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Delivery of Services to International Students and Faculty :

Policy/Guideline Area

Academic Policies

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges


The Tennessee Board of Regents will support the unique needs of international students and international faculty at TBR institutions.



The Tennessee Board of Regents encourages its constituent institutions to receive international students and faculty into their communities in order to strengthen and expand the global academic market of ideas and knowledge. The TBR recognizes that international students and scholars have legitimate special needs, many of which are imposed by federal immigration laws and others which are ethical responsibilities.

In general, TBR institutions, which have international students, faculty, or academic staff, shall provide trained personnel to deliver services required by law and not discriminate against any international student, faculty, or academic staff member on the basis of national origin.


  1. Recruitment and Admission of Students
    1. TBR institutions that choose to contract with any organization, agency, or agent which recruits international students on a per capita fee basis must either use agents vetted through a recognized professional group or base the payment of recruitment fees upon a successful matriculation outcome.
    2. TBR institutions will accept international students for admission to their programs according to TBR Policy, established academic criteria and such other requirements as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may impose upon non- immigrant foreign nationals, excluding from such decisions any economic benefit, which may accrue, to the institution or the system.
    3. Admission Standards
      1. All TBR institutions will seek reasonable and appropriate consistency in determining admissions standards for degree-seeking students, including use of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores, transfer credit policies, transcript evaluation, recognition of degrees from foreign institutions, and the like, recognizing that differential policies in such areas may damage the academic credibility of the TBR System.
    4. Student Financial Matters
      1. All TBR institutions will establish reasonable and appropriate consistency in determining procedures for tuition payment, acceptance deposits, and other financial matters, taking into account the logistical constraints, which may be posed by international currency transfers.
    5. Student Discipline
      1. All TBR institutions shall inform international students regarding the student conduct and disciplinary policies.
      2. The customs of the international student’s home country shall not, in most instances, be a defense to violations of student conduct and discipline policies.
  2. Academic Support and Other Services
    1. Orientation
      1. Institutions that receive international students must provide an orientation program that specifically addresses the particular needs of those individuals.
    2. Health Insurance
      1. Every international student will enroll in annual health insurance coverage contracted by the TBR, unless a waiver is granted for comparable or superior coverage.
      2. The premium for such insurance may be added to the student's regular institutional billing for tuition, fees, and services.
      3. Institutions must inform international students of all required immunizations at time of admission.
    3. Student Privacy and Foreign Students
      1. The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits institutions to comply with information requests from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICE) in order to comply with the requirements of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
    4. English Proficiency
      1. An offer of admission for a degree-seeking student must not be made when it has been verified that a student does not have adequate English proficiency for the individual institution.
      2. Postponement of admission pending improvement of English skills is preferable to failure or delays in time to degree due to language deficits.
        1. Any TBR institution that conditionally admits students with English proficiency performance below established standards must provide either an appropriate, professionally staffed ESL program or provide access to such a program to remedy such deficiencies.
          1. Students will pay fees for such programs, if not otherwise provided by standard institutional tuition.
          2. Institutions should establish mandatory standard proficiency levels which are expected in order for students conditionally admitted due to language deficiencies to achieve unconditional admission.
    5. Academic and Logistical Accommodation of Foreign Students
      1. TBR institutions must provide international students with fair and reasonable access to classes, and other programs and services, recognizing that normal domestic deadlines and procedures for their delivery may require modification in order to accommodate the extended timeframe often created by the international admissions process.



T.C.A. § 49-8-203


Board Meeting March 26, 2009; TBR Board Meeting December 2, 2010; Revised at Board Meeting, September 28, 2018.

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