Financial Documentation Requirements

  • All new F-1 international students are required to show proof that funds are guaranteed for the first year of study.
  • All new J-1 international students are required to show proof that funds are guaranteed for the full length of his/her program.

Please ensure that adequate funding will continue to be available from the same or equally dependable sources for subsequent years. You may be asked to show proof of this at your visa interview. This proof can come from several different sources (personal, family, university, business, etc.); however, you must be sure to have supporting documents for each of the sources of funding. 

Any combination of Funds is acceptable, as long as you demonstrate you can cover the full cost of the program. All funds must be liquid assets. Stock/Mutual/Retirement accounts/properties are not considered liquid assets.

Below are the requirements for each type of documentation. Keep in mind that although you are not required to submit original documents to Northwestern, you may be required to show ORIGINAL financial documents at your visa appointment, at the port of entry, or to USCIS if you are submitting a COS application.

Types of funds

Personal Funds:
  • Bank statement, bank letter, or loan letter (see bank statement and letter guidelines below). An original is not required for I-20.DS-2019 issuance purposes but is strongly encouraged for the visa application.
  • Note: Student loans are considered to be Student Personal Funds. Proof of Student Loan funds (if applicable) should be included with the request.
Family or Friend Funds:
  • Bank statement or bank letter dated within the last six months (see bank statement requirements below). An original is not required for I-20 or DS-2019 issuance purposes but is strongly encouraged for the visa application.
  • Sponsor Statement of Support: All sponsor names must be included on the I-20 or DS-2019 Request Form.
Northwestern University Funds:  
  • Copy of the letter from department/University detailing your financial aid award. If the award does not cover the total expense listed in the Financial & Program Information, you must show proof of funding that covers the remaining expenses.
  • NU Loans are considered a source of Personal Funds.
Employer, Government or other types of funds:
  • Support letter detailing the financial support (see sponsor letter of support requirements below).

Required documentation details

Bank statement 
  • Must be dated within the last six months;
  • Name of account holder must be present;
  • Amount of money in the account must be listed;
  • Must be in English, or include a certified English translation;
  • Type of account (eg. savings, checking, time deposit) must be included;
  • Type of currency must be included.
Sponsor letter of support 
  • Must be an original;
  • Must be dated within the last six months;
  • Name of award recipient must be present;
  • Must state the period of time covered by the award;
  • Must indicate Northwestern as the student's institution (if being funded by Northwestern);
  • Must state the total amount of support for the given time period.
Bank letter
  • Name of account holder must be present;
  • Amount of money in the account must be listed -OR- letter must state that the holder has enough money in the account to cover the estimated costs;
  • Must be in English, or include a certified English translation;
  • Type of account (eg. savings, checking, time deposit) must be included;
  • Type of currency must be included;