form of work authorization before beginning off-campus employment. Students may not apply for off-campus work permission until they have been on legal F-1 status for two full semesters, unless they are a graduate student where an internship or practicum is required in the first year of the program. Off-campus employment is very limited. Please see options below.

What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

CPT is off-campus work permission in your field of study and earning academic credit. Students must be in F-1 status for 2 semesters before applying (unless a graduate student with an internship requirement their first year.) Students must be registered for internship, field study placement or clinicals in the term of CPT and it must be approved by their academic advisor and the international student advisor on the CPT request form. This signed document must be submitted to CGE prior to authorization. Authorization is approved for the semester for which credit is granted. Authorization is granted by the DSO at the university with no application fee, but students do have to pay for academic credit. Intensive English students (ESL) are not eligible for CPT.

What is Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

OPT is off-campus work in a student’s field of study that is not for credit. Students can use OPT either before or after graduation, but they are limited to one-year OPT permission for each degree level. Students must be on F-1 status for 2 semesters before being eligible to apply for OPT. Most students try to save their OPT to use after graduation. Students in a STEM major may apply for an additional 24 months of OPT if their employer meets the eligibility requirements. OPT applications are made to USCIS and can take up to 90 days for approval. There is a fee payable to the Department of Homeland Security. Intensive English students (ESL) are not eligible for CPT.

What is Off-Campus Work permission due to extreme economic circumstances?

This form of work authorization is granted by USCIS under extraordinary circumstances. Students must be on F-1 status for 2 semesters before they may apply. Students must demonstrate that circumstances outside of their control have caused financial hardship. Examples include a severe devaluation of currency to the U.S. dollar since arrival, a natural disaster affecting the area of the financial sponsor, and others. Examples that would not be considered, a financial sponsor’s retirement, siblings starting school, and others. This form of work authorization does have a fee and should be used as a last resort. Students still have to maintain enrollment.


Can I get a Social Security Number in the United States?

Students may qualify for a Social Security number if they are on legal F-1 status AND if they have been offered an on-campus job. Once an on-campus job has been offered, the on-campus employer sends a message to the Center for Global Education (CGE)  about the offer and CGE creates a social security letter as part of the application process. F-2 dependents are not eligible to apply for a Social Security number.

I'm new to the U.S. and would like a cell phone - do I need a Social Security Number?

Most cell phone companies have alternatives for new students who don’t have a Social Security Number (SSN).

Not all students qualify for a SSN because they are only issued to international students who have been offered on-campus employment or are authorized for off-campus employment. The U.S. government will not issue a SSN for non-work purposes like cell phone purchases.

How can I get an Ohio State ID or driver license?

Students may apply for an Ohio State ID after finding a place to live in Columbus. For more details and instructions, visit the Ohio State Department of Licensing information page.

How can I open a bank account?

Opening a bank account in the US allows you to establish a secure and convenient way to manage money. It may also help you to avoid paying international transaction fees that may incur with an international account. During your orientation, the Center of Global Education will assist you in opening a bank account.