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Financial certification - for Int'l Students

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Financial certification - for Int'l Students [#permalink] New post 05 Sep 2006, 07:04
I am looking at the financial requirements at some schools, and it is pretty confusing.

Most grad schools will give stipends, waive tuition fees, and provide assistantship opportunities. Without the kindness from the schools, most students are unlikely to survive grad school. At the same time, some of these grad schools require Int'l Students to certified their financial standing - I think it is also part of the visa application requirement.

Most school's require one to have enough funds to cover living expenses at least for the 1st year. I understand this. And if you are going with your spouse and child(ren), you need to add a few $k more. I understand this as well.

Now, what I don't understand, and that's main question, is how do we factor in the school's kindness (in the form of stipends, tuition waiver, etc.) in the financial certification forms?

If your personal (+ sponsored) funds BEFORE considering the school's kindness are insufficient to cover the living expenses, will it affect your ability to get admission or the visa?

Also a funny thing is that the minimum amount stated by the school usually includes the tuition fees, which is a substantial amount. But the school usually will waive these fees. Doesn't that artificially and unnecessarily jack up the requirement for the student?

Next, for visa, the application takes place after you have accepted a school's offer. By then, your financial situation will be different if the school extends her kindness to you (which normally happens). Do you then go for another financial certification when you are applying for the visa?

For those who have gone through this journey before, please share your experience. Especially if you were in one of the following situations when applying to the program:

1. You had enough funds to cover the minimum required amount LESS the tuition fees. Stipends and assistantships were a nice bonus.

2. You didn't have enough funds to even cover the minimum required amount LESS the tuition fees. But once stipends and assistantships (and tuition waiver) were granted to you, you were be able to meet the minimum amount required.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2006, 01:09
Some months ago I written an e-mail to a Phd student at the MIT asking him about such issue. He replied the stipend is enough to decourously live in the U.S. and, for a short time, to maintain a spouse too. By the way, she should look for a job as soon as possible.

What about your TOEFL test? I have scheduled it for september 23, but unfortunately I have no time to prepare it adequately. In particular, I think I should practice to improve my pace both in the speaking and in the writing section. I'm a bit worried about the IBT TOEFL, even if it is a quite easy test. That of september 23 will probably be my only shot and a score lower than 100 might obstruct my application.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2006, 05:49
Just check on my TOEFL - my score is still unavailable. If it is higher than 90, I think we should be quite safe for most if not all schools. Personally, I would have put in more efforts preparing for the speaking if I were to do it again (hope not!)

Good to hear the reply from the MIT guy. And considering Boston is quite an expensive place, it sure put the hearts of many applicants at ease.

Spouse to work - can she if I am on the F1 visa?
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The MIT guy... [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2006, 01:20
... said me if I'm going to marry to get a J1, in order to allow my wife to be J2 and then to get a job.

Talking about the TOEFL, one friend of mine said me that the test room is very noisy. The sits are not separated and it might happen that someone is speaking while you are listening. I hope to get at least a 90. Even if some schools ask for a score of 100 or higher, this request does not sound as a compulsory requirement (especially if you have a strong GMAT score).

My "battle plan" is the following:
- september: TOEFL
- october: LORs
- november: SOP
- december: send the apps
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 [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2006, 04:52
Yes, I was thinking of the J1 visa. However, if I understand correctly, for the J visa, you have to leave US for 2 years after completion. That will limit your employment opportunities post-studies (unless you do not intend to work in US in the first place).

TOEFL - yes it will be noisy, even with the headset on. This is distracting especially during the speaking section. It will be good if you go to the test center early so that you can be among the first few test takers. This way, when you start your speaking, there are fewer people who are speaking at the same time.

Your battle plan - why don't you start your LOR asap? It is always good to give your recommenders more time.
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 [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2006, 14:08
Yes, it is a good idea to meet the reccomenders as soon as possible. The point is I think I'm going to change my job to start working in corporate finance (a little experience on the subjects of the Phd) and I will move to Milan, the city in which my reccomenders are located. Now I'm working from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m (consulting firm...) in a city at about 40 miles from Milan... thus I think I will wait for october. :-)

Of course, I will make some phone calls this week... to send them the materials they need to start writing.
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 [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2006, 06:40
robbie - I just got my teofl. 114.
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 [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2006, 09:28
Congratulations! Outstanding score! :-D
Now you're pretty sure to be enrolled in a top program!

Now it's my turn... even if I don't think I will get a so high score ;-)

And what about your partial scores? Did you score well in the speaking section too?
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 [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2006, 15:16
Total 114 (R=29, L=30, S=26, W=29). Not sure how good a score is 26 for S.

I honestly think the TOEFL is among the least important differentiator in the app. More important than the name and address, but less significant than gender and age. :lol:

I'm sure you can do well for it.
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2006, 17:21
Just check with some of the schools regarding the financial certification. One school told me to skip this section during the application. I only need to submit this if I have been accepted.

Yet another school said that the certification is part of the application requirement.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2006, 03:24
For all I know, most schools don't require the applicants to ask for financial support. They are automatically considered for it if they are admitted.

In the meanwhile I got my transripts. 3 pages each for 30 copies (15 for my Bachelor degree and 15 for my Msc)... for a total of 90 paper sheets. Thank God such service is free of charge :-D
  [#permalink] 16 Sep 2006, 03:24
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