A Guide to Graduate I-20 and DS-2019 Estimated Expenses and Funding

Below is a guide for determining estimated expenses and funding for graduate programs.

Federal regulations require students to show proof of funds that are equal to or greater than the estimated expenses of their graduate program. 

Total Proof of Funds Needed = Total Estimated Expenses - Any Georgia Tech Funding (if applicable) 

Calculating Estimated Expenses

First, please identify what is the expected length of attendance. 

  • One Semester: If a student has 12 or fewer credits remaining to complete their degree program OR if a student will attend the Atlanta campus in F-1/J-1 student status for only 1 semester, then the student must show estimated expenses for 1 semester only.  For I-20/DS-2019 issuance, 1 semester is considered to be 4 months.

  • One Academic Year or Longer: If a student will attend the Atlanta campus in F-1/J-1 student status for more than 1 semester and has more than 12 credits remaining to complete their degree, then the student only needs to show estimated expenses for 1 academic year.  For I-20/DS-2019 issuance, 1 academic year is considered to be 9 months.

Base rate estimated graduated expenses for 1 semester and 1 year

 

Additional Expenses - if applicable

At Georgia