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Maximizing the Benefits of Day 1 CPT while Mitigating the Risks: A Comprehensive Guide

If you are interested in work-studying in America, you might have searched the keyword day 1 CPT before. While day 1 CPT has its perks, it is important to note that it also comes with its own set of risks and limitations. That being said,

Potential benefits of day 1 CPT include:

1.     Early work experience:

day 1 CPT allows international students to gain work experience and earn money from the first day of their academic program. This can be especially beneficial for those who are financially struggling.

* Scholarship opportunities at day 1 CPT universities for international students.

2.     Flexibility:

Most day 1 CPT programs use hybrid teaching mode, which provides students with a much more flexible schedule. For example, day 1 CPT programs at Westcliff University only require students to attend on-site classes once every 16 weeks. The rest of the time, you can finish your classes online. Other day 1 CPT universities that have a low on-site requirement include but are not limited to Moron College (near New York), Train University (has campuses in Phoenix and Miami), Ottawa University, etc.

3.     Extended work opportunities:

Unlike the Federal work-study scheme, day 1 CPT provides international students with more options. You can choose to work on-campus or off-campus; either part-time or full-time. The only requirement is that the job description has to be closely related to your field of study. Different from H1B, there is no requirement for a minimum salary if you are working by using CPT.

4.     Improved Job prospects:

Having work experience while still at school is essential for one to get an ideal job after graduation. A high GPA is not a guarantee for success any longer. Day 1 CPT programs combine in-class teaching and real-world working experience. Participating in such a program demonstrates that you have practical skills and knowledge of the US work culture.

Day 1 CPT help international student accumulate work experience before they enter the job market

Proceed with cautions - How to Mitigate the Risks:

1.     How to spot unreliable day 1 CPT universities?

a.     All classes are conducted online and there is no on-site requirement.

Although day 1 CPT programs are famous for their flexible learning schedule and hybrid teaching mode, it is important to enroll in day 1 CPT universities that have physical campuses and on-site sections. Otherwise, it will look very suspicious to USCIS. F1 visa is granted to students. If all of your learning can be done online, there is no reason for you to come to the U.S.

b.     Lack of accreditations

Although day 1 CPT universities are not Ivy League schools, they should still have some kind of accreditation. It is not weird that you can’t find day 1 CPT universities in US News Rankings. Day 1 CPT universities design their day 1 CPT courses in a way that combines learning and internship, which also means they don’t put too much effort into academic research. They don’t have funding or researchers like traditional research-focused higher education institutions. Therefore, it is hard to compare them with traditional universities. However, legit day 1 CPT universities would still have accreditations that are not so different from universities that you are familiar with. For example, Westcliff University has WASC accreditation, which is the same accreditation that UCLA holds. You can even transfer your study credits from Westcliff University to UCLA if you choose to leave day 1 CPT universities and pursue your academic journey at UCLA later.

Still don’t know how to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate day 1 CPT universities? We are here to help. only works with accredited day 1 CPT universities that are proven to be trustworthy and recognized by USCIS. Fill out a simple online form to talk to our education consultant for free.

Although work while studying can be overwhelming, it is important to follow all guidelines and requirements while using day 1 CPT

2.     Follow day 1 CPT guidelines and do not miss on-site sections.

a.     Day 1 CPT = F1 = full-time student

Although you may use day 1 CPT work, your premier identity is still an F1 student. This means that you need to fulfill all requirements for an F1 student set by USCIS’s guidelines. How to define full-time? As an F1 student, you need to take at least 9 credit hours per semester for graduate-level programs. If enrolled in one of the accredited day 1 CPT universities, they will guide how to select courses that can support you instead of interfering with your internship/job.

b.     Maintain your F1 Status

In order to maintain your F1 status at day 1 CPT universities, you need to keep your GPT at 3.0 or above; and attend all on-site sections in person. This is not too hard to manage, but it also is not something negotiable.

c.     Make sure to have valid and updated work authorization

Do not work before your DSO signed off on your CPT I-20 and remember to renew your CPT I-20 as required by your day 1 CPT university. Day 1 CPT universities have different requirements regarding CPT i-20 renewal. Some of them are renewed on a semester basis while others are renewed on a yearly basis.

3.     Pay your tuition on time

Many who choose to enroll in day 1 CPT universities are facing financial difficulties. Day 1 CPT universities provide the opportunity for financial gain while studying, which makes studying in the U.S. affordable.

Other than paid jobs, you can also apply for scholarships to lighten the burden of tuition costs. As official partners with many day 1 CPT universities, we provide exclusive scholarships to international students in the form of tuition deductions.

If you are interested in these scholarships, please read our post: Lighten the Burden of Tuition with Scholarships and Paid Jobs. Or, contact our experts for more information.

4.     Find jobs that related to your field of study

Make sure the job you found is closely related to your field of study. You may also understand it the other way around. If you want to be a programmer in big techs in the future, you may want to enroll in a CS or CS-related day 1 CPT program instead of marketing. Either way, you need to match your work to your study. Otherwise, you may run into programs while applying for H1B and won’t be able to pass RFE.

If you worry that because you have used day 1 CPT, you will face harsher RFE while applying for H1B. Don’t be. Most of the people who enrolled in accredited day 1 CPT universities that are recognized by USCIS won’t face RFE. Even when facing RFE, the pass rate is as high as 97%. How to stay prepared? Read our post on Day 1 CPT & REF: Stay Ready for an RFE while Enjoying Day 1 CPT to get a head start.

Overall, the benefits trump the risks if you choose day 1 CPT. If you still have questions or concerns, talk to our experts. They have helped more than 2000 F1 students get their CPT work authorization. Many of them successfully stayed in the U.S. after graduation and secured H1B. Day 1 CPT could well be a solid first step of your U.S. work journey.

Have more questions regarding day 1 CPT or day 1 CPT universities? We are here to help:

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