Certification of finances for grad school application? - IHOG: International House of Grads - The GradCafe Forums
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Certification of finances for grad school application?


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In a few weeks, I'll be formally starting my applications to several (10) American graduate schools for Ph.D. programs in Mathematics. I'm Canadian, so I'll need to apply for an F-1 Visa to study in the States, and provide schools with certification that I have the funds to finance at least a year.

What I've noticed is that while some schools (such as UC Berkeley) only require a proof of finances after you are submitted (and, presumably, have been awarded fellowships, assistantships, etc), others are vague or seem to require it with the application itself (UIUC for example). At this moment, I have no way of coming up with the $45-50k that most schools are estimating without significant funding from the school; I have no debt, but I have only a few thousand to my name, and my parents are not able to support me financially. I've applied for an NSERC PGS, but I won't hear back about that for some time.

I know that I'll need to contact the individual schools, but have others around here had experience with this? Is it generally okay to withhold financial information from the school until you get confirmation of funding from them?

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Yes - I've done this.

Most schools will indeed not care about your finances until after you've been accepted and decided to attend there. You have to prove you have sufficient funding to qualify for the F-1 visa, but it's not really relevant before then.

For the few schools that nonetheless required that I provide information about my finances, I either said I would need funding to attend (if there was such an option) or otherwise indicated that I had very little money to fund myself (can't remember if I put '0' or some other low amount like '$100'). For me, it was clear that I wouldn't attend a school that didn't offer me enough funding, so I wasn't worried about being rejected because I couldn't self-fund. I was never going to do that anyway.

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My case was quite similar. Some schools didn't ask for a financial statement, others asked for one but offered you the possibility to check the box that said "I depend on the school's financial aid to attend" and one asked for the actual amount of money available. I gave an approximate amount, which wasn't enough even to support me for 3 months.

I wouldn't worry too much about it, anyway. As fuzzylogician said, as long as you can proof that you have funds when you're applying for the visa, you're fine. And by then you should already know whether you're getting financial aid from the school.

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Thanks guys.

I contacted UIUC's Math department, and if anyone is curious, I was told that a declaration of $3300 is sufficient, so long as indicate that I will require funding to enroll. It seem that, likely, other universities that require a declaration of finances *with* the application will be similar.

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Thanks guys.

I contacted UIUC's Math department, and if anyone is curious, I was told that a declaration of $3300 is sufficient, so long as indicate that I will require funding to enroll. It seem that, likely, other universities that require a declaration of finances *with* the application will be similar.

Good! See? You really didn't have to worry that much about it :-)

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Hi guys... I need some help. I was conditionally accepted to a couple of MPAs but, since I am an international applicant, I need to provide evidence of enough money so they can send the official admission letter (the one needed to get the visa and apply for scholarships in my country). Does this mean I was not awarded any funding by the department?

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Hi guys... I need some help. I was conditionally accepted to a couple of MPAs but, since I am an international applicant, I need to provide evidence of enough money so they can send the official admission letter (the one needed to get the visa and apply for scholarships in my country). Does this mean I was not awarded any funding by the department?

No, that's not what it means. You should receive an offer from your department first, then figure out how much money the grad. office expects you to come up with, then you can work on getting a bank statement or any other proof of financial support. When you get these documents, you just need to send them to the grad. office so that they can process your admission. I hope it makes sense.

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You should receive an offer from your department first, then figure out how much money the grad. office expects you to come up with, then you can work on getting a bank statement or any other proof of financial support.

@Melo thanks for your reply. However, I am still confused because on the email I received form the Graduate School it says, literally, that they cannot issue the official letter of admission until I have sent proof of adequate funding for the first year of the degree and it says how much will the cost of attendance be... So I should still wait to see if a was awarded something before submitting the bank statement?

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@Melo thanks for your reply. However, I am still confused because on the email I received form the Graduate School it says, literally, that they cannot issue the official letter of admission until I have sent proof of adequate funding for the first year of the degree and it says how much will the cost of attendance be... So I should still wait to see if a was awarded something before submitting the bank statement?

See, your letter is from the graduate school, so, you should also receive one from your program with the funding package details. Maybe they haven't decided on that yet? Once you get that from your dpt, things will go smoothly, so don't worry :)

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See, your letter is from the graduate school, so, you should also receive one from your program with the funding package details. Maybe they haven't decided on that yet? Once you get that from your dpt, things will go smoothly, so don't worry :)

Oh I get it now... Thanks very much! I guess I'll have to wait a little more

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