International students should send Bank statement for University admisison to receive I20 (or financial affidavit) for both Undergraduate and Graduate school applications in the U.S. An Form I-20 will be issued for international students only after the applicant’s bank statement is received by a university.
Today, the topic of interest is all about bank statements when applying for admission in American universities.
1. Why do colleges and universities ask for bank statement for admisison and I20 issuance?
The U.S. Education is expensive. It is considered expensive even by local American students. This is why universities want to make sure that students who apply for admission have enough financial resources to cover for the cost of education.
2. How much bank balance must be declared while applying at graduate schools?
For international students, universities typically ask for bank statements that show proof to cover at least the 1st year of college expenses. Even if you are going to study for 2, 4 or 5 years, they need to show bank balance for 1 year of expenses. One year expenses include tuition fee, living expenses, books, and health insurance.
Couple of Examples:
3. How long should the balance should be in the account for graduate school admission?
As long as you need to get the sufficient number of bank statements (on original letter head with the bank seal and manager’s signature).
Some of them would have accounts in different banks and in different currencies. In that case, you must transfer money from your different banks into one bank to get a single bank statement.
4. What if part of my money is in the form of Fixed Deposit/CD and part as cash?
It’s necessary that you have the required minimum bank balance in cash in your bank account.
If 50% is under a Savings Account and 50% is as CD or Fixed Deposit, you can get a bank statement that declares you have cash in 2 different forms and the total is equal to 100% in one single statement.
5. What should be the contents of the bank statement?
- Name of your Sponsor
- Relationship to the Sponsor
- Type of Account(s)
- Current Balance (in local currency Rupees, Euro, Yen, etc.)
- Equivalent in U.S. Dollars
- Conversion Rate used for calculation (Say 1USD = INR 39).
Refer to How to get the Bank Statement for US College admission to get the template that you can use for your bank statements.
6. Do universities accept photocopies of bank statements?
You need to get bank statements in the original letterhead from the bank with Signature and Seal from the Bank Manager. Universities usually don’t accept photocopies of bank statements. Some colleges require Financial Affidavit form in addition to the bank statement.
7. Do colleges accept attested copies of bank statement?
No, even if it’s attested by the same bank manager they expect original statement. Why take the risk of sending photocopy when the universities had explicitly asked you to send original copies before the form I-20 can be issued?
8. When to send a bank statement? Is it along with graduate school application packet or after getting the acceptance letter?
It’s based on graduate school policy. Some universities would want you to send the bank statement only after you are admitted to the program. But, most colleges want the financial documents along with the other application documents.
Unless otherwise mentioned specifically to send bank statement after issuing acceptance, it’s always better to send the bank statement for graduate school admission along with other application documents to the graduate school.
This topic is discussed in detail at When to send the bank statements.
9. Can we get admission to a graduate school without sending a bank statement?
Please refer to the previous answer. If you couldn’t send a bank statement along with your application package, send a note along with your application documents stating that you will send bank statement within a specific period of time.
Some schools will consider your application packet to be incomplete unless they receive your bank statement.
10. How long is a bank statement valid?
Universities in the U.S. consider bank statements to be valid for 6 months from the date the document is issued. As such, you would need to take 2 bank statements to address your needs.
- Related: Validity of Bank Statements
One is for admission purposes and one for the visa interview. Even though both admission and visa come within 6 months, I would try to get a more recent bank statement while appearing for a visa interview.
11. At what stage of the graduate school application process the bank statement is used?
A bank statement is used to check if a student has enough financial resources to afford the cost of education in the U.S. And a school’s international office needs the financial proof so as to issue an I-20.
12. Does the location of the bank matter (city or village)?
Nope, not at all. As long as the bank statement is in English, the location of the bank doesn’t matter.
13. What if I don’t send the Bank Statement to the college?
Without a bank statement, your I20 cannot be issued. It’s required by the law for an international student to show proof of funds. You can get admission, but to get I20, you need the bank statement.
- How to get bank statement without a bank loan
- Impact of Getting bank statements from Agents
- Can I borrow money for Bank statement
These days, some universities like North Carolina State University would requires the student to send the bank statement only after receiving admission. In such instances, you can get admission, use the admission letter to get education loan, then send the bank statements.