It is the dream of international students to study at the US University. However, this big dream comes with a hefty price. US universities have a decisive criterion. International students have to show enough evidence that they have the financial ability to pay tuition fees and other charges
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Studying at US universities come with financial challenges
Studying in US universities can be a financially stressful experience. The international students can set their fit in the University campus only after receiving the acceptance letter. Without the acceptance letter, international students cannot complete the admission process.
International students can get the acceptance letter only when they prove that they can pay the tuition fees, buy textbooks, and cover all the living expenses for the next 3 to 4 years.
It all depends upon the DSO
DSI or the designated school official access the mediator between the school and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program.
What is a student and exchange visitor program?
The student and exchange visitor program is a government program to monitor if all the international students and schools follow the US rules and regulations.
The designated school official has a big responsibility on their shoulder. They have to check, analyze, and review all the financial documents before issuing the international students’ acceptance letter. The Form I-20 is the acceptance letter international students cannot enter the US University campus.
What is the I-20 certificate?
It is a certificate that proves that the international student is financially capable of covering all the education and living expenses.
Both graduate and undergraduate students have to prove that they have the financial ability to meet the schools’ requirements.
Once a student receives the I-20 form, he gets permission to apply for a student visa at the US immigration department.
The US government will check and evaluate the financial documents submitted by international students before reaching any decision. Unless the US government is sure that the documents are genuine, they are less likely to issue the much-coveted I-20 form. Their final decision depends on the students’ ability to pay for all the expenses.
How can international students improve their financial ability?
Well, international students can improve their financial ability in the following ways:
Financial aid letters
International students can show the bank statements of their parents, family members, relatives, on any other individual who is going to sponsor their education in the US.
US colleges want to know that international students have liquid cash to cover the expenses. Bank statements can quickly help to prove this point.
The easiest option for international students is to show the checking accounts’ bank statements to improve their financial affordability. But how much is enough? What is the exact amount to secure a place in the US University?
There is no fixed amount that international students need to have in their checking accounts. Plus, schools have different criteria. Some schools are ready to issue an I-20 form when they see that international students can cover the expenses for a minimum of one academic year. However, many schools are not ready to issue acceptance letters unless international students show evidence to cover the costs for around two years.
What does it mean?
It means that the international student has to have enough money in his checking account to cover all his living and education expenses for two academic years. This creates financial pressure on many international students as they do not have so many savings in their checking accounts.
Some international students are already working in their home countries. They can show a letter from their employer with the proper business hand to prove that they are employed. The letter should mention their annual salary. Otherwise, the US universities can’t get an idea about the financial affordability of the international student.
Caution: Even if international students are working in their home country, they shouldn’t quote any figure in the documents assuming that they will be working in the US also. That is a hypothetical figure. Plus, there is no assurance that the international student will get a job soon after entering the US.
Scholarships are yet another way to prove financial affordability. So, prospective international students can always show them. However, they should make sure that the language in the scholarships is translated or written in English so that the university can read and understand them. International students should make sure that all the financial papers are written in clear English so that there is no space for miscommunication.
If international students have lucrative investments in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, they can show them to the university to prove their financial affordability.
If you’re planning to study at the US University, you must check its official website to know what kind of financial documents you need to submit to receive the I-20 form.
What if the international students do not have the financial ability?
The financial condition of all international students is not the same. Many brilliant international students are not financially affluent to cover the living expenses and pay the US colleges’ expensive tuition fees.
Does that mean international students will not have any chance to study in US universities? Well, it is not necessarily so. There are opportunities for them also. As it is, education in US universities is a costly affair. Student loan debt is the highest debt in the US. Many domestic students are unable to pay off their student loan debt. So, it is quite expected that the international students’ condition is no way better than the domestic students of the country.
However, there are quite a few options for international students that they can explore. For example, they can apply for private student loans to cover their expenses. Otherwise, they can apply for financial grants that are available for international students. So it isn’t that cash-strapped international students do not have any chance to study in the US universities.