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DSOs: Remember to Correctly Input Student Financial Information in SEVIS

January 19, 2017

Designated school officials (DSOs) must verify an international student’s financial information before issuing the student a Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.”

This process includes verifying both the cost and the funding sources of the student’s tuition, fees and living expenses, and inputting that information in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires a record of both cost and funding sources for all F-1 and M-1 international students studying in the United States. When entering cost information in the student’s SEVIS record, DSOs should always enter a standard dollar amount for both tuition and fees, and living expenses. Under Expenses, the Estimated Average Cost fields should not have a zero dollar amount, even if costs will be completely covered by the school or another source.

DSOs must also indicate how the listed costs will be covered using the fields under Funding in SEVIS. Funding sources may include the student and their family, the school and third parties. If a third party covers some or all tuition, fees or living expenses, the DSO must reflect this information in SEVIS. For example, the third party funding may come in the form of a scholarship, host family sponsorship, etc.

If an international student is attending a public high school in the United States, the DSO must indicate the per capita cost of education in the school’s district under the Estimated Average Cost for Tuition and Fees. DSOs can find the per capita cost of education in their district using the National Center for Education Statistics website.

Do you have questions about verifying and entering financial information on the Form I-20 in SEVIS? Visit the SEVIS Help Hub for more information and step-by-step guidance.

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