Q: How much is the application fee? Is this fee mandatory? Is this fee refundable if I do not get a visa?

A: The application fee is $275.00 USD. This fee covers the SEVIS fee and shipping costs.  This fee is mandatory and is not refundable.  If you do not need a SEVIS receipt, the application fee is $75.00 USD (non-refundable).


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Q: How long will it take me to finish CIEP?

A: In order to graduate from CIEP, you must pass the last level (level 7) of each course.  You can only move up one level per session.   For example, if you enter the program at level B, this will take you one and a half years, if you pass every class. If you enter the program at level 3, it will take you one year, if you pass every class in every level.


Q: What if I am not satisfied with my placement in CIEP after the placement exam?

A: Students may complete a “Formal Student Grievance Form” (Student Handbook, Appendix K) and give it to a staff member in the office. The director and the student’s  instructors will decide if a level change is appropriate and provide an answer in writing.


Q: Does CIEP offer a TOEFL test?

A: CIEP offers the Institutional TOEFL every April, July, and December.  The results of the test are used for UNI admission only. The Academic Learning  Center on UNI’s campus offers the iBT (internet-based) TOEFL test. For more information about the iBT, call (319)- 273-6023 or visit http://www.uni.edu/unialc/toefl.html


Q: Do I have to study at CIEP every session to remain a student?

A: Students are able to take a vacation session after four consecutive 8-week sessions.  If a student studies in CIEP for four sessions, he or she will be able to skip a session to travel or go back home and then return to CIEP without having to renew immigration status documents.


Q: What is plagiarism?  What happens I cheat and/or plagiarize in a class?

A: Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work as your own. Any ideas or materials taken from another source (student, website, book, friend, etc.) for either written or oral use and presented by you for evaluation purposes must be acknowledged and cited.

 Anytime you do not cite a source, your teacher will assume that the words written are your original ideas. When using ideas or words from other sources to complete an assignment, you must cite where you found them. Your teacher will help you learn the correct way to cite and credit sources, but you can ask for help, too.

Please note the plagiarism is an act of academic dishonesty and a serious offense in the U.S. academic environment. Penalties for plagiarism can be severe. If you are found to commit plagiarism, you will be penalized depending on the circumstances.  Please refer to Notice of Plagiarism/Cheating (Student Handbook, Appendix I)  for examples of plagiarism and penalties.


Q: What should I do if I have a problem with a class, teacher, or grade?

A: We hope your experience at the CIEP is rewarding and trouble-free.  However, problems may occur and we want to help you solve them as quickly as possible.  If your problem is about your class grade, please speak to the instructor first.  You may have to make an appointment to speak to the instructor outside of class.  If at any time your problem is not resolved to your satisfaction or involves something personal that you cannot discuss with your instructor or the office staff, you may complete a Formal Student Grievance (Student Handbook, Appendix K).  Copies of this grievance form are also available in the main office.

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Q: When should I apply for a room in the residence halls on campus?

A: It is best to submit your housing contract at least one month prior to your arrival date.  If you need help completing your contract, please contact: jean.wiesley@uni.edu or call the UNI Department of Residence at  1-866-207-9411. 

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Q: When do I pay my tuition & fees?

A: Students pay tuition before the end of each CIEP session.  Charges will be placed on student bills within the first two weeks of the session


Q: What are the University Fees? Are these fees mandatory?

A: The University Fees are paid by all UNI students  These fees provide services such as Rod Library and the Wellness and Recreation Center. These fees are mandatory for all students. For more information, please visit: http://uni.edu/ciep/about/fees/university_fees

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Q: Can students work on campus?

A: Students are allowed to work on campus for up to 20 hours a week.


Q: What is the average wage for a student worker?

A: Generally, student workers earn minimum wage ($7.25 per hour).  However, depending on the job, students may earn more or less than $7.25 per hour.


Q: What will my work schedule be like?

A: In most cases, you will be able to create your own work schedule based around your classes and activities schedules. You may have to work evening and night hours, depending on your job. You will not receive extra pay for working outside of normal University hours.

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Q: Do I need to bring my own linens?  If I buy them on campus, how much will they cost?

A: The UNI Residence halls will not provide linens.  You will need to bring your own or you can buy them on campus or at a local store for approximately $55.00.  


Q: What type of clothing should I pack? What kind of weather does Cedar Falls have?

A: Because Iowa is located in the Midwest, we experience a wide range of temperatures.

In the Spring and Summer months (April – September), you should plan to have short-sleeve shirts and other clothing items of a light material. Temperatures during these months can range between 55 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 35 Celcius). You may also want to have a light jacket and an umbrella for rainy days.

For the Fall and Winter months (October – March), you should plan to have lots of heavy clothing, including a thick coat, hats and gloves. Temperatures during these months can range between -15 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit (-26 to10 Celcius).

We experience rain and snow frequently throughout the year, but have plenty of sunny days, as well! Most students on UNI’s campus dress in informal clothing, including t-shirts, denim jeans, cotton sweatshirts and leather athletic shoes.

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Q: What do I do when I arrive at the University?

A: When you arrive to the university, you should come to the CIEP office in Bartlett Hall, Room 3025.  If a staff member from CIEP is picking you up at the airport, they will help you to check into your residence hall first. If you are arriving on your own, you may check into your residence hall before visiting the CIEP Office.


Q: How do I get to campus if I am not flying into the Waterloo Airport (ALO) or the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID)?  What taxi services or other transportation services are available?

A: If you do not fly into the ALO or CID airports (or if you do not request the CIEP airport service), you may take a taxi to Cedar Falls.    You can find information for taxi services and other forms of transportation on the Cedar Falls website at: http://www.cedarfallstourism.org/about-cedar-falls/transportation.aspx


Q: What is the Orientation Program?  What happens if I don’t complete it?

A: The orientation program is a three-day event that helps new students to become familiar with the CIEP program and the UNI campus.  During this time, students will learn how to access their grades and university bills on MyUNIverse.  They will also take the placement exam for classes, visit the health center, take a campus tour, and meet the director and CIEP staff.  This orientation program is mandatory for all new students.  If a student does not complete the orientation program, he or she will not be able to go to class.  It is important that students arrive on time to complete the entire orientation program and begin classes.  Students who arrive late and do not complete orientation may miss several classes.  These absences may affect the student's academic probation status.


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Q: Who should I call if there is an emergency?

A: If you are in an emergency situation or arrive on campus after regular business hours, please call the UNI Public Safety at 319-273-4000.

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Follow the link below to view translations of the CIEP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):