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K-State Today

April 18, 2012



Distance education limitations for international students

By Sara Thurston-González

Each semester, International Student and Scholar Services is required to register each international student at K-State in the government's system, SEVIS, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. By doing so we verify that each international student on K-State's I-20 is physically here and enrolled in a full course of study. Please see our webpage for the definition of a full course of study as it relates to undergraduates and graduate students.

We are sending this message because this semester we have noticed more
students being enrolled in distance education courses than usual. Immigration regulations allow no more than the equivalent of one online/distance education class or three credits per session to be counted toward the full-course of study requirement. This is not to say that the student cannot be enrolled in more than one distance education course; it just means that only one of those courses can be counted toward the minimum credit hours required.

For example, an undergraduate student is enrolled in 16 credit hours:
Three credit hours -- one distance education course
Four credit hours -- two distance education courses worth two credit hours each
Nine credit hours -- three on-campus courses worth three credit hours each

The student is meeting the minimum requirement for a full course of study because nine credit hours out of the required 12 hours are on-campus and only three of the additional distance education credit hours are needed to complete a full course of study.

We ask that you stress the importance of this issue to the advisers within your college. Registration can be a lengthy process and juggling schedules to correct this type of an issue can be difficult to do after the semester begins.

Thank you for your help with this issue. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or my staff.

Sara Thurston-González, Ph.D.
Director, International Student and Scholar Services
Kansas State University
104 International Student Center
Manhattan, KS 66503 USA

Telephone: 785-532-5332 and Fax: 785-532-6607
Website: www.k-state.edu/isss
Facebook: www.facebook.com/isssksu