Change of status from H4 to F1 - Does university matter?


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My wife is on H4 status and she has bachelors degree from India. We want to apply for her change of status from H4 to F1. She is planning to join an online university for Masters program in Summer 2017 on F1 status. We have 4 options of obtaining I-20 and applying for change of status.

option i) Apply for Summer 2017 in the online university and apply for change of status submitting the I-20 from online university. Does applying for change of status with an I-20 from an online university raise questions in the minds of USCIS officers?

option ii) Join a local university for Masters program in Spring 2017 as full time student (she has admission and I-20 from a local reputed university) and apply for COS. Once it is approved, transfer to online university in Summer 2017. 

option iii) Apply for COS in Jan 2017 with the I20 from local reputed University without enrolling in any classes. Can we do this? This university does not have summer intake, so if we defer the admission, we will have to wait until Fall 2017 to obtain F1 status.

option iv) A local community college is offering admission with Associate degree for Summer 2017. Apply for COS by submitting I20 from the local community college and then transfer to online university in Summer 2017.

My question is does the university whose I20 we submit for Change of status play a role in its approval process? We are trying to avoid joining the local university and pay a semester's fee just for the sake of F1 status, but are we risking the Change of approval chances by doing so? what do you suggest? 

Thank you for your advice?

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Your spouse cannot join an online university on F-1 status. Why can't she study on H-4 status if the intent is only for studying? University choice plays an important role during COS. You don't want to take any chances with your spouse status in US. This will also have a negative impact for all future applications including I-485.

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