Step 2 - Getting Your I-20

In order to apply for your F-1 Student VISA at an US embassy, you must have an I-20 form issued by RTS Jackson. The I-20 states, among other things, that you have the necessary funds (for tuition and living expenses) for the time of your study. The US Government requires that you provide proof of financial support in an amount not less than the cost of your program of study plus living expenses for each year you are in the US (see table below). Therefore, you will need to certify the source and amount of your annual financial support for Visa purposes. These are the documents you need as Proof of Financial Support:

    - Personal resources: your bank statement
    - Support from individuals: letter of support with amount indicated and a bank statement (or other legal document that proves financial ability to pay the amount promised)
    - Support from churches: letter on church letterhead stationery promising a certain amount of support

The letters of support must state the amount that will be given to RTS Jackson for your support (annually/ each year) and for how long (how many years it will be given).

If you have been awarded with a scholarship (and a work study position) you can deduct the amount awarded from the amount that you need to document.

You will be required to transfer $5,000 to your RTS student account before the I-20 is issued to you. This money is yours and will be available for your use on the first business day after your arrival. The length of time for which an I-20 is issued is based on the number of years necessary to complete the degree which you applied (Master of Arts: 2 years, Master of Divinity: 3-4 years).

The estimated monetary requirements for each year of study (tuition plus living expenses) are listed below. Be aware that these estimates are based on a frugal budget. Also, a number of factors will affect your actual costs: your degree program and the number of years you will study in the United States, your marital status and number of children, and your personal preferences and spending choices.

 Single Student
 (On Campus)

 Tuition and Fees$16,335
 Living Expenses                     $9,000
 Total Annual Expenses$25,335

 Married Student
 (On Campus)

 Tuition and Fees$16,335
 Living Expenses$9,000
 Dependent Expenses$6,000
 Total Annual Expenses$31,335
 Married Student, 1-2* children
 (On Campus)
 Tuition and Fees$16,335
 Living Expenses$9,000
 Dependent Expenses
 (spouse and 1* child)
Total Annual Expenses    $33,335
*plus $2,000 for second child
 Married Student, 2 or more* children
 (RTS Townhomes)
 Tuition and Fees$16,335
 Living Expenses$9,000
 Dependent Expenses
 (spouse and 2* children)
 Total Annual Expenses$38,335
 *plus $2,000 for each additional

Please note that international students on F visas are required to purchase health insurance. There are a number of options from which you may choose a health insurance policy. The estimated expenses above include some health insurance, but the cost varies according to the choice you make.

         Stage 1 - Applying to RTS

Stage 2 - Getting your I-20

Stage 3 - Applying for a Visa

Stage 4 - Coming to the U.S.

Stage 5 - Settling In Information

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