University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

International Student
Funding Program



Need-Based Academic Support

Need-Based Academic Support can provide financial support for degree-seeking international students enrolled at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities who have experienced financial challenges due to unforeseen circumstances. Depending on a student’s situation and need, Need-Based Academic Support can help with tuition, fees, and insurance costs.

Eligibility Requirements

Below is the eligibility criteria students should meet to receive Need-Based Academic Support financial assistance. Meeting these criteria does not guarantee that you will receive ISSS funding. If you do not meet all the criteria and have extenuating circumstances, you can still apply. Extenuating circumstances are considered, even if not all criteria are met.

  • Document that the financial support stated on your visa document/s changed unexpectedly and due to circumstances beyond your control.
  • Be admitted to and enrolled in a degree program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
  • Priority is given to students in the final stages of their degree program or who have a short-term financial need. Funding for short-term situations is not likely to be continued beyond a single semester.
  • Be registered for at least one credit.
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress.
  • Be in legal F-1 or J- 1 student status and have held this status for at least one year while attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
  • Completed at least one academic year in your current degree program for graduate/professional students, and two academic years for undergraduate students.
  • Not have received Need-Based Academic Support funding for another previous degree and/or major. Need-Based Academic Support may be received for only one degree program and one major during your studies at the U of MN.
  • Priority is given to students in Bachelor programs who have received funding for less than two years, Master's programs for less than one year, or Doctoral programs for less than two years.
  • If you need additional funding after any semester that you were awarded, you will need to apply again and meet the eligibility and funding criteria again. Receiving funding for one semester does not guarantee that it will be renewed in the future.
  • Priority is given to students who are employed and submit an Verification of Employment form. Students should remain employed if awarded ISSS funding.
    NOTE: All international students should consult an ISSS advisor before seeking employment off-campus.
  • Spend reasonably and frugally. Excessive and non-essential spending (e.g. any travel expenses, restaurants, entertainment, shopping) may disqualify you. Your spending history will be reviewed.
  • You must submit all required documentation. We will review everything in your application and all of your documents. If it is determined that you are missing any required documents (including any bank/credit card statements), your application will be delayed and/or automatically denied.

Required Documentation

You will need to submit the following documents with your application.

  • Students who are currently employed must include the Verification of Employment form.
  • Your Academic Advisor must complete the Academic Advisor Verification form.
  • You must complete the Financial Information form.
  • Verification of Source of Funds is required and must be completed by your source of funds according to your visa documents (I-20/DS-2019). This form must contain a Stamp or Seal of Notary Public or Court Official certifying signature. If your source of funds is unable to complete this form, your source of funds can include a separate letter explaining the financial situation that contains a notary stamp, seal, or court official signature. If you are still unable to get any documentation that meets this requirement, please contact
  • All of your bank and credit card statements for the previous six months must be included and converted into one file before uploading.
  • Additional documentation and information may be requested

How to Apply

You can apply now if you are applying for the current semester. Please speak with an ISSS Funding Counselor if you are looking to apply for a different semester. We do not accept applications for future semesters. Applications for the fall open on August 1 and spring on December 1.

Please access the online application here: Need-Based Academic Support Application.

NOTE: If you have previously received Need-Based Academic Support, please contact before applying. You will need to complete a different application.