International Students


Atlantic Cape is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students. F-1 (I-20) international students are admitted for the Fall (September through December) and Spring (January through May) semesters. To apply, international students must submit the required admission materials and tuition deposit by MAY 1st for entry into the Fall semester and SEPTEMBER 1st for entry into the Spring semester. It is recommended that students who are interested in attending Atlantic Cape begin the admission process at least six months prior to the expected date of enrollment to ensure adequate time to fulfill the admission criteria, receive the Form I-20, to apply for a student visa or a change of status to F-1, and to make travel arrangements.

International Visitors or holders of other visa types who do not intend to change to F-1 status may also apply for admission to the College by completing the Application for Admission. These students will pay the out-of-state tuition rate for the first 24 credits, and will then be charged the in-county (local) tuition rate. Please make sure to consult one of Atlantic Cape's international student advisors AFTER applying to the College, completing the placement test, and speaking with the designated school official.

Atlantic Cape is a warm and welcoming place to study, with an outstanding curriculum.

Acceptance to Atlantic Cape

Upon receipt of all the required admission materials, the Admissions Office will determine your eligibility for admission as an international student. If you meet admission requirements, the Admissions Office will send you a letter of acceptance, the Form I-20, and important information about how to apply for an F-1 visa. You will use these documents to apply for an F-1 visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country, or to request a transfer of your SEVIS record from another U.S. institution, or to apply to the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services for a change of status to F-1 if you are currently in the U.S. in another visa status.

Applying for an F-1 Visa

It is vital that international students fully understand the government rules and regulations that surround their F-1 visa status. Atlantic Cape will provide guidance and information to international students so they may continue to legally maintain their status but it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to adhere to the federal guidelines set by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services as well as monitor any changes to the regulations. Students must complete and submit the "Understanding My Responsibilities as an International Student in F-1 Status" agreement upon arriving to the College at the start of the semester, when:

  • Applying from outside the United States
  • Transfer Students applying from another U.S. Institution
  • Applying while in the United States in another Visa Status


Programs of Study

Atlantic Cape is accredited by The Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and offers over 40 programs of study. Federal regulations require students in F-1 status to maintain full-time enrollment (12 credit hours or more) every semester. Therefore, applicants requesting an I-20 form for F-1 status will only be admitted to academic degree programs where the full-course of study requirement can be met and generally completed within two and one-half years. International students cannot apply to the College as "Undeclared" or if they are only interested in taking English as a Second Language courses.


Atlantic Cape does not have on-campus accommodations nor are we able to make housing arrangements for students. Most international students reside with family members or sponsors in the Atlantic and Cape May County areas. Applicants who do not have a local resident to provide room and board should research the surrounding area for housing options and availability before planning to attend.

English as a Second Language

The College offers comprehensive college credit courses in English as a Second Language (ESL) with beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of English classes for non-native speakers of English. Classes include interactive learning activities, audio language lab practice, computer and Internet lab practice, as well as textbook reading and writing assignments. All courses focus on increasing the listening, speaking, reading, grammar and writing skills of the students.

Students can be declared exempt from the English as a Second Language Program if they provide one of the following:

  • TOEFL iBT total score of 75, or
  • IELTS overall band score of 6, or
  • Duolingo English test score of 110 (valid for 2 yrs), or
  • SAT score of 450 in Evidence-Based Reading/Writing 

Test scores are only valid for one year. Students must submit the official score report to the Testing Office for review. Non-native English speakers who do not meet any of the above scores will be required to take our English as a Second Language Placement Test. The result of the placement test will determine the student's placement level in the ESL program. The student must then complete the ESL program course sequence before beginning their degree program of study at Atlantic Cape. Please note that the majority of our ESL courses are held on the Atlantic City Campus, with a limited selection of courses offered on the Mays Landing Campus.

Financial Assistance and Tuition

Unfortunately, Atlantic Cape does not have specific scholarships for international students. Atlantic Cape does however, offer scholarship opportunities to all continuing students once a year. Students who meet scholarship criteria are encouraged to apply.

International students pay the out-of-state tuition rate for the first 24 credits and in-county resident rates thereafter. We estimate an international student's first year's tuition and fees to be about $7,000 and each subsequent year to cost about $3,500. Please note the tuition for the College's Culinary Arts programs and the Nursing program are higher and may require an additional deposit. Also, books and supplies are not included in these figures.

Employment Opportunities for F-1 Students

Although employment opportunities for international students in F-1 visa status are limited, there are several options to supplement their academic experience and personal funds. Regardless of the type of employment an international student pursues, it is vital that they seek the appropriate form of work authorization before beginning employment in addition to working no more than the permitted number of hours per week; 20 hours per week while school is in session. Students may work full-time when school is not in session, for example during summer or winter vacations. Working without authorization or working too many hours will result in the loss of F-1 status so make sure to always follow the guidelines surrounding your F-1 visa status. Please consult your international student advisor before accepting any form of employment. For additional information about types of employment and how to request authorization, please review our "Employment Opportunities for F-1 Students" guide.

Applying for a Social Security Number

A Social Security Number is a unique identification number that allows the United States government and Internal Revenue Service to monitor and tax wages earned by employees in the U.S. Only foreign nationals with proper work authorization and valid employment may apply for a Social Security Number. Students who qualify for a Social Security Number should wait at least ten days after entering the United States to apply so the government's information system can reflect their arrival information. Please see contact our office for additional information.

Applying for a New Jersey Driver's License

International students may apply for a New Jersey driver's license or ID as long as they are lawfully present in the United States and can provide the necessary supporting documents to verify their legal presence and duration of their current status. Students are encouraged to wait a minimum of ten days from the date of entry into the United States before applying for a driver's license. Please review the "NJ Driver's License - Frequently Asked Questions" document for information on how to apply for a New Jersey driver's license.

Questions about the international student admission process?

Contact Carmen Cabrera, Assistant Director, One Stop and Enrollment Services, Designated School Official (DSO) 
Phone: 00 +1 (609) 343-5608

Tasha Rivera, Director, One Stop Enrollment and Recruitment, Principal Designated School Official (PDSO)
Phone: 00 +1 (609) 343-4916

By Mail: Admissions Office
Mays Landing Campus
5100 Black Horse Pike
Mays Landing, NJ 08330 USA