Completing the Reduced Credit Load Form (Academic Advisors/F-1)
There are 3 primary reasons for which F-1 international students may drop below full-time:
- Academic Difficulty
- Initial Difficulty with English Language or Reading Requirements (1st year only)
- Unfamiliarity with U.S. Teaching Methods (1st year only)
- Improper Course Level Placement (requires explanation)
- Nearing Graduation
- Final semester of required coursework and taking all available courses to meet graduation requirements
- Completed required coursework and preparing for comprehensive examination (graduate students only)
- Completed required coursework and working on thesis/dissertation (graduate students only)
- Medical Exception (student should fill out and submit the paper-based medical Reduced Credit Load form instead): The student may request a reduced credit load, due to a temporary illness or medical condition. It is limited to a period of time not to exceed a total of 12 months, at each degree level. Requires a signature from a licensed medical doctor or clinical psychologist and recommendation of the number of credits the student should take. The student must be re-authorized for the Medical RCL each semester that it applies.
Instructions to complete the e-form
- Choose a visa type.
- Scroll down to the bold heading “Academic Advisor Review.” Fill in all of the required fields, marked with an asterisk (*).
- Depending on which reason you select, additional required fields may appear. This is true for “Academic Difficulty” and “Final semester.”
- When you click “Submit,” your eform request will be automatically emailed to ISSS for review. Your part of the process is complete, but the international student will need to wait to drop below full time until the eform has been approved by ISSS.
- The eform defaults to “Yes” for the first question, “I approve this student for a reduced credit load.” This does not mean you are required to choose yes or approve the reduced credit load; however, you are asked to provide an explanation if you do not approve it and may receive communication from the ISSS office for further clarification. You may reach out to ISSS if you are unsure whether or not to approve the Reduced Credit Load.
- The Reduced Credit Load will not go away if you do not take any action, and you will continue to receive automated reminder emails from ISSS until you approve or deny the eform. This is because in most cases, the Reduced Credit Load request is very time sensitive. You may reach out to ISSS if you are unsure whether or not to approve the Reduced Credit Load.
- If you select “Academic Difficulty,” three subcategories will become available: “Initial Difficulty with English Language or Reading Requirements,” “Unfamiliarity with U.S. Teaching Methods,” and “Improper Course Level Placement.” Improper Course Level Placement does require an additional explanation, but does not necessarily reflect improper advising regarding course selection.
- If you select “Student is in the final semester of required coursework and taking all available courses to meet graduation requirements,” you will be required to indicate how many credits the student has left to complete. If the student is not able to register in all credits during the semester selected, an additional explanation will be required.
- “Thesis/Dissertation” should only be selected when all required coursework has been completed. If the student has required coursework left to complete, another reason such as “Improper Course Level Placement” or “Final semester” should be used. You may reach out to ISSS if you are unsure which reason to use.
- The international student will receive an email from ISSS once their Reduced Credit Load has been approved. They should not drop below full time until they have received final approval from ISSS.