Converting H4 to F1 and eligibility for OPT


I am on H4 visa since March 2012. I am planning to study Masters in Finance program starting in Spring January 2013. I had enquired the school admission office regarding studying on an H4 status, and they told me I can study on an H4 but in order to be eligible for OPT I should have completed 1 year of study as full time student with the university. But they mentioned that I should be on a F1 visa for that one year, is this true? Can I not convert my visa status later on to be eligible for OPT/CPT?

Please help answer, I looked online and found the information confusing! Appreciate your valuable responses!

DSO is correct. to be eligible for OPT u need to be on F1 for 1 year.

College DSO is the best person to answer this ( which he/she has done)!

The “one full academic year” requirement may be satisfied while in another nonimmigrant category, not just while in F-1 status.

Source - USCIS

My friend is in the same situation. Univ has rejected OPT since she is on F1 for 6 months only but has been a full time student on H4 BEFORE this F1 status. I am looking for the actual legal reference.

H4 do not qualify for OPT program and so any time spent on H4 do not qualify to be counted against the time spend in college to be eligible for OPT.