International Student Services
Welcome to your home-away-from-home! With over 45 nations represented in our diverse student population, you’ll fit right in, joining many other students from around the world.
At Lipscomb, our intentional Christian community will invest in you, both in and out of the classroom. We are here to help you succeed. While you’re here, our primary designated school official will be your resource for any questions you have about living and studying in the United States.
Meet Jotham Miller
Jotham is our International Student Services Coordinator and PDSO. At Lipscomb, Jotham will be your main contact for all of your F1 needs. Visit your myLipscomb account to download required forms, or access our FAQ page to help answer any questions you may have. If you have any questions about your Visa Status, or have any general questions about International Student Services, please contact him.
Being admitted to a university is the first, and most integral, step in acquiring an I-20 certificate to study in the states. If you have reached this page, you may have already completed this step — congratulations on your admission! The Lipscomb University Office of Admissions now recognizes you as an incoming new student.
Please be sure that you are enrolled in a full-time (12+ credit hours for undergraduate or 6+ credit hours for graduate) degree-seeking program, and that you are prepared to produce documentation (bank statements that show readily available liquid assets) showing financial support for your studies for at least one full academic year. In accordance with Student Exchange Visitor Program regulations, we must be able to assess this evidence before issuing an I-20.
You should expect an email from our international student services coordinator, Jotham Miller, with your I-20 application. After fully completing your application, your I-20 certificate will be created in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and sent to you by email. That certificate will explain everything you need to do afterwards, including how to pay your SEVIS fee and schedule a visa application appointment at your nearest U.S. consulate or embassy.
Schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you reside. Please be aware that it may be difficult to qualify for a visa outside of your place of permanent residence.
What to bring to your visa interview:
- Nonimmigrant Visa Application: Form DS-160 confirmation page
- Application fee payment receipt
- Form I-20 from Lipscomb University
- Other suggested items to bring: your transcripts or diplomas, test scores such as TOEFL or IELTS, source of funds for your education in the United States, your intent to depart the United States when your studies are complete
What will happen during your visa interview:
- A consular officer will determine if you are eligible to receive a visa stamp to travel under the requested classification of admission.
- You must undergo a fingerprinting process during the interview.
- The consulate officer will tell you if further administrative processing is required.
- After receiving approval to include the visa stamp inside of your passport, you will be informed when your passport will be ready for pick up or delivered to you by courier.
- Consider locating an EducationUSA Advising Center in your country to set up a practice interview.
- During the interview:
- Be brief and concise in your responses.
- Know your academic program and how it fits into your career plans.
- Remember to speak for yourself; the consular officer wants to interview you, not your family.
- Maintain a positive attitude. If you get a visa refusal, do not argue with the consular, but ask for the reason in writing.
A visa stamp allows a foreign citizen to apply to a U.S. port of entry and request permission to enter the United States. It does not guarantee entry to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the port of entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the U.S. If you are allowed to enter the U.S., you will be given an I-94 visa stamp in your passport and may proceed to your destination. Please visit the Customs and Border Protection website upon entry to ensure that your classification of admission is indeed an F-1 status. You may go to the CBP website to download and print this information for me to add to your student immigration record.
Initial I-20s for new students may be issued up to 120 days in advance of your university start date. However, you will not be allowed to enter the U.S. in F-1 status earlier than 30 days before your university start date. This admission date is listed above your program start date on the I-20.
Lipscomb has partnered with LewerMark Student Insurance to provide all eligible international students with medical coverage. All full-time international students in F-1 status are required to have, and will automatically be enrolled in the LewerMark Student Insurance plan upon Lipscomb registration. The total cost of the plan is approximately $1,500 per academic year, but fluctuates based on current market rates.
In addition, you must complete the required health forms (which you will receive by email) in order to matriculate as a Lipscomb University student.
The LewerMark Student Insurance plan is not included in the cost of tuition and fees but students will see the additional medical coverage fee on their student bill. The medical coverage fee will be applied to the student bill once in the Fall and once in the Spring.
International Student Payments
Waive Medical Coverage
LewerMark plans can only be waived in the following circumstances:
- Your parent/spouse is employed by a United States-based company that provides Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant coverage that you are covered under.
- You arrived in the United States with health insurance because you participate in a government exchange student program, such as SACM.
- You are currently covered by one of your parent’s insurance plans from your home country. This plan must meet or exceed the LewerMark plan and be valid in the United States. An emergency-only and/or travel plan will not be accepted.
If you are in one of these specific situations above, you may submit a Health Insurance Waiver Form to LewerMark at email@example.com. The waiver will need to be approved by LewerMark before it is accepted. While completing the waiver, please note that the policy information you submit will need to be in English and needs to be a pre-existing plan (not travel insurance). Please note that staff members from Lipscomb’s International Student Office do not review waiver requests.
- Emergency-only and/or travel plans will not be accepted for the purposes of waiving out of the LewerMark coverage.
- Plans offered by the following companies will not be accepted as a valid waiver in any circumstance: GBG, HCC, IMG, ISI, ISO, ISP, PGH, PSI. This is only a partial list of plans that are not acceptable waiver plans.
Deadlines to waive health coverage will typically be the last day of August for the Fall semester and the last day of January for the Spring semester
Continuing students are at liberty to renew their visa stamp at any time as long as they have an active status in SEVIS. Continuing students may enter the United States at any time before their classes start. Please be sure to always pay close attention to your program end date to make sure that it is the correct prospective completion date for your studies under your current education level. You may need to consult with our PDSO to shorten or extend the date to remain compliant with the F-1 visa guidelines.
Transfer students must complete the I-20 application as well as the Transfer-In Form completed along with the current DSO. You will be transferring to a new school but all F-1 guidelines still apply.