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Questions Frequently Asked By International Students

What is MICA's international community like?

International students at MICA truly represent a global experience that enriches the College community and offers a range of perspectives on the world. At MICA, the international student population is diverse and complex. Currently, international students comprise 6% of our undergraduate students and 13% of our graduate students.

An additional, 3% of the student body are citizens of foreign countries who have gained Legal Permanent Residency in the United States. MICA also attracts many US citizens who have studied outside the United States before coming to MICA, and therefore have many experiences to share. In addition to our degree seeking students, MICA welcomes approximately 20 international exchange students to our campus each year.

MICA's current international students are citizens of: Bulgaria, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Ethiopia, France, Greece, India, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

Who does MICA consider an "international" applicant?

Any applicant who is neither a US citizen nor a US Legal Permanent Resident is considered "international". If you are in the process of applying for permanent residency, you are considered "international" until you have achieved official Permanent Resident status (green card). However it is important to know that not all applicants considered "international" are required to submit the same international forms. Please refer to the chart under the next question, to ascertain your requirements based on your status.

Which international forms do I have to submit?

Not all international applicants are required to submit the same paperwork. There are many different immigration status possibilities, and therefore many scenarios for what MICA will require to better understand and assist you in your immigration needs. Please refer to the International Form Chart for your specific international requirements. International forms and directions may be printed from Printable Forms.

How do the international forms affect my chance at Admission?

International forms have no bearing on your competitiveness for admission or scholarship. Although it is strongly encouraged that you send the international forms at the time of application, they are not required to complete your application, and therefore will not hold your application from being reviewed by the committee.

Why does MICA require a Financial Statement?

The financial statement is only required for students seeking to study under an F-1 student visa. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) mandates that all foreign students applying for (or transferring their current) F-1 student visa sponsorship, show sufficient funding for at least one year of study. MICA is required to verify and report this information to ICE before a SEVIS I-20 may be processed (or transferred) and issued to an accepted student.

Do I have to send the international forms when I apply, or can I send them later?

The international forms have no bearing on your admission decision or competitiveness for merit scholarship*, and therefore are not required to complete your application. Although it is strongly encouraged to include all international credentials along with your application, you may wait to submit these after notification of admission and merit scholarship.

It is strongly suggested that you at least include the Immigration Information form and along with any supporting documents at the time of application so that MICA may better understand and assist you with your immigration needs.

*The Immigration Information form may aid in determining your eligibility for several of MICA's international and general merit scholarships.

By waiting until after notification of scholarship, the Financial Statement can reflect any merit scholarship you may have been awarded.

The I-20 Transfer release form should not be completed until you have been fully accepted and decide to attend MICA. This form is only applicable and required for international students currently studying in the US under an F-1 visa.

Which test score(s) am I required to submit: TOEFL, IELTS, SAT or ACT?

All applicants to MICA are required to have at least one test score on file to complete the application. This could be ACT, SAT, TOEFL or IELTS. Test scores should be received by the application deadline. Applications will remain incomplete, and therefore not reviewed, without at least on score report on file.

If English is your first language you are not eligible for TOEFL or IELTS and therefore must submit either SAT or ACT.

All non-native English speakers (despite country of residence or citizenship) are required to prove English proficiency to be fully admitted to MICA. It is advised that non-native English speakers prove proficiency by submitting either a TOEFL or an IELTS score report.

The SAT and/or ACT may be submitted in lieu of (or in addition to) the TOEFL or IELTS. However it is not advisable to ONLY submit the SAT or ACT if you are a non-native English speaker. If the English and/or writing section scores on these tests are not competitive* with the rest of the applicant pool, you risk being denied admission. For this reason, it is in the best interest of non-native English speakers to take and English Proficiency test such as TOEFL or IELTS, not the SAT or ACT.

*Applicants accepted to MICA this past year averaged 600 on each section of the SAT, and 26 on the English section of the ACT.

What TOEFL/IELTS score does MICA require for full admission?

  • 550 Paper Based TOEFL Test (PBT)
  • 80 Internet Based TOEFL Test (IBT)
  • 213 Computer Based TOEFL Test (CBT)
  • 6.5 IELTS Test

What if my TOEFL/IELTS score isn't high enough?

It is important that you submit your TOEFL or IELTS score by the application deadline, even if it falls below the minimum requirement for admission. Otherwise, without test scores, your application will be considered incomplete, and therefore not reviewed for admission.

If your TOEFL/IELTS score falls in a range just below the minimum, and your application is otherwise acceptable, you may be a candidate for "provisional admission". Applicants offered provisional admission will have 2 options to gain full admission. They may either meet the minimum required score by retaking the TOEFL/IELTS test within a specified time frame. Or, provisionally admitted students may opt to complete MICA's 3-week summer International Student Bridging Program prior to starting in the degree program.

Applicants unable to fulfill MICA's English Language requirement (and/or conditions for full admission) will be denied admission. If this is the case you will have the option to re-open your application for the following admission term. It is advised that you enroll in an ESL program during this time to improve your English language skills.

What is a Form I-20?

The SEVIS generated Form I-20 is the official paperwork required to apply for a United States F-1 Student Visa. This document is processed and issued by MICA in compliance with terms set forth by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Once issued a SEVIS I-20, it is your responsibility to contact a US embassy in your home country in order to apply for F-1 visa status.

How and when can I get a Form I-20 from MICA?

  • You must be fully admitted to the college as a full time degree seeking candidate and have demonstrated English proficiency.
  • You must submit a completed Financial Statement verifying sufficient funding for at least one year of expenses at MICA.
  • You must complete and return the Immigration information form indicating your intention to apply for an F1 Visa or transfer your existing F1 Visa to MICA.
  • If you already hold a valid F1 Visa from another school and plan to transfer to MICA you must also complete and return the I-20 transfer release form along with a photocopy of your current I-20 form. For complete instructions and materials regarding this process please refer to I-20 Transfer Form and Instructions
  • You must pay the required advance deposits toward tuition (and housing if living on campus).

Does MICA accept the International Student Financial Aid form?

No, international students are not eligible for Federal Financial Aid, but may compete for limited merit based scholarships.