Applying to Tompkins Cortland

The U.S. college application process can be very confusing. There are many steps in the process that are critical to your admission to Tompkins Cortland.

The College is required by federal regulation to review the following for all prospective international students:

  • English Proficiency
  • Financial Ability
  • Educational Qualifications

English Proficiency Notes
In order to ensure we can support your academic needs at Tompkins Cortland, we require that you submit TOEFL or IETLS scores in review of your English proficiency. If you are unable to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam, we have the ability to test students with our Accuplacer exam. The exam assesses your English proficiency, which is necessary before you are eligible to receive your I-20 visa documentation and subsequent acceptance to the College.

The Accuplacer exam is a College Board placement test. It takes approximately 2-4 hours to complete. The test covers areas such as sentence meaning, language use, and reading comprehension. This is a required test for international and domestic students entering Tompkins Cortland.

If you are U.S.-based student who does not meet the English placement requirement at Tompkins Cortland, we suggest attending BOCES ESL courses to support your continued English training.  

Financial Ability Notes
Federal regulation requires that each international student provide evidence of ability to pay for the first year of study based on the estimated budget for an international student. The following documents help to demonstrate financial ability:

  • Personal bank statements (checking, savings, etc)
  • Monthly employment pay stubs
  • Scholarship funding letters (from sponsoring organization)
  • Sponsorship letters (from relative, spouse, or anyone who will be helping off-set the costs of attendance at Tompkins Cortland)

 Educational Qualification Notes

In order to abide by New York state law, we require all original high school transcripts and any college transcripts from any institution you have attended. The high school transcript must show graduation date. If you intend on receiving transfer credit for your college coursework done at another international institution, you must have it translated into English.

Official transcripts must come in a sealed envelope and stamped by the official registrar or signatory at that institution.

Other application notes

Current visa status
If you are currently in the U.S. under a different visa status (B, F2, J, M, etc), you will need to request a  change of status I-20 when you apply. There is a change of status application you must submit, and we suggest speaking with an immigration lawyer to ensure you have all the appropriate documents collected when applying for a change of status.

Immunization requirements
Please make sure you complete and send in your immunization paperwork to the College at least one month prior to you entering the U.S. Many countries have different immunization requirements, and it is essential you are compliant before you enter the U.S., or you will not be allowed to live in the residence halls or remain registered in courses at the College.