April is National Financial Literacy Month in the United States. As an international student, you can participate by learning more about your financial responsibilities and requirements while you study in the United States.
- Evidence of Financial Support: When you apply to a Student and Exchange Visitor Program‑certified school you need to provide evidence of financial support to your designated school official (DSO). This means that you need to show them that you have the means to pay for your time in the United States, including tuition, books and living expenses. You also need to bring this evidence to your visa appointment and the port of entry. Requirements do not specify the type of evidence needed but examples include bank statements or a letter from a sponsor.
- Fees: There are certain fees that you have to pay to the government, including your I–901 SEVIS fee. If you need help on the process, watch our payment tutorial. There are also required fees to pay when you apply for your student visa. You can find more information on your U.S. Embassy or Consulate's website and from the officer at your appointment.
- Employment: Your DSO can authorize you to work in the United States through various opportunities. You must report any income earned from employment to the U.S. government for tax purposes. Taxes are due every April and you either use your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to file. Learn more on our Working in the United States page.
- Volunteering: You can also donate your time to a person, organization or cause as long as the position is not one that would normally be hired for. Keep in mind that volunteers receive no income. If you do receive income, it is considered employment, for which you need your DSO's authorization.
If you have any questions about finances, talk to your DSO.