You must be preparing to file your applications. Here are some tips on Financial Documents which may help you.
1.Financial Statements what they are?
Financial statements are meant to show to the universities that you or your sponsor have enough liquidity to finance your study and living expenses while you are a student in the American University.
This is a requirement by law and you have to provide it . There is no waiver on this score.
2.What does liquidity imply?
Cash in the saving bank account,Fixed deposits in the bank,savings in the post office accounts. I call these as “Pure Liquid Assets” and if you have these then there is no hassle with the univs.
People who do not have enough funds in the above do group some allied items in their Financial Statements. These I call as “Allied Liquid Assets”. Demat accounts, PF, LIC policies are normally mentioned here.
Some Univs do accept the Allied Assets and some do not. It is a matter of convincing the univs.
3.How much funds need to be shown?
You have to show two semesters cost comprising of Fees,living and miscellaneous expenses.
Check the univs requirements on these and show the funds accordingly.Each univ has it’s own cost structure.Select the univs you want to apply and prepare the documents showing the highest expenses. This is done in order that you use the same Financial statement for all your Univs.
Note Read below “What if you I target for assistantship”
4.How to prepare the affidavit?
The affidavit of support should be on a stamp paper and attested by a Notary Public after your sponsor signs it.
This is done to impress the univ otherwise it has no legal standing in USA.
The affidavit should carry supporting documents from your(sponsors) bank certifying the amount you are having in your account. For FDs get another certificate. Similarly for other items.
Remember that you are targeting several univs. This implies that all your affidavits and bank certificates should be sent in original to each univ. So prepare as many as you intend applying plus one or two more. Preferably send the Univs financial forms along with your affidavit
5. When should the financial affidavit be sent?
It is best to send it along with the application. This helps the university. Sending it later some times causes hassles to coordinate the documents.
However if you are not prepared with them you can send these documents later when the univ asks for them. This will not affect your admission decision.
6.What if I target for assistantship?
If you are targeting for assistantship and are confident that you will get it and have decided not to go to a particular univ unless the assistantship is granted need not send the financial documents initially.
If any assistantship is granted you can reduce the amount of grant from the required finances and prepare the document accordingly.
7. I do not have funds so how should I go about?
People propagate several unethical ways do this. I do not.
Maybe with experience I have mellowed down .
Enough to say that I know some univs do verify with the banks about your documents. If you are caught on the wrong foot then there is no one to save you. The advisor shall not come forward nor the person who prepared the documents for you.
I can only comment that there are legal ways to overcome this difficulty. Use your ingenuity.
To this I will add that over 50% of persons who aspire to study abroad face this difficulty and your are not unique in this.
Think and you will find a correct and legal way out.
8.What is the period of validity of these documents?
About 4-6 months.
9. Can I use these financial documents for Visa purpose?
Yes and No.
While you must carry these documents while going for visa however it will be prudent to prepare separate documents when you go for visa.
More on this later.