By now, you may be familiar with CollegeBoard, the body that administers the SAT and AP exams. However, that is not the only thing they do. One of the other things that CollegeBoard provides for international students and their families is a form called the International Student Certification of Finances. This form is mandatory for all international students looking to study abroad, obtain a US student visa, or enter the US.
“As stated by CollegeBoard, the Certification of Finances is used to help colleges and universities get complete and accurate information about the funds available to international applicants who want to study in the United States. Strict government regulations, rising education costs, and economic conditions have made verifying the financial resources of international applicants essential. Institutions do not have the option of deciding whether to verify the financial resources of their international applicants; financial verification must be made prior to institutional issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility.”(CollegeBoard)
The Certification of Finances can be challenging, especially if all the necessary materials are not on hand. However, we work with families to ensure that the form is completed correctly and on time.
Here is some of the basic information you will need to begin:
- The Certification of Finances form itself, which can be downloaded from the CollegeBoard either by us or on your own.
- Basic personal information for the student. This includes the student’s expected student visa type.
- The student’s personal or family savings, and the amount of guaranteed and expected support these funds will provide over the next three years. You can estimate this.
- Sources of funds from parents, sponsors, and/or the government. These segments are optional, but if the student will be supported by their family, you will need to provide this information. You will also need the signatures of sponsors, if applicable.
- Information about emergency funds. It is critical that you know as much about this as possible in case of a family emergency or visa difficulties.
- Information about summer plans. It is important to know as much as possible about a student’s summer plans. Is the student going home for the summer, or will they stay in the US to live, work, or attend classes?
- The exchange rate of your home currency vs the US dollar. You can easily find this information via a web search.
If you have difficulty locating any of this information, we can help you do so. It is important that you submit the Certification of Finances as close to the student’s visa application as possible, though it is preferable if you submit the visa application first. This way, you will have the most accurate information possible when you begin work on it.