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Hillsborough Community College

United States


Hillsborough Community College (HCC) is one of the most dynamic two-year colleges in the United States. HCC's tuition is among the lowest in Florida, and the country. Students at HCC enjoy a seamless pathway to a bachelor's degree. As an HCC graduate, students are guaranteed entry into one of the 12 Florida public universities, and can receive conditional admission to the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa upon admission to HCC. HCC is one of the 28 members of the Florida College System. It welcomes 47,000 students every year, where over 2,200 faculty and staff focus on student success.

HCC helps students who want to attend a university in the U.S., with a nationally recognized Honors Program, offering a specialized, seminar-style learning environment for high achieving students. HCC offers more than 190 academic programs, including 34 university transfer tracks and 130 workforce-training programs.

The college provides a well-rounded, engaging educational experience. Facilities, services, and faculty give students the industry-focused support they need. The Center for International Education (CIE) provides international students an individualized and supportive environment. CIE is a ''one-stop-shop'' helping international students with admissions, orientation, academic advising, immigration advice, transfer advice, and student programming.

HCC is located in Tampa, Florida, a major natural bay in the United States. The waterfront city has a warm, tropical climate and is surrounded by world-class attractions, including the country's best beaches, sports venues, theme parks, state parks, and recreational activities. There is something to do all-year round.

Unlike most community colleges, HCC offers on-campus student housing. Hawk's Landing student apartments is a luxury complex located on the college's largest campus. In addition, all of HCC's five campuses are located close to a range of amenities making for an ideal student experience.

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What's new

What's new

Covid-19 update

The professionals managing the Center for International Education (CIE) at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) are ready for international (F-1 visa) students to return to campus.

HCC policy allows for in-person advising, but the college is reducing the number of staff and students in the CIE office at any given time to protect everyone's health. A select number of CIE staff will offer face-to-face (in-person) advising in the office and others will provide virtual advising by appointment using Zoom and telephone. Students can also take advantage of ''walk-in'' advising sessions (no appointment necessary) by accessing the CIE virtual advising lobby.

In fall 2021, the college will offer face-to-face, hybrid and virtual (online) courses. Honors Program courses are all face-to-face. If public health conditions continue to improve, the college will adjust COVID-19 protocols.

Transition to virtual online learning

HCC acted quickly in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It moved to a virtual learning environment, where all possible programs and services are now online. Faculty and staff came together to put in extraordinary effort to keep the college running and haven't stopped providing excellent support to students. International students still have the option to enroll in online classes from their home country for their first semester, if necessary.

Allied Health Building

Opened in autumn 2019, the brand-new Kiran and Pallavi Patel Allied Health Building is a state-of-the-art, 62,670 square feet teaching and learning facility for the health sciences. The four-story building houses HCC's programs in nursing, respiratory care, radiology, emergency medical services, medical laboratory science, and others. The facility features the latest technology for hands-on learning, including life-like dummy patients and a realistic emergency room wing.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

HCC has over 2,200 faculty and staff. Around 95 percent of full-time faculty have an advanced degree. Teachers and support staff are dedicated to helping students reach their goals. International students learn in small classes where there's an average student-to-faculty ratio of 21:1. This small-class size is perhaps the best feature of HCC, providing students with unparalleled opportunities to engage and learn.

At HCC, professors are focused on teaching and know each of their students as individuals. Students have frequent opportunities to engage and contribute in the classroom. Faculty also offer on-campus and online office hours, allowing students flexibility in communicating with their professors.

HCC Honors Program

The Dr. Lydia R. Daniel Honors Program at HCC is designed to promote a rigorous academic program for exceptionally talented and motivated students, all at no extra cost. Honors classes are limited to 15 students and allow students the optimal opportunity to connect with their professors and classmates. Honors faculty are carefully selected to teach these courses. Many of the college's programs are among the best in the state and all are fully accredited.

Center for Innovative Teaching and Technology

The Center for Innovative Teaching and Technology (CITT) provides an environment that fosters the development and delivery of engaging, innovative instructional strategies and technologies promoting successful student learning opportunities.

The CITT operates as a teaching and learning center specifically focused on faculty development, training, and instructional design to support faculty innovations, implementation of sound instructional practice, and integration of technology into the teaching and learning experience. The CITT supports all modes of curriculum delivery from traditional classroom-based activities to distance learning course development.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Online International Student Application

Students who currently reside outside of the United States and are applying for a new, initial F-1 student visa, should complete the International Student Application.


A non-refundable application fee of USD 50 is required, and students must provide proof of financial support equal to the cost of attendance. This is currently USD 21,210 for one full-year of study.


Students who have graduated from a high school outside of the United States, require transcripts, graduation certificates and/or exam results to be evaluated by an NACES-approved agency to prove equivalency with a U.S. high school diploma (certified translation required if transcripts are not in English).

