Frequently Asked Questions

Campus and the Tallahassee Area

What is Tallahassee like?

Tallahassee is a lot of things.  

  • It's the capital of Florida, so our town is the political and governmental hub for the state. However, for being a state capital, it maintains a small-town vibe and strong community feel. 
  • It's a college town. There are two other major universities in town, Florida State University and Florida A&M University, making Tallahassee home to over 60,000 college students from across the United States and the world. Tallahassee caters to students and student life, with endless outdoor activities, entertainment, festivals, museums, parks, and restaurants.
  • It's a sports town. If you enjoy sports, you'll have no trouble tuning in to the heartbeat of this town.
  • It's beautiful.  It is in the panhandle of Florida and is known for its canopy roads, historic locations, and hiking and biking trails. Plus - if you enjoy the sand and surf, it's only a short drive to the ocean coast. Rolling hills, moss-draped oaks, fragrant magnolia trees and grand plantation homes cover the landscape. The Georgia line is just 14 miles to the north, while the Gulf of Mexico is 25 miles south. 

Get to know Tallahassee in this short video.

Does TCC have dorms on campus?

TCC does not have on-campus housing. It is the student's responsibility to find her/his own housing. There are many apartment complexes surrounding the campus and even more designed just for students all around Tallahassee. See Student Housing options.

Does Tallahassee have a public transportation system?

Yes. StarMetro is the City of Tallahassee’s official transit service.

Admission and Financial Aid

Can I study at TCC with an F-2 visa?

Yes, F-2 dependents are eligible to participate in avocational or recreational studies, such as hobbies. F-2 minors often study full-time, from kindergarten through 12th grade. To discuss this, contact the Office of International Student Services by calling (850) 201-8258 or via e-mail iss@tcc.fl.edu.

Can I study at TCC with a J-2 visa?

Yes, J-2 visa holders may study or work while in the United States. A J-2 may enter the United States along with their J-1 spouse or parent or join the J-1 while participating in their exchange program in the United States.

What is the financial requirement?

The breakdown of the estimated costs (in USD) for one academic year are as follows:

Tuition $11,200
Books and supplies $1,000
Living expenses $10,700
Health insurance (required) $950
Total $23,850

 

How do I print my I-94?

  1. Students can access their I-94 record online!
  2. Students should bring their updated I-94 record to the ISS to keep on file.

Academics and Transferring

Should I do an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) program?

The A.A. degree program is designed for students who plan to transfer to a Florida public university for their junior year (3rd year) to complete a bachelor's degree program.

If you want to study for two years and go directly into the workforce, then you should pursue one of our A.S. degree programs.

Many students get confused by the words "arts" in the A.A. degree title.

Regardless of if you want to study political science, art history, engineering, chemistry, or another major, if your goal is to transfer to a four-year university in your third year to finish your bachelor's degree, then you should enroll in the A.A degree program. It is also known as the "university transfer" degree.

I don't want to do an A.S. or A.A. Can I pursue an academic certificate program as an F-1 and receive an I-20?

Yes, F-1 students are eligible to purse an academic certificate program. TCC offers more than 50 certificate programs. 

How many credit hours do I need to take to maintain my full-time status?

During the fall and spring semesters, you must complete at least 12 credits each semester. Summer term is optional, unless it is your first term at TCC.

How do I transfer to another school as an F-1 visa student?

  1. You will need to apply to your desired institution.
  2. Once accepted, please bring your acceptance letter and SEVIS Transfer-Out Form to International Student Services and an advisor will complete the transfer.

How do I transfer to another school as an J-1 visa student?

  1. Apply to your desired school.
  2. Once accepted, please bring your acceptance letter and transfer form to International Services and an adviser will complete the transfer.

Please note, that J-1 transfers must maintain the same degree type, or very similar field of study.

Working On-Campus

Can international students work?

Yes, international students can work on-campus for up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session. International students are not eligible to work off-campus. Please contact the Office of International Student Services to learn more.  

What is Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a period during which undergraduate and graduate students with F-1 status who have completed or have been pursuing their degrees for more than nine months are permitted by the USCIS to work towards getting practical training to complement their field of studies. 

While there is some right to work under OPT while still in school (“pre-completion OPT”), the main use for OPT is the right to work for 12 months after completion of a degree (“post-completion OPT”).

One update to OPT is that students who have graduated from a US college or university with a specific degree in the STEM fields - science, technology, engineering and mathematics - can apply to extend their OPT for an additional 17 months, bringing their total post-graduation OPT available time up to 29 months.

Students must visit IS to determine if they are eligible for OPT and must have their SEVIS record (I-20) updated as part of the application process.

Requirements:

  • Students must be in status in order to apply.
  • Students must be in good academic standing and cannot be on any type of academic warning or probation.
  • Students must have completed a full course of study for one academic year before applying
  • Job offer is not a prerequisite for OPT.
  • Students are eligible for 12 months of OPT per academic level—associate, bachelor’s level, master’s and doctoral.
  • Students are not eligible for OPT if they complete a higher degree in the U.S. and then revert down to a lower-level degree.

 

Application Process:

  • Apply as early as 90 days prior to graduation date.
  • Make an appointment with ISS to determine eligibility.
  • If eligible, download the I-765 or OPT application instructions guide and complete the OPT application or I-765 Form and submit the required documents to ISS
  • SEVIS record (I-20) must be updated.
  • Application is sent to USCIS for approval.
  • Application can take up to 90 days for a decision.

What is Curriculum Practicum Training (CPT)?

CPT is off-campus employment authorization which allows students to engage in an internship related to their program of study. CPT is conducted during the program of study (or prior to graduation). Students must be enrolled in a full course of study for at least one semester in F-1 status at TCC prior to engaging in CPT.

Students must visit IS to determine if they are eligible for CPT and must be approved by IS prior to beginning your paid internship. As a part of the approval process, a student’s SEVIS record (I-20) must be updated in order to engage in CPT.

Please note that the full course of study requirements still apply while engaging in CPT.

 Transcripts and Testing

What is a transcript evaluation? Why is it needed?

In order to determine whether or not your academic transcript(s) and diploma(s) are equivalent to achieving the same level in the United States, your records must be evaluated by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (naces.org). Examples of such agencies include Josef Silny & Associates (www.jsilny.com) and World Education Services (www.wes.org).

My high school is accredited by SACS. Does my transcript need to be sent for evaluation?

No. If you went to a high school that is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), then your academic records are already equivalent to the United States and do not need to be evaluated for admissions purposes.

What is the PERT test? Am I required to take it?

The PERT (Postsecondary Education Readiness Test) is the placement exam that tests new students on their math, reading, and grammar skills. If you have not taken the SAT or ACT, you must take the PERT before you will be able to register for classes. Your PERT score will determine which math and English classes you are able to register for in your first semester. It is offered every day on TCC's campus in the FPAC building, and no appointment is necessary. Be sure to bring your TCC student ID number and photo identification.

See the PERT Study Guide here.

If you have a question that is not listed above, feel free to send us an email and ask at iss@tcc.fl.edu.