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What is Proof of Financial Support?

What is Proof of Financial Support?

Proof of financial support (financial proof) or financial guarantees are financial document(s) submitted by a prospective student that proves that the cost of attendance for a student’s specific program is able to be adequately met. The amount of financial proof required is based on the estimated cost of attendance for the student’s degree level and program which can be found under the "financial details" section when you begin your I-20/DS-2019 request.

  • Please note that the financial proof required is not indicative of what a student may actually pay to attend West Virginia University; To issue your certificate of eligibility, the U.S. government requires that all international students provide proof of ability to pay tuition & fees, all living expenses, and medical insurance for the academic year that they are attending.

The cost of attendance indicated is firm and is set with the help of university officials for reporting purposes to government authorities for a wide range of regulations impacting both domestic and international students. This requirement to meet the published cost of attendance is for you and your dependents (if applicable) and the I-20/DS-2019 cannot be issued without proper financial proof to meet the requirement.

Please see the charts below in order to determine the amount needed for proof of financial ability to meet expenses. On the chart, please find your college that maintains your program of study. A breakdown of established expenses and the overall total of financial proof needed is included for each college.

The estimated cost of attendance for programs can be found here:

- Estimated Cost of Attendance

Providing the proper documents using the guidelines below will ensure timely processing. Providing incorrect documents that do not meet the guidance below or documents that require further clarification or questions will delay the issuance of your document.

Please avoid submitting documents with mistakes listed below. Some examples of documents that are routinely provided that will delay processing and require our office to request clarification include:

  • a bank statement not in English or USD
  • a bank statement from a company account without any identifying information from the bank in a official bank letter about the individual associated with the account that also matches the individual in an affidavit of support.
  • a bank statement from a company account promising a scholarship without a supporting letter on company letterhead describing the support received, terms, or amount.
  • a bank statement from a family member without proper Affidavit of support.
  • a bank statement with insufficient closing balance
  • a bank statement older than 6 months
  • a bank statement without proper certification or signatures
  • a bank statement not submitted as a .pdf
  • clearly altered bank statements or incomplete bank statements
  • scholarships, loans, or GA contracts that are only offered and do not state clearly that they are finalized or confirmed.
  • Financial Documents not dated in U.S. format (MM/DD/YYYY) or the month is not spelled out to avoid confusion.

Please read through the requirements below carefully and e-mail with any questions.

*It is the student's responsibility to ensure that proper financial proof is provided and clearly show to ISSS through such documents that the financial means of meeting the first year cost of attendance is apparent through submitted financial documents.

*Though ISSS will answer questions via e-mail regarding documents or clarify our requests for further information/documents from the student, ISSS will not typically meet with a student to discuss or debate financial documents or help students obtain the financial proof needed. The burden of proof is placed on the student to submit documents that clearly show that the cost of attendance can be met in order to issue the I-20/DS-2019. International advisors must remain objective in their assessment of documents and must do so in accordance to U.S. federal regulations regarding issuance of the I-20/DS-2019.

All Financial Documents Must Have:

  • A date no earlier than 6 months indicated on the document. The date on any financial document must be in U.S. format (MM/DD/YYYY) or the month spelled out to avoid confusion. Failing to provide the date in the proper format on a financial document could lead to delays in processing and require further clarification.

  • Account holder’s name
  • Documents for banks, scholarships, etc., must be on official letterhead, in .pdf format, and include signature/stamp of an administrative officer or official

  • Must state the available final balance/total scholarship amount in U.S. dollars
  • Certified, professional translations in English of all financial documents. Documents and statements not translated and provided to ISSS would most likely be rejected and may cause further delays for processing.

  • If the account holder is someone other than the student (a family member, relative, friend, etc.), a sponsorship funding letter (if a company account) with accompanying bank statement and/or an Affidavit of support form must be included for individual's who are providing support through personal bank statements.

  • Multiple forms of financial proof or bank statements from different accounts can be provided, but please ensure that they follow the standards above and the total amount meets or exceeds the cost of attendance needed to issue the I-20/DS-2019. Otherwise, failure to provide proper or sufficient documents will delay processing until further financial proof is received.

  • Financial Proof in the form of investment accounts must prove/show liquidity that would not alter assets provided on the document or if withdrawn with penalty, adequate financial proof must remain after withdrawal fees/penalties are assessed.

Types of Financial Support that are Normally Accepted*

  • Bank letters/statements from savings, checking, and investment accounts (if a monthly bank statement is provided, only the closing balance of the most recent date will be counted).

    If investment account information is provided, the investment account summary must state penalties for withdrawal or proof of liquidity without fee/penalty.  It is the student's responsibility to furnish accompanying documentation that suffices and eliminates any doubt regarding questions pertaining to the liquidity of an investment account.

  • Approved educational loans with official letter of approval indicating name of recipient, amount, and disbursal date.

  • Employer, company, and government sponsorships/scholarships. For verification of the document, it must include the name of the prospective student, the name of the government or agency, terms of the sponsorship and the amount of scholarship funds or a letter of support accompanying any bank statement from the employer, company, or government agency.

  • A letter in .pdf format from a WVU department on departmental letterhead that includes your name, the name of the WVU department, terms of the agreement and the amount of fellowship, grant, or assistantship. This is typically a Graduate Research Assistant/Graduate Teaching Assistantship/Graduate Service Assistantship.

  • A letter of confirmation of any scholarship or loan with the recipient’s name, the dates in which scholarship or loan will apply, and any terms outlined for disbursement.

Types of Financial Support that are NOT Accepted*

  • Tax returns
  • Salary/Payroll statements
  • Chartered Accountant portfolio
  • Certificates of Deposit
  • Pending or provisional educational loans or scholarship documents
  • Retirement funds, pension, and life insurance policies
  • Investments in fixed assets such as property, mortgages, automobiles, etc.
  • Academic department funds that are contingent upon future budget or other means.
  • Any other financial documentation that ISSS deems is not easily liquidated or does not clearly follow financial document requirements described above.

*These are the most commonly submitted documents. International Students and Scholars Services will make the final determination as to what constitutes an acceptable financial statement and has the right to refuse documents or request further documentation that meet the above standards or to satisfy U.S. regulatory requirements for issuance of the I-20.

We encourage multiple sources of funding be submitted in order to cover cost of attendance if uncertain if one particular document will cover complete cost. These sources of funding should be uploaded to your student on-boarding request in the appropriate section. E-mailing this information may cause delays in processing your application and we encourage you to only upload these financial documents to your I-20/DS-2019 request.

For more information regarding what may or may not constitute as a financial proof/guarantee, please visit the following supplemental websites or reach out to us at