Due to varying circumstances (visa appointment, difficulty in getting a flight, illness, etc.,) some students ask if they can arrive late for the semester. While we are eager to welcome students to Ashland University, sometimes we make the recommendation that they wait until the next semester or term. Here are some problems students encounter when they arrive late:
For academic students, classes are usually full, so finding classes to take is always difficult, and sometimes impossible. As immigration requires that you have a certain number of credit hours each semester, taking below the minimum requirement is not an option. Some students end up taking classes that are not related to their program just to meet this immigration regulation.
Sometimes professors will not let you into a class late, even though you are willing to "catch up." This makes the selection of classes even more difficult. The last day to add classes is usually one week after classes begin.
Housing is often a problem, because late arrivals will not have the best selection. The dormitories are usually full, and a late placement with a roommate could create problems. Students who live off campus will be on their own looking for housing, as we can only provide assistance during our orientation week.
We make arrangements to pick students up at the airport during the days before orientation. However, late arrivals will need to make their own arrangements, and the cost of a cab or private driving service can range from $150 to $200.
Late arriving students have missed orientation. Our orientation provides students with valuable information, and helps a student to be more knowledgeable about their immigration obligations, their studies, and Ashland University. It also gives them a chance to meet other new international students and to form friendships. Students who miss orientation are still charged the $100 orientation fee.
The I-20 document has an expiry date on it, so late arrivals require additional documentation in order to make entry to the United States possible. The officer at the port of entry (airport) will make the final decision as to whether they will allow the student to enter the United States.
The cost of the airline ticket is often higher because a student has not been able to plan in advance, and must take the first available flight.
Students who arrive late often do not do as well during their first semester. The late arrival has caused stress (see all of the reasons above), and many students become frustrated and perform poorly in their studies.
If we decide that a student can arrive late, then he or she must make the decision as to whether he/she can overcome all of the obstacles above. We do not allow students to arrive more than a week after classes have started.