F-1 students are required to maintain full-time enrollment in order to stay in status. At High Point University, this means that you must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours during each fall or spring term of enrollment, according to the Undergraduate Bulletin. You are allowed, however, to enroll in up to 18 credit hours without being billed for additional tuition funds.


Summer Enrollment

HPU offers 2 summer academic terms, each running 4 weeks in length. Students can enroll in a maximum of 16 credits total over both summer terms, but may enroll only in a maximum of 12 credits each session. Typical enrollment is 8 credits (2 classes) per summer term.

If you are an F-1 student enrolled in a spring term and the following fall term, you are not required to enroll in classes over the summer, as you are considered on academic break. If you choose to enroll in summer credits, you can do so up to the maximum number of credits approved by the HPU Registrar’s Office.

If you are an F-1 student planning to study only for a summer term, or where the summer term is your first semester of study at HPU, you must maintain full-time enrollment during the summer.


Online Classes

The majority of courses offered at HPU are in-person classes, in other words, physical attendance is required for lectures, exams, etc. Some courses at HPU are offered online, with no physical attendance required. While you are permitted to enroll in online courses, F-1 requirements state that you must enroll in at least 9 credits of in-person classes.


Part-time Enrollment

Part-time enrollment (fewer than 12 credits) could jeopardize your stay in the U.S. and your F-1 status. Do not register for fewer than the required number of credits or withdraw from a course without first receiving permission from your Designated School Official.

Exceptions to the Full-Time Requirement

  1. Reduced Course Load (RCL) for Specific Academic ReasonsYour DSO can authorize you to drop a course and have part-time enrollment for an academic reason. The Specific Academic Reasons permitted by F-1 regulations are:
    • Initial difficulty with the English language
    • Initial difficulty with reading requirements
    • Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods
    • Improper course level placement

    Contact your DSO or the PDSO if you plan to request a RCL for a specific academic reason. Do not drop below full-time status before being approved by your DSO and receiving your updated Form I-20.

  2. Reduced Course Load (RCL) for a Documented Medical ConditionYou can request permission to register part-time for an illness or other medical condition that may justify an interruption or reduction in a full course of study. This must be per the instruction of a U.S. licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist.Contact your DSO or the PDSO if you plan to request a RCL for a documented medical condition. Do not drop below full-time status before being approved by your DSO and receiving your updated Form I-20.

Note: Observation of a religious holiday is not a reason for a reduced course load, according to SEVIS regulations.


Study Policies for Dependents

F-2 dependents can study part-time in an academic or vocational curriculum at an SEVP-certified school, can study in a vocational or recreational program (e.g., hobby), or may enroll full-time in kindergarten through 12th grade.

An F-2 dependent who wants to pursue full-time study must obtain F-1 status to begin the full-time program.