University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

New Students


Preparing Your Financial Certification Form

Your financial certification form must be completed before the University of Minnesota can issue your I-20 or DS-2019 form.

The financial certification must anticipate the minimum amount of funds needed to cover your educational and living expenses for at least 12 months, with the expectation that you have sufficient funds available for the length of your degree program. You must have funds available equal to or above these expected costs, including any increases in the cost of tuition.

The University and the U.S. government hold you responsible for the information you provide on the financial certification form. If you do not have the funds available to cover these costs, you should defer your enrollment until you obtain adequate funding.

Planning For Your Immediate Expenses

When planning for arrival, make sure to bring sufficient funds to pay your immediate expenses, such as a security deposit for rent, two months' room and board, phone and electricity charges, and, possibly, the purchase of warm clothing.

We recommend that you open a bank account in the United States soon after your arrival . Money for your tuition, fees, mandatory health insurance, and ongoing living expenses can be transferred into that account from overseas.

If you are a graduate student with an assistantship, your first paycheck will most likely be issued a month after the start of your assistantship. Therefore, you should bring funds to cover your initial expenses.

Your assistantship may not cover all your expenses, so make sure to plan your budget and calculate how much additional money you may need for the rest of the year. Keep in mind that the total value of your appointment may be subject to a deduction of, as much as, 28 percent to cover taxes on the value of your tuition waiver.

Carrying Cash Into the United States

If you choose to bring large amounts of money with you, we recommend that you carry traveler's checks rather than cash.  Do not carry money in your luggage; keep it on your person at all times. 

Important: If you carry $10,000 USD or more (or the foreign equivalent) in cash or checks, you must file a report with U.S. Customs when you enter the United States. The U.S. government allows you to carry any amount of currency or other monetary instruments into the United States but failure to report amounts above $10,000 may result in confiscation of these funds by the U.S. government. If you are traveling with family members, including your parents, your family should file a family declaration listing all of the funds being brought into the U.S. if the total amount is $10,000 or above.