When students initially arrive, transfer schools, change academic levels, or change to an F-1 visa, they need to prove through a bank statement that they have enough money to afford the 1st year of studies for their program. On students’ I-20s, International Student Services reports a standard figure that we have calculated based on the average student’s stay. These numbers are based on tuition and fees, living expenses, and other costs (books, medical insurance, and personal costs). The actual number that is reported on the I-20 is not reflective of actual costs. Some students study in the summer, some are more frugal, others may live off campus, etc.
If you are wondering how much your bank statement needs to show, please contact ISS and we will give you the correct amount.
A bank statement needs to show the above amount depending on the program the student is applying for. CBT looks more fondly on newly arriving students if they have more funds than the exact amount shown on the I-20.
Please look at this document of what a good bank statement looks like. We do not need a list of transactions. We only need one final deposit number on a bank’s letterhead with a signature. The bank statement must be within 6 months of entry to the United States or within 6 months if you are transferring programs.
Many students cannot afford to study on their own funds. A bank statement from a family member or sponsor is perfectly normal. However, if the bank statement is not from an immediately family member, then that sponsor will also need to complete an affidavit of support in addition to the bank statement. It does not need to be notarized.