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International Student Funding & Documentation Requirements

International students in F-1 or J-1 status must demonstrate that they have access to funds sufficient to support their studies in the U.S. Students will need to show evidence of funding when requesting an initial certificate of eligibility (Form I-20 or DS-2019) from OIS, when applying for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, and when making certain updates to their immigration record. The information below will help you understand how much funding you need to show and how to properly document the sources.

2021-22 estimated expenses by program Heading link

Please see below for a table of estimated expenses by degree level and program type. The total column reflects the amount of funding needed for one academic year, which for most programs is nine months long. Some programs noted with an asterisk (*) require year-round enrollment, and therefore, reflect a funding amount in the total column for 12 months of study. Estimated expenses for programs noted with a double asterisk (**) are calculated based on range II tuition and fees.

International students requesting an initial Form I-20 for F-1 status must show evidence of funding equal to one year of study in the program.

Exchange visitors requesting an initial Form DS-2019 for J-1 status must show evidence of funding equal to the full length of the exchange visitor program.

Estimated expense categories Heading link

The cost of attending UIC as an international student is estimated by combining three categories: tuition and fees, living expenses, plus books and orientation. Amounts are based on figures provided by Student Financial Aid and Scholarships. While you may end up spending more or less across these categories based on your personal situation, the categories and amounts listed are non-negotiable for immigration purposes.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees estimates are based on a course load of 12 credits per semester and are subject to change without notice. You may end up enrolling for a smaller or larger course load based on your individual situation but you must still show evidence of funding equal or greater to the above amount in order to obtain your immigration documents.

Living Expenses

Estimates for living expenses cover only minimal essential expenditures for housing, food, transportation, and miscellaneous costs. Expenses for clothing, recreation, and incidentals are variable, and the cost of travel outside Chicago is not included. The amounts above reflect the bare minimum a student would need to live in Illinois. Many students spend more to meet their lifestyle.

Books & Orientation

The books and orientation estimate includes expenses for academic materials and the international arrival and orientation fee of $149 charged to your student account during your first term of enrollment at UIC.

Evidence of funding source and documentation requirements Heading link

You will document that you have adequate funding from acceptable sources by providing copies of your financial statements to OIS. When preparing your evidence of funding, please keep the following in mind:

  • Documents should clearly show the financial institution’s name, account holder’s name, and account type(s).
  • The account balance must be clearly listed and include the currency type.
  • The document must be issued no more than six months prior to the date of submission to OIS.
  • The document must include a signature or stamp from the bank.
  • The document must be in English or accompanied by an official English translation.
  • A combination of accounts from different account holders is acceptable, provided all accounts/documents reflect liquid assets that can quickly be converted to cash.

Please see below for a list of account types we can and cannot accept for I-20 or DS-2019 issuance, along with sample bank letters showing the type of information we will need to see on your evidence of funding documents. If you want to submit evidence of funding from an account type not listed below, please connect with OIS for guidance.

  • Certificates of Deposit, Fixed Deposits, Fixed Term Certificate of Deposits, Time Deposits, and Term Deposits
  • Checking Accounts
  • Foreign Exchange Accounts
  • Education Loans – It must be evident that the person is pre-approved or approved for the loan.
  • Bonds – The maturity date or value date must be clearly listed and be before the first day of the semester.
  • Provident Funds – The amount available for withdrawal must be stated in the letter.
  • Savings Accounts – All forms of savings accounts will be accepted, including demand deposit, current accounts, and money market accounts.
  • Scholarship Award Letters – An official letter from the sponsoring agency must clearly state the terms of the scholarship, such as tuition, fees, and books and living expenses provided. If the scholarship includes a stipend, it must state the dollar amount per month.
  • University Funding – students admitted to programs that provide University funding in the form of assistantships, fellowships, tuition waivers or other forms of scholarship may wish to delay submission until an official letter of appointment or offer has been issued by the academic department. If the funding provided by your academic department does not cover the total amount listed in the estimated expenses table above, you will need to submit evidence of personal funds to cover the difference between your award and the full amount required. If funding from your academic department is not guaranteed, and you intend to attend the University even without funding, it may be best to submit the documents as soon as possible to avoid delays with obtaining your visa. This will not affect any funding decisions from your academic program.
  • Business Accounts
  • Chartered Accounts – statements from accountants.
  • Demat Accounts – used for the trade of stocks, securities, and debentures.
  • Insurance Policies
  • Retirement Funds
  • Salary Statements
  • Solvency Certificate – summary of all assets including bank accounts, DE deposits, bonds, property, salary, etc.
  • Stock Market Funds – including mutual funds, equity funds/accounts, and yield funds.

FAQs Heading link

Here are some frequently asked questions about international student funding and documentation requirements.