International Students Enrollment Process
LCU has a long history of reaching out to students from other countries and sending its own students overseas. Since 1944, our alumni have lived and worked in over 165 countries.
Applying for admission as an international student is not a simple process, but we are glad to help you with the necessary steps. We strongly encourage you to plan ahead in order to allow time to complete all the requirements.
Application and I-20 Deposit
To start the admission procedure, submit LCU’s Application for Admission Form.
There is no application fee, but no I-20 will be issued without the payment of a $2,000 deposit. This deposit is applied to the final semester’s tuition and fees. If a student is denied a visa, all but $300 of the deposit will be refunded.*
*Effective May 23, 2020, LCU has temporarily changed it’s international student deposit policy. The I-20 document will be issued to admitted students when evidence of ability to pay and confirmation of intent to attend the institution has been established. Once the student has been approved for a F-1 student visa, the student will provide a minimum deposit of $2,000 USD. Evidence of the deposit being paid (i.e., wire transfer documentation) should be provided, prior to the student departing their home country.
The International Student Undergraduate Application for Admission packet includes one reference form. The reference must be completed by a leader in the church or ministry you are associated with. We ask that your reference either return the form directly to LCU or that they give the form to you in a sealed envelope to forward on to LCU.
LCU needs to receive official academic transcripts of all of your secondary (high school) and postsecondary (university) coursework. Schools in some countries call transcripts “mark sheets” or “grade reports.” We are referring to a comprehensive listing of all courses and results you have completed, provided directly by the institution(s) you attended.
If your academic records are not written in English, we will also need to receive an official English translation of each one.
For university coursework completed outside the USA, you will need to have your transcripts reviewed by an evaluation service. We will need to receive a “course-by-course evaluation” or a “detail report.” There are several such services that are acceptable, including:
Because of requirements set by the US Bureau of Immigration and Citizenship (BCIS), we need to document that you are competent in English. Therefore, LCU requires that international students score at least 550 on the TOEFL. This is equivalent to a 71 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT). This requirement may be waived for some international students whose primary language is English.*
*As a response to testing centers closing as a result of measures taken to limit the spread of COVID-19, LCU will accept Duolingo English Test results as an alternative to TOEFL and IELTS tests for Fall 2020 admissions. LCU will require that international students score at least an 85 on the Duolingo English Test.
You will also need to provide evidence of your ability to meet your educational expenses at LCU. Complete the Statement of Financial Responsibility Form and return it with the necessary documentation such as official bank statements and tax returns.
More About Money
Finances can be a major barrier for many international students, whether we like it or not. The US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) requires us to show that each international student has sufficient funding to cover their expenses for the entire time they are studying at LCU. The BCIS will not grant a student visa until this has been done.
LCU is considered to be a very affordable private university, and yet the cost of attendance can easily reach US$22,000 per year. While LCU does have a scholarship program, financial aid is limited. As a general rule, if you do not have at least $14,000 per year in sponsorship or personal financial resources, it probably will not be possible for you to attend LCU. On rare occasions, financial aid can reach as much as $13,000 a year (leaving a $9,000 gap) but these occurrences are very unusual.
The I-20 and I-901 Forms
If you are accepted for admission, you will be sent two Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services forms: the I-20 and a blank I-901. You will use the I-901 to mail a $100 processing fee to a collection point in St. Louis, Missouri. Instructions for payment will be included with the I-901 form. The SEVIS office will notify you that the fee has been received by sending you an I-797 form. This form is your receipt for the $100 processing fee. When you have received the I-797, you will take it and your I-20 to the U.S. Embassy in your home country to apply for an F-1 student visa. When the U.S. Embassy has granted the F-1 visa, you can make travel preparations for coming to Lincoln, Illinois to study.