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NUMBER: 16-3-1 APPROVED DATE: 03-23-2001


PURPOSE:   Trident Technical College accepts international applicants who are eligible for valid student visas from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or transfer with a valid student visa from another higher education institution. 


An international applicant who meets the College’s international student admissions requirements obtains an F-1 visa (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status for Academic and Language Students) after the Admissions Office submits an I-20 application to DHS.  An international applicant must first apply for F-1 Visa status through DHS’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and pay the current SEVIS fee.  An F-1 Visa student must register as a full-time student (12 or more credit hours per semester) and declare a program of study major.  Financial obligations of an international student appear in the ‘Admissions Criteria for International Students’ below.

2.   OTHER VISA CATEGORIES                                                                                                         

The College accepts international applicants with visa types other than a student visa as long as the specific visa has no restrictions to prevent the visa holder from studying in the United States.  An accepted applicant in another visa category is eligible to enroll part-time as long as fulfillment of visa obligations continues.  An applicant in other visa categories must present the visa and/or I-94 form when applying to the College.  The valid dates on the visa must coincide with or extend beyond the dates the applicant intends to enroll.  The Admissions Office maintains a copy of the visa and/or I-94 form in the applicant’s admission file.  Applicants with other visa types apply under regular admission guidelines rather than international student admission guidelines and must meet the College’s admission requirements for the intended program of study and/or pre-requisite requirements for a specific course.  The College assesses tuition and fees in accordance with South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 59-112-20 guidelines promulgated by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and TTC’s Area Commission.


The College accepts refugee applicants under out-of-state residency classification until DHS grants permanent residence status.  After DHS approves permanent residence for a refugee, the College assesses tuition and fees in accordance with South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 59-112-20 guidelines promulgated by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and TTC’s Area Commission.


The Admissions Office is responsible for international applicant inquiries and referrals.  International applicants must present official paperwork from DHS that identifies present immigration status (I-94 form) prior to beginning the admission process. Acceptance to TTC is contingent upon approval by DHS.


The Admissions Office provides an admission packet to an international applicant that contains an admission application, relevant College documents and the TTC International Student Admission Guide outlining the following admission requirements: 

  • Completion of the TTC Admission Application.
  • English translation of secondary and postsecondary records and transcripts completed by a recognized language evaluation  service.  Trident Technical College will consider an evaluation from any member of the National Association of Credential Services (NACES)
  • TOEFL (Testing of English as a Foreign Language) score report with a minimum score of 500 on the paper version; 173 on the computerized version; or 61 on the Internet version.
  • Qualifying placement test scores on either the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), ACT (American College Testing) or College Board ACCUPLACER.
  • Notarized Affidavit of Financial Support from the international applicant’s sponsor (or sponsors).
  • Notarized bank statement from sponsor(s) indicating sufficient funds to cover all college fees and living expenses for one year.
  • Tuition deposit equivalent to the College’s current full-time, out-of-state tuition rate for two academic semesters.  After completion of two semesters, the international student can apply the deposit towards tuition and fees or request a refund to the appropriate party upon withdrawal from the College.

The College considers the acceptance of international applicants who meet all stipulated admission requirements and can deny admission to any international applicant whenever such action appears to be in the best interest of the College.  Upon acceptance of an international applicant, the Admissions Office is responsible for initiating an acceptance letter and submitting an I-20 form signed by the international applicant to the DHS for issuance of a student visa.


International applicants transferring from another institution must meet the same admission requirements as new international student applicants.  When transferring credits from a college or university outside the United States, the transfer applicant must submit transcripts evaluated by a recognized evaluation service.  The College waives the placement test requirement for an international transfer applicant who completed college-level English and/or math courses at another institution with an earned grade of ‘C’ or better.  The College denies admission to international transfer applicants with less than a cumulative 2.0 grade point average, regardless of grades earned in individual courses.  International transfer applicants must submit a letter from all previously attended institutions that verifies the international student departed in good standing.


Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, applicants that have been granted deferred action by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must provide the appropriate documents to support their claim if planning to attend the institution of higher education.

  • Employment Authorization Card issued by Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
  • A valid state issued ID or Driver’s License.
  • Proof of high school graduation or GED
  • Social Security Card

Documentation sufficient to demonstrate graduation  from high school may include, but is not limited to, a high school diploma from a public or private high school or secondary school, or a recognized equivalent of a high school diploma under state law, including a General Education Development (GED) certificate.

DACA students are not eligible for federal/state financial aid and are subject to Out-of-State tuition and fees.


TOEFL information is available at the nearest American Embassy, Consulate Office or the Office of the United States Information Service.  Applicants from India, Hong Kong or Taiwan must obtain special editions of the test directly from TOEFL, P. O. Box 899, Princeton, New Jersey 08540.  Translation of non-English documents is available through the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services membership list at


The Admissions Office establishes a file for each international student applicant, assigns ID numbers as needed and maintains all files in accordance with South Carolina General Records Retention Schedule requirements and Department of Homeland Security.  

Updated: 06-07-2008

Updated: 03-07-2016

Updated: 01-25-2021