Frequently Asked Questions
Below are frequently asked questions (FAQs) that students often ask us. Click the questions below to find out more information.
- What is the difference between Credit and Continuing Education ESOL classes?
- Should I take classes as a Credit or CE student?
- How much does it cost to take classes at LSC-North Harris?
- Is financial aid available?
- When do classes take place?
- How do I know which level to take?
- How do I get an F-1 student visa?
- How do I get to the North Harris campus?
- What housing options are available?
- How do I get a Student ID?
Q: What is the difference between Credit and Continuing Education ES0L classes?
A: Credit ES0L classes are designed for students who plan to continue studying an academic career. They prepare students for a university level of English proficiency. Students can earn "institutional credits," which can qualify them as "full-time" students for purposes of receiving health insurance or financial aid.
Continuing Education (CE) ES0L classes are the same classes, but without academic credit. CE is designed for students who want to study English for self-improvement or for professional development for their job. The CE student receives Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) and a certificate upon successful completion of the course.
Q: Should I take classes as a Credit or CE student?
A: For the Academic ESOL program, it is better if you can register as a Credit student. Citizens, permanent residents, and students with eligible visas, such as an F-1, H-1B, or H-4 visa, register as Credit. Students with a high school diploma or GED who need English for college may sign up though Credit. Students who meet the requirements of Texas law SB-1528 (3 years living in Texas before receiving a high school diploma or GED) can also sign up through Credit. Students with a B-1 or B-2 visa (tourist or business visa), or those with ineligible or expired visas must take ESOL classes as a CE student.
Q: How much does it cost to take classes at LSC-North Harris?
A: Lone Star College is one of the most affordable community colleges in the state of Texas. Tuition rates at LSC change periodically. They vary depending on your status and location. Credit students pay different tuition rates according to their "Texas residency," which is defined as someone who has lived in Texas for a minimum of 12 months. Texas residents who live within the college district boundaries pay $207 per course. Residents who live "out of district" pay over $400 per course. International students pay over $450 per course. A "full-time load" is four courses, or 12 credits. Click here to visit Lone Star’s tuition and fees page for more information on tuition rates. All CE students pay $207 per course. Additionally, all students pay an "infrastructure fee" of $20 once a semester.
Q: Is financial aid available?
A: There are many forms of financial aid available to students, including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. Financial aid is available only to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Payment plans are available for students as well. Click here for more information about how to apply for financial aid.
Q: When do Academic ESOL classes take place?
A: LSC-North Harris offers both morning and evening Academic ESOL classes. Our fall and spring semesters are 16 weeks long. The fall semester runs from late August to mid December. Spring semester runs from mid January to mid May. Students may also take classes during our 10-week summer semester, which runs from early June to mid August. Click here for the most up-to-date calendar information.
Q: How do I know which level to take?
A: Students who register for the first time in the ES0L courses are required to take a placement test called the Compass ESL. The Compass ESL is a computer-based test that includes listening, reading, and writing. Students will also be asked to do a writing sample. ESOL faculty consider students’ Compass ESL scores as well as their writing sample when making placement decisions.
The Compass ESL can be taken at the LSC-North Harris Assessment Center, which is located in the Academic Building, Room 102. The full test costs $29 and takes about two hours. Click here for more information about the Assessment Center and the Compass ESL
Q: How do I get an F-1 student visa?
A: The Academic ESOL program is authorized to issue the I-20 form that a student needs to obtain an F-1 student visa for full-time intensive English study. You can apply for an F-1 visa in your native country from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, or you can apply for or change your current visa to an F-1 visa in this country by contacting our International Student Advisor, Juanita Garcia, 281.618.5716. Click here to visit Lone Star College's International Student Services, which provides information for both new and current international students.
Q: How do I get to the North Harris campus?
A: LSC-North Harris physical address is 2700 W.W. Thorne Drive, Houston, TX, 77073. The college is located about 30 miles north of the City of Houston. It is just east of I-45 and just south of FM 1960. Click here for a map that shows its location within the Lone Star College System. For a more detailed map of LSC-North Harris as well as a campus map, click here.
The majority of our students drive to school. Students can also use Metro, our public bus transportation system. Bus 86 travels down FM 1960 and comes directly to the North Harris campus. It connects with other bus routes around Houston. Click here to visit Metro’s homepage to find the best bus route from your home to school.
Q: What housing options are available?
A: Lone Star College does not provide student housing at any of its campuses. Students can view apartment ads in the classified section of the Houston Chronicle, our local newspaper. Greensheet is another free newspaper that lists apartments for rent. Students can also use an “apartment locator,” which is a company that helps people find an apartment. Apartment locators do not charge for their services—they are free. Some apartment locators in Houston include:
Houston Apartment Finders http://www.apartmentfinderhouston.com
Apartment Locators http://www.apartmentlocators.com
Apartment List http://www.apartmentlist.com
Rent Lingo http://www.rentlingo.com
Q: How do I get a Student ID?
A: Students at North Harris who have registered and paid for a class go to the Business Office for a "ticket" to get their Student ID. Students take the ticket to the Library’s Circulation Desk, which is located on the 2nd floor of the Library building, to get their ID.