Completed evaluations need to be submitted by the application deadline. For the list of countries which are exempt from the secondary school transcript evaluation requirement, students should consult the HCC website.

To be eligible for admission to an associate degree program at HCC, applicants must submit documentation that they have the equivalent of one of the following:

  • High school equivalency certificate (GED)
  • Associate or higher degree
  • Standard high school diploma

English Proficiency

International students on the F-1 visa, and whose first language is not English, must provide proof of English proficiency. Minimum test scores accepted include:

  • TOEFL iBT – 61
  • IELTS – 5.5
  • iTEP – 4.0
  • PTE academic – 46
  • Duolingo English – 90
  • Cambridge English C1 Advanced/C2 Proficiency – 165
  • Kaplan – High-Intermediate Level
  • SAT – 24 in college-level reading
  • ACT – 19 in college-level reading, and 17 in writing

Passport and Proof of Health Insurance

Students must provide a copy of the biographical page of their passport. After admission and no later than by the I-20 program start date, all international F-1 students must submit proof of health insurance before enrolling in courses at HCC.

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Scholarships and funding

Scholarships and funding

Affordable option

HCC has one of the lowest tuition rates in the United States. Programs at HCC allow international students to earn an associate degree without incurring additional expenses associated with universities. They can then transfer to a four-year institution and complete their bachelor's degree. This is a more cost-effective option than paying for a four-year college or university degree.

International scholarships

International students are unable to receive needs-based and state financial aid. However, the college has funding in place to support eligible students. Most of these scholarships are awarded once students are enrolled at HCC. Available scholarships include:

  • International Student Scholarship – to help academically dedicated F-1 students reach their goals.
  • HCC Honors Program – various scholarships for exceptional students.
  • HCC Foundation Scholarships – international students can apply for an award that recognizes academic excellence.
  • Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society – scholarships are available to reward academic performance.
  • Study Florida International Student Scholarship –USD 2,000 annual awards are available for eligible international students.

Tuition fee waivers

International students may be eligible for a tuition fee waiver from Florida Linkage Institutes. This includes students from Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, China, Costa Rica, Eastern Europe, France, Israel, Japan, Mexico, and West Africa.

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HCC offers the chance to study at its campus, online, or through a combination of both. There are five campuses each with specialist facilities for different academic areas:

  • Dale Mabry Campus – HCC's flagship campus, offering nearly all programs. Specializing in nursing and health sciences, computer science, culinary arts, and more.
  • Brandon Campus – for areas such as engineering technology, aquaculture, and biotechnology.
  • Ybor City Campus – programs in criminal justice, public service, media, and the performing arts.
  • Plant City Campus – for environmental science, nursing, and veterinary technology.
  • Southshore Campus – covering business, education, nursing and emergency medical services.

On campus, students can enjoy a wide variety of amenities. These include modern classrooms and technologies, dining options, bookstores, arts spaces, breakout rooms, and sports facilities. There are also many clubs and groups that students can join on each campus.


HCC offers on-campus housing and international students can live at the Hawk's Landing student apartments located on the Dale Mabry Campus. Residences offer affordable with all-inclusive costs, and in an ideal location with an enjoyable atmosphere.

Students live in furnished apartments with flexible layout options and can make use of the resort-style swimming pool, volleyball court, computer lab, game room, and fitness center. In each apartment, every student has their own private bedroom and en suite private bathroom.

The shared living spaces include a fully-equipped kitchen and washing and drying machines. Internet, electricity, water, and trash are all included in the monthly rent. Hawk's Landing provides student Resident Assistants to enhance students' quality of life and there are 24-hour security services. Resident Assistant's and staff also organize frequent social activities for students, including pool parties, BBQs, volleyball matches, resident appreciation events, and even ''Waffle Wednesdays.''

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Student support

Student support

Center for International Education (CIE)

HCC's dedicated international office manages all global initiatives at the college. The center supports international students all the way from admission to graduation, helping every step of the way. When students arrive at HCC they attend an orientation where they meet CIE advisors. They learn about immigration, visas, course registration, health insurance, and other matters. This helps to make their U.S. student experience as smooth as possible.

CIE is considered a ''one-stop-shop'' for international students. This means that instead of having to go to different offices for admissions, academic advising, immigration/visa advising, and other academic affairs, all services are available to students in the same place.

The Honors Program also provides a dedicated advising staff should students join the program. These advisors can help students register for honors classes and help them craft a competitive application to an elite transfer university.

College services

Other college support includes:

  • Academic success centers (tutoring, writing center)
  • Libraries
  • Counseling office
  • Career resource centers
  • Student disability services
  • Student government association

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International students

Average cost of living in United States

View full cost of living

Total average cost: $1767

  • $816
  • $677
  • $98
    Daily life
  • $176
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To find out more about the information shown here – read about How we collect and display course information. IDP assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. We always recommend that you speak to an IDP counsellor to get the latest and most accurate advice.

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