International Students

International students are an important part of the GRTS community. We have enrolled students from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Romania, South Korea, Sudan and Chad. 

Please read through the following information to gain a full understanding of the application process that we have designed to serve you and to meet all regulations. In an effort to facilitate a smooth transition to GRTS, we encourage international students to begin their degree programs at the start of the fall semester in September.

Application Process

1. Pre-Application
Complete the pre-application form online or fill out the hard copy and submit it to GRTS admissions at seminary@cornerstone.edu. You will be prompted to continue the application process once we have received and approved your pre-application form.

2. Official Application
Once your pre-application form has been approved by the Admissions Office, complete the Main Application for admission and all supporting documents, including the ministry reference form, personal reference form and scholarship application. All international students are considered for the Timothy Scholarship, which would cover a portion of your tuition costs.

3. Financial Support Form
Fill out the International Student Certification of Finances. This form will serve as evidence that you have financial support throughout the duration of your degree program. You must submit letters of support from each organization or individual who will be assisting with your financial support. Each supporter must also submit bank statements from the three most recent months to demonstrate their ability to meet their financial commitment. 

4. Transcripts
Educational Credential Evaluators Inc. (ECE) must evaluate your transcripts. ECE will convert your test scores into their USA equivalents and provide the GRTS Admissions office with information on how your prior studies have prepared you for graduate study. We encourage you to work directly with ECE and you can contact them through their website.

5. English Language Proficiency
International students who are not lifetime residents of Australia, Canada (other than Quebec), New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States (other than Puerto Rico) must demonstrate their English language proficiency by submitting Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. The TOEFL must be taken within one year prior to the admission application date. GRTS requires a minimum TOEFL score of 577 written, 90 Internet based or 233 computer based for admission. Click here to register for the TOEFL, or mail: TOEFL, P.O. Box 6154, Princeton, N.J. 80541-6154, USA. The GRTS TOEFL institution code is 1253.

International students can choose to submit IELTS (International English Language Testing Scores) scores instead of a TOEFL score. GRTS requires a minimum score of Band 7 for admission. Information about the IELTS test can be obtained from IELTS International, 825 Colorado Blvdl, Suite 112, Los Angeles, CA 90041, or www.ielts.org.

6. Tuition Deposit
Once we have accepted you for admission, you must send a tuition deposit of at least the cost of your first semester’s tuition and fees. This will be a $6,000 payment for the 2013-2014 academic year. This total includes a tuition deposit, registration fee and $100 for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System processing fee. If for any reason you do not enroll as planned, we will return all of the funds to you or your supporters immediately except for the $100 SEVIS fee.

7. Student Visa
After receiving your tuition deposit, we will send you a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. This form is more commonly called the I-20. You can then apply for your student visa at the US consulate/embassy in your home country. You will need the following documents in addition to the I-20:

  • a valid passport, which must be valid six months past the last date you expect to be in the USA (your expected time of graduation);
  • proof of sufficient finances, which is your a) completed student financial support form, b) letters of support from each supporter and c) copies of bank statements verifying that those funds are available
  • proof of English proficiency, which may be either citizenship in an English-speaking country or TOEFL/IELTS scores.

8. Registration
Please inform the Admissions office at seminary@cornerstone.edu or 616.222.1559 once you have received your student visa. At that time, we will register you for classes for the fall semester (registration begins in mid-March). You will also be required to attend new student orientation at the beginning of the semester.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is available to all GRTS students who enroll in at least five credit hours per fall and spring semester. Optional coverage for your spouse and/or children is also available. International students must maintain coverage through the school’s provider. The open enrollment period for health insurance is during the first four weeks of each fall and spring semester. Please contact GRTS Admissions for coverage costs and details.

Employment

International students may apply for on-campus jobs as they become available. You will not be able to work more than 20 hours per week (even if employed in more than one job) as stipulated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement regulations. The Admissions office can assist you in applying for a U.S. Social Security number which you need to begin working. Off-campus employment is only possible on an extremely limited basis in the event of financial distress. In such a case, you will need to apply with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in order to receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). You are not eligible to work off-campus until you have received your EAD. 

Recommended Web Sites

Scholarships for International Students
www.scholarshipexperts.com
www.internationalscholarships.com
www.iefa.org
www.fundingusstudy.org
www.aauw.org
www.amideast.org
www.foreign.fulbrightonline.org
Financial Guidance, Insurance, Loans
www.edupass.com/finaid
www.internationalstudentinsurance.com
www.internationalstudentloan.com

U.S. Government Sites
www.ice.gov
www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

http://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/

Additional Information and Resources
www.nafsa.org
www.toefl.org 
www.internationalstudents.org