US flag   Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Study in the States

View Disclaimer

 

Change Education Level

Last updated 9-Oct-2018

General Information

Students often begin a new program of study at the same school. The designated school official (DSO) uses the Change Education Level link to create a new Form I‑20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, for a student who is changing education levels to start a new program of study at the same campus of the same school; for example, a student moving from Bachelor’s to Master’s while staying at the Downtown Campus of Potomac College.

 Do not use the Change of Level link when:

  • A student is changing educational levels and transferring to a different campus at the same school. In this case, use the SEVIS record transfer process.
  • You only need to correct the student’s education level, because of an error on the student’s Form I-20. Use the Update Program Information function instead. See the Update Program Information User Guide for further details.

Changing a student’s education level creates a new Initial record. This is in addition to the student’s current Active record. You should continue to update the Active record, as necessary, until the student has completed his/her current education level. When the student has enrolled at the new education level, you must register the student using the Initial record. Once the student is registered for the new education level, you will no longer be able to update the record for the previous education level.

You must submit the change of level Form I-20 before the end of the 60-day grace period after the Program End Date.

Create I-20 for Change of Education Level

To change a student’s education level in SEVIS:

  • Go to the Student Information page.

  • Click the Change Education Level link. The Create I-20 for Change Education Level page opens with two sections for changing:
    • Program
    • Financial

Program

The Program section contains fields for requesting the student’s change of education level. Complete the fields in the Program section. An Asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

Education Level

Select the level of education pursued by the student from the drop-down list. The options include:

  • Primary
    • If you select Primary, SEVIS will automatically enter the classification of instructional program (CIP) code for “Primary School” (90.0101) into the Major Code 1 field.
    • The Primary School CIP code cannot be edited.
  • Secondary      

​     If you select Secondary, there are ten acceptable CIP codes:

  1. Click Select under the Major Code 1 field to display the acceptable CIP codes.
  2. Select the CIP code number link for the desired code.
  • Associate
  • Bachelor’s
  • Master’s
  • Doctorate
  • Language Training
    • If you select Language Training, SEVIS will automatically enter the “Second Language Learning” CIP code (32.0109) into the Major Code 1 field.
    • The Second Language Learning CIP code cannot be edited.
  • Other

        If you select Other, an If Other, enter here [] field will appear:

  • Describe the education level here.
  • This is a required field.

The CIP (Classification of Instructional Programs) Picker:

Major Code* 

  • Enter the CIP code of the student’s primary major, or click Select to open the Acceptable CIP Codes window. Search for the CIP code by either:
    • Entering search terms to find the appropriate CIP code; for example, Communications, Business, Engineering, etc.
    • Entering the CIP code family number, for example, “14.” for the Engineering programs.
  • Select the CIP code by clicking the code number. The Acceptable CIP Codes window closes.
  • After selecting a code, SEVIS enters the CIP code in the Major Code 1 field.
  • This is a required field.

Note: You must select an Education Level before you can enter the Major Code.

Major Code 2* 

Some students have a secondary major, usually in a related field. Use this field for the secondary major CIP code.

  • Enter the CIP code of the student’s primary major, or click Select to open the Acceptable CIP Codes window. Search for the CIP code by either:
    • Entering search terms to find the appropriate CIP code, for example, Communications, Business, Engineering, etc.
    • Entering the CIP code family number, for example, “14.” for the Engineering programs.
  • Select the code by clicking the code number. The Acceptable CIP Codes window closes.
  • After selecting a code, SEVIS will enter the CIP code in the Major Code 2 field.
  • If the student does not have a second major, click the No Major 2 checkbox.
  • This is a required field.

Minor Code* 

  • Enter the CIP code of the student’s minor, or use the search tool by clicking Select. The Acceptable CIP Codes window opens. Search for the CIP code by either:
    • Entering search terms to find the appropriate CIP code, for example, Communications, Business, Engineering, etc.
    • Entering the CIP code family number, for example, “14.” for the Engineering programs.
  • After selecting a code, SEVIS will enter the CIP code in the Minor Code field.
  • If the student does not have a minor, click the No Minor checkbox.
  • This is a required field.

New Program Start Date* 

  • Enter the date on which the student will begin his or her program.
  • This may be the date of any required orientations or other activities before the start of classes.
  • This is a required field.

 

  • F-1 Change in educational levels – 8 CFR 214.2(f)(5)(ii) 
  • F-1 School transfer – 8 CFR 214.2(f)(8)(i)
  • The regulation for changing the educational levels cites the program start date timeline used for school transfers. The new program start date must occur within five months of completing the current program.

 

  • Schools can choose to enter the New Program Start Date and the Initial Session Start Date as the same date. If the dates differ, the Program Start Date cannot be more than 30 days before the Initial Session Start Date.
  • Entering an invalid date will result in the following message: Program Start Date must be on or after today and no more than a year from today.

New Program End Date*

  • Enter the expected date of completion of the academic or vocational program.
  • Do not consider grace periods or any future employment authorizations.
  • This is a required field.

Initial Session Start Date*

  • Enter the date that the student will begin classes.
  • This date cannot be more than 30 days from the Program Start Date.
  • This is a required field.

Note: Registration alerts are tied to this date.

English Proficiency* 

In the English Proficiency section, answer the question “Is English proficiency required by the school?” Click either the Yes or No radio button:

  • Yes – Requires a further Yes or No confirmation that the student has the required English skills.

 

  • No – Requires an explanation on why the school does not require the student to be proficient in English.

Financial

F-1 or M-1 students must prove they have the financial resources to live and study in the United States. Enter the student’s expenses and funding for the length of the program in the Expenses and Funding sections under the Financial section of the page.

Note: All dollar amounts must be entered in the Expenses and Funding sections without commas and periods, and should be rounded to the nearest dollar. For example, $25,057.89 should be entered as 25058.

Estimate costs and funding for *___ months

Enter the number of months for either the academic year or the length of the program, whichever is shorter:

  • Use the drop-down list in the Estimated costs and funding for*__ months field to select the number of months for estimating expenses and sources of funding.
  • This is a required field.

Expenses

Enter the student’s expenses for one academic term:

  • Tuition and Fees*
    • Enter the amount for the student’s tuition and fees.
    • This is a required field.
  • Living Expenses*
    • Enter the amount for the student’s living expenses.
    • This is a required field.
  • Expenses for Dependents
    • Enter the amount of expenses for any dependents.
    • The number of dependents currently associated with the student displays by the field name.
    • This is a required field.
  • Other Costs – Enter any other costs for the months of estimated expenses.
  • Specify Other Costs – Enter the reason for any other costs.
  • Total Expenses – SEVIS calculates the costs and displays the total expenses at the bottom of the Expenses section.

Funding

Enter the student’s funding for the number of months specified:

  • Student’s Personal Funds*
    • Enter the amount of the student’s personal funds.
    • This is a required field.
  • Funds from this School – Enter the amount of any funding offered by your school.
  • School Fund Type – Enter the type of school fund offered by your school, for example, an academic scholarship.
  • Funds from Other Sources – Enter the amount of any funding from any other sources.
  • Other Source Type – Enter the type of funding from any other sources, for example, a private grant.
  • On-Campus Employment – Enter the amount of the student’s on-campus employment.
  • Total Funding – SEVIS calculates and displays the student’s total funds at the bottom of the Funding section.

The student’s total funds must meet or exceed the expenses, before the DSO may issue the student’s Initial Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20).

Remarks about the Student

Enter any applicable comments about the student in the Remarks about the Student field:

  • This field has a 1,000-character limit with a Characters Remaining counter.

Comments entered in any Remarks field throughout the Form I-20 will append to any existing remarks and print on page 1 of the Form I-20.

Submit Change of Education Level

After entering any necessary information, submit the request to SEVIS:

  1. After completing the fields, click either the Submit or Cancel button:
  • Submit – Creates a new Form I-20 for the new education level. The student will now have two records: one Initial and one Active, under the same SEVIS ID.
  • Cancel – Cancels the action without making any changes and return to the Student Information page.

If Submit was selected, the Create Successful page displays with two options, View Record or Print I-20.

  • View Record – Returns the user to the Student Information page.
  • Print I-20 – Generates the PDF of the Form I-20 that can be printed.

You cannot edit the Initial record of a student who is requesting a change of education level from their original Active record. Any changes would be made through the new Initial record.

Cancel Change of Education Level

You cannot cancel the Initial record of a student who is requesting a change of education level. You must cancel the change of education level request through the Active record. Perform the following steps to cancel a student’s change of education level request:

  1. Perform a search to locate the appropriate student’s Active record. (See the SEVIS Help Hub for information on F/M Nonimmigrant Searches.)
  2. Click the appropriate link in the Surname/Primary Name column to access the student’s Active record. The Student Information page opens.

3. Click the Cancel Change Education Level link in the Actions menu. The Cancel Change Education Level page opens.

4. Enter any applicable comments in the Remarks field.

5. Click either the Cancel Change Education Level, Reset Values, or Cancel button:

  • Cancel Change Education Level – Cancels the student’s change of education level request. An Update Successful page opens with two options, Return to View Record or Print I-20:

  • Return to View Record – Returns to the Student Information page. The student’s Initial record (for the new education level) is now in Deactivated status.
  • Print I-20– Generates the PDF of the Form I-20 that can be printed.
  • Reset Values – Clears any entries made in the Remarks field.
  • Cancel – Returns to the Student Information page without taking any action on the student’s record.

Icon Guide

See the SEVIS Help Icons on the SEVIS Help Hub for a quick-reference of the icons used in this user guide.