Questions International Students Ask
Oakton is a fully accredited community college offering associate degrees and certificate programs. The College offers two-year associate’s degrees in liberal arts, business, education, fine arts, science, and pre-engineering for students who intend to transfer to a baccalaureate institution. In most cases, students can complete two years at Oakton, and transfer to a college or university to complete a bachelor’s degree in two more years. For students seeking career education, the College has 30 associate in applied science degree programs. Many senior institutions will accept and grant credit to students completing an Oakton career program.
Credit Hours System
Credits toward a degree are expressed as “credit hours.” One credit hour usually means one 50-minute period in a lecture class for each week of a 16-week term. Most classes are three credit hours each. A minimum of 60 credit hours is required for associate’s degrees. To maintain F-1 status, students must register for a minimum of 12 hours each term.
Services for Students
Professional, academic, career, and personal counseling services are available at both Oakton campuses. The Office of Advising, Transitions, and Student Success provides educational planning, group and individual counseling, and college orientation workshops. The Learning Center provides academic help through tutoring, supplementary reading materials, testing, individualized courses, and computer-assisted instruction. In the Language Labs, students may study modern languages, use support materials for English language improvement, or participate in conversations groups.
The College operates on an academic calendar of two 16-week semesters and a seven- or eight-week summer session. The fall semester begins in late August, the spring semester begins in mid-January, and the summer session begins in early June. Students are not required to register for the summer session unless it is their first term at Oakton.
“Employment” is defined as the rendering of services on either a part-time or a full-time basis for compensation, financial or otherwise, including self-employment. Employment is not allowed off campus; those with F-1 status may work only as a student employee at Oakton Community College. Once the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved the F-1 status, students may apply with Oakton’s Career and Transfer Center to work on campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week. Oakton does not guarantee employment for international students. It is the responsibility of the student to apply, interview, and secure employment. International students must maintain full-time enrollment during the spring and fall terms to continue working on campus.
Because Oakton is a community college, no dormitories or college housing is available. International students must arrange for their own housing. Most students choose to live with relatives or close friends.
F-1 students pay the out-of-state tuition rate even if they live in Oakton’s district. To maintain their student F-1 status, international students must register for a minimum of 12 hours each term. F-1 students or their sponsors must have a minimum of $21,500 (U.S.) that is available to them for all tuition and living expenses for each academic year.
Financial aid is not available, but F-1 students may apply for select Oakton scholarships after completing their first semester at Oakton.
Health insurance is required for all international students studying at Oakton and may be purchased at any company that offers adequate health coverage in the United States. Students must enroll in a health care plan and pay for the plan before registering for classes. Students who begin at Oakton in the fall semester must pay for a full year’s coverage. Oakton works with First Agency, Inc. Insurance Company to offer group insurance rates to students.