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Required Financial Documents for International Students

International Students are required to file financial documents along with their admission 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 universities.

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, Life Insurance Policies are normally mentioned here.

Some Universities 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 universities requirements on these and show the funds accordingly.Each university has it’s own cost structure.Select the universities 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 Universities.

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 university 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 universities 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 University’s 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 university unless the assistantship is granted you 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 universities 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 adviser 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.

Good Luck


Calculating Costs

Note that the yearly costs given below are rough estimates. Costs such as
tuition and fees will vary between different schools. Costs such as travel
and room and board will vary between different cities in the US.
Also, you should assume about a 5% increase per year for each cost. This is
due to inflation.

Tuition will be the largest component of your education cost. It will vary
widely between different schools, so it is best for you to refer to the
schools where you are planning to apply to get a realistic amount. As a very
rough guideline, the cost for tuition can range from $10,000 to $35,000 per
year. Public schools will typically charge lower tuition than private
schools, and community colleges usually have the lowest tuition costs of all
public schools.

Room and board
This is normally the second largest component of your education cost. The
cost for room and board can also vary widely between schools, so you should
check with the schools where you are planning to apply to get the right
estimate. A rough guideline is between $3,000 and $9,000. If you are
considering living off campus and getting your own apartment, you will also
need to calculate the cost of furnishing that apartment, paying your monthly
utilities (such as electricity), and the cost of transportation to and from
school. The most practical and economical choice for a first year
international student is often to live on campus with a roommate at least
for the first semester. You should note that residence halls will often
close during the summer. If you will not be returning to your home country
during that time, you will have to find alternate housing.

In addition to tuition, most colleges and universities will also charge
fees, such as student activity fees.
These help to support student clubs and organizations on campus. They are
usually relatively small, only a few hundred dollars per year.

Books and supplies
Students must pay for all their text books, as well as supplies such as
notebooks, paper, pens, etc. You can sometimes lower this cost by buying
used books from the school’s bookstore. A good estimate for this cost is
between $500 and $1,500. It will be cheaper to take books from India.

Medical insurance
Because the cost of healthcare in the US is very high, many schools require
international students to purchase medical insurance. It is a very good idea
to buy insurance even if your school does not require it to protect yourself
from extremely high medical bills should you become ill or has an accident.
A comprehensive insurance policy (which covers doctor’s visits, medication,
hospitalization, and surgery) will cost between $500 and $1,000 for one

You should calculate how much it will cost you to travel between your school
and your home country. You will need to determine how many times during the
length of your education you will go home and multiply that by the cost of
airplane fare between the two locations.

Personal expenses
These expenses include clothing, entertainment, and telephone bills. This
will vary depending on where you will live and on your personal lifestyle;
therefore, it is difficult to provide an estimate.

When preparing a budget, you will need to account for the following costs:

Application fees average $50 to $100 per school For Business Schools it is
almost 100% more.
Academic entrance examinations will cost you about $130 to $200 per
examination, and most students take at least two tests. Assume that you will
be spending at least $500 on tests.
Tuition and fees will cost between $5,000 and $30,000 per academic year
(nine months), depending on the type and quality of institution.
Books and study materials will cost $500 to $1,000 per academic year.
Travel costs to the US vary, but will be between $500 and $2,000. Travel
costs within the US will be between $500 and $1000.
Room and Board will cost between $3,000 and $7,500 per academic year.
Allow an extra $1,000 to $2,000 for vacation periods when the dormitory
might be closed.
If you will be living off campus, the cost of renting an apartment will be
between $300 and $600 a month, but could be substantially higher depending
on the location of the school. Meals should cost about $2,500 a year,
assuming that you do not eat in restaurants too frequently.
Clothing will cost $500 or more a year.
Health insurance will cost $500 to $1000 a year for one person, $2,000 to
$3,500 for a family.
Personal expenses will cost about $2,000 a year.
If you bring other family members with you, assume that your annual expenses
will increase by about 15% or $5,000 for each additional family member.
If you intend to buy a car, assume that it will cost you about $4,000 a
If you will be traveling during the summer, assume a cost of $50 to $75 a
day for tourist activities. If you will be continuing your education during
the summer, add half the figure you calculated for the academic year.
Assume that your costs will increase by about 5% per year due to inflation.
Don\’t forget to include an allowance of about 10% to account for
fluctuations in exchange rates.
Use the financial planning worksheet to estimate your costs for a year of
study in the US. Be realistic when estimating costs for personal expenses.

Financial Planning Worksheet

Estimated Cost

Application and Test Fees $____________
Tuition and Fees $____________
Books $____________
Travel to US $____________
Room and Board $____________
Expenses when school is closed $____________
Clothing $____________
Personal expenses $____________
Health insurance $____________
Summer study or travel $____________
Additional family members $____________
Other $____________
TOTAL FOR ONE YEAR $____________
Multiply the total by the number of years in your program (___)
U.S.A. Cost/AID Facts
The cost of Study (Tuition and fees) in USA varies from $10000 to $35000 per
year. The cost of living depends on location. For example States like
Washington, California and area around New York is costly.

In general for Students from countries like India, Bangladesh, China, Taiwan
the cost of living may vary from $4000 to $9000.It is assumed that students
will live in shared Apartments, Live out of Campus and have less Telephone
bills and other expenses are at bay. Most of (nearly) all expenses can be
met while working on Campus Jobs. The hourly pay for on Campus jobs Pay from
$5.15 to $12 per hour. Foreign Students can work for 20 hrs per week and 40
hrs per week during summer. Students may be allowed to work out Campus
after nine months of their arrival at USA.Students receiving any type of AID
TA/RA/Fellowship or GA need not have to worry about costs. But Students not
receiving any AID must come prepared for Tuition fees and Living cost for
initial 2-3 months.


I have attempted to address here some concerns of prospective Masters students with regard to the GMAT and GRE examinations, and the respective Masters courses that they subsequently wish to pursue.
Past experience has proven that the vast majority of students that wish to do a Masters programme, or a MBA, have little idea about the complexities of the process of application to a university for a Masters programme. Thus the reason for these answers.
What this group has endeavored to do is to save you, the student, valuable time looking around for the most appropriate Masters program available and help you in applying.

1: Do I need to take the GMAT or GRE examination?
Practically any decent Masters course at practically any decent university will definitely require the GMAT or GRE examination score. Yes, many great universities, such as Stanford advertise their Masters by saying that the GMAT score is not absolutely necessary, or that a score of around 650/800 is acceptable, but the reality is that they will not even look at you unless you have a GMAT and the score is around 720/800! Universities use this ploy to attract more applicants. So beware of such tactics.

2: How important is my Grade Point Average (GPA) in comparison/combination with my GMAT/GRE score?

Naturally your GPA is a very important determining factor in securing a place on a Masters programme.
Note, however, to avoid disappointment, that if a university asks for a GPA of more than 7.0 out of 10 or 3.5 out of 4.0 (from an American-based university) then generally that is exactly what they mean.
Many think that 6.8 is near enough 7, or 3.3 is near enough 3.5, only to discover, too late in most cases, that it is not, and a letter of rejection waiting in their mail boxes. Do not assume anything. Make the effort to write e-mails/letters to the appropriate person to clarify the exact entry requirements.
Likewise for the GMAT-GRE scores. If a university stipulates that it wants a score in excess of 580, for example, that is exactly what they want. 570 will not do.I have personally witnessed applicants making the above assumptions only to find that they have been rejected.If you are applying to any half-decent university you will definitely need good a GPA and a strong GMAT-GRE score. Below I have posted a number of links to useful sites to exemplify the point.Therefore, the answer to the question is that both your strong GPA and your strong
GMAT/GRE score are extremely important factors in determining whether you will accepted for a Masters course. It almost goes without saying that the better the university the higher the requirements. As a general guideline I would be very suspicious of Masters programs that do not demand GMAT/GRE scores since the most obvious conclusion that one can make is that the courses are not very competitive and you should not expect to have great career prospects having graduated from such a Masters.

Question 3. When should I select the Program and the universities I wish to apply.

I am of the opinion that this should be done prior to your sitting for GMAT/GRE exam.
One it will be clear to you what scores you require to go to your dream university. Thus you will have a target and you need not take the exam repeatedly.
Second you will save money on score reporting.

Question 4: On what basis should I choose a Masters/MBA programme?
Well obviously you want to choose the best possible programme since this ought to give you the greatest employment prospects. There are rankings for Masters and MBAs that are published by various different publications and are provided in the group Files Section.
These rankings give a good general guideline and you will be sure to see familiar names at the top such as Stanford, Berkeley, MIT,Harvard, Wharton,LBS, LSE, Insead and so on. Their positions may vary slightly from year to year but they are always at the top and everyone in the business world knows them, and identifies them with quality.
So just how do you choose the best possible course? Well, firstly you have to be realistic. It is not easy getting into one of the big name
universities unless you have a GPA of more than, let\’s say 7.8/10 or 3.7/4 and a GMAT score of at least 680. Do not delude yourselves. If you do not have such scores then you will just have to lower your aim. There are a surprising number of quality Masters programs at universities that many undergraduate students have not heard of yet provide excellent quality and almost guarantee jobs before completing the Masters programme. Business leaders, and employers generally, will undoubtedly know about such universities and the particular Masters on offer. So just because you have not heard of a university do not be put off. After all the reason you are doing a Masters is to increase your job prospects. Having said that, there is also the type of Masters you should pursue. Do not just pick anything that takes your fancy. You have to be constantly thinking whether you are going to be more attractive to a prospective employer with that particular Masters in the future. Thus you have to seriously think about what sort of
job you see yourself doing. Some Masters are particularly \”hot\” such as Finance (with an emphasis on Financial mathematics) or an MBA with an emphasis on e-commerce. There are many others but there are also those that have saturated the markets such as a Masters in marketing, unless, of course you happened to have picked it up from a university like Stanford. So think objectively and realistically about which Masters you really want to do and spend enough time surfing the Internet to investigate all possibilities -you may be surprised by what you find. In conclusion, if I had to give one piece of advice with regard to choosing a university it would be: NAME, NAME, NAME.

Question 5: When should I take the GMAT/GRE examination?
The simple answer is as soon as possible. Unfortunately most students leave the GMAT or GRE until the last minute and do it in a rush which certainly does not make for great results. To be sure that you get the highest possible score allow yourself at least three months to prepare yourself, and be prepared to work and practice extremely hard over that three-month period. Ideally you should take the GMAT-GRE at least a year before you think about exactly which Masters you intend to pursue. Remember the examinations are valid for a five-year period. Students who come thinking that the GMAT-GRE can be conquered in a very limited time period are going to be sorely disappointed and severely punished in the real examination. It is simply something that you cannot rush. So take action and think about doing a GMAT-GRE course at the earliest opportunity to avoid disappointment.


Applying Tips