International students need to show proof of funds to receive I-20 from SEVIS approved U.S. Universities or colleges. Sometimes they have to borrow money to get bank statement to get I-20.
Students can attend F-1 Visa interview only after they receive I-20 in hand. It’s not always possible for a family in India to have $50,000 in a bank account. Some people can’t afford to show that kind of money without an Education Loan.
For getting education loan, I-20 is required. So, what’s the solution? Some people use agents, who would lend money for few days to get a bank statement.
Borrow Money from Agent for Bank Statement
Here’s a question from a reader.
I have completed my Engineering in India with GPA 9.26 from NMIT, Bangalore and joined started working for Dell. I am very much interested in learning new things and gaining more and more knowledge.
I’m interested in studying abroad, hence took up a GRE training from Princeton Review for old format GRE, sadly due delay in receiving my passport, I could not write GRE in the old pattern.
But I, rescheduled my GRE to the new format and prepared from official ETS and Barrons GRE and scored 307/340 (160 in quant and 147 in verbal).
My father is a railway employee and cannot afford the fees for MS in the USA. I get a monthly salary of Rs 21,000 in which I can save up to 10,000 Rs per month.
I want to do higher studies where I can get excellent exposure, facilities, knowledge gain and return of investment.
Recently few of my friends have gone to do MS in the US for Fall semester. They said I need a minimum of 40 lakhs for two years of M.S. ( about $50,000 for two years).
If that is true, then my dream of doing MS is shattered.
Is there any way where I can do MS with an Initial amount of 5 lakhs in hand (can use some illegal way to show 20 lakhs in my account and then taken back).
I can do all sort of small jobs for sustaining day to day life in the US.
In this scenario, I’m ready to give 4 hours per week for preparation for GRE and willing to take up GRE in for Fall semester. Please guide me and give me some suggestions that I can implement so that I fulfill my DREAM.
Bank Balance and Cost of Education
A lot of students when trying to understand about total expenses for education in the USA have to go through this phase. You are going to run into a similar situation where, you will feel shattered and helpless. But, when you take the time to understand the expenses involved and how student sin the USA manage their fees, your fear will vanish.
Your father is in Indian Railways. I know it’s tough to pay for your education when income from Railway job would be just enough to pay for your family expenses. But, so many lower-middle-class families have found ways to send them to U.S.A.
Is it true that you might have to spend $40,000 for MS?
Yes, in worst case scenario, you might have to spend $40,000. When applying for admission, universities will require showing bank balance for first year fees and expenses.
Your first-year fees and living expense as per I-20 will be between $20,000 and above.
- Identity required bank balance and made arrangements for the bank balance.
So, you have to get the letter from bank with a balance higher than first year expenses. In reality, most students don’t have that kind of money sitting in the bank account.
Options for Bank Statement
- Borrow money from relatives for few days, get the bank statement and return the cash.
- Using agents, who would give you the loan for few days to get bank statements (not advised).
You would ask, would universities verify the bank statement submitted for the proof of finances? I have seen that happen. Even if you had your money and distribute it after few days, what’s going to happen.
Most students from India do this. They, pool the money from various sources, then get a statement and redistribute it. Sometimes, universities would ask a Bank Affidavit in addition to bank statement ( check required documents for I-20)
GRE Score and Admission
Your score of 307 is just above average. You can prepare for GRE for another 3 to 4 months and retake GRE by December.
Improve your score to 320+.
With good GRE Score, you can try to get admission with financial aid or scholarship. When you have financial aid, then you don’t have to show bank balance during the visa interview.
If you get 100% scholarship that pays for your tuition and stipend for living expense, then you can attend the interview without worrying about bank balance.
Improve Academic Profile
High GRE score combined with significant personal and academic profile will improve your chances to get admission with financial aid. For students and entry-level engineers, often ask how to improve my academic profile?
In India, we don’t have the concept of working as intern or research associate with companies or professors. Only very few students try hard to work as an intern. But, there is a way to get that experience while in school.
You must have heard about the outsourcing. But, I’m talking about outsourcing in small-scale.
I have this blog, and I need to get some work done, say to design a logo. It would cost over $500 to hire a designer to design a logo here in the USA. So, instead of spending $500, I can hire a designer for $50 in India, or other countries get same quality of work done. Look at sites like Upwork.com
If you can work for 50 to 100 hours, that will add value to your academic profile.
- Go to the site Upwork.com now
- Create a profile
- Apply for a job
For first few jobs, you should quote offer lower hourly rate than the job posting. It will help you build your feedback and work experience.
It may not be possible for you to afford you the education in the USA right away. But, if you get Financial Aid, then you can make it work.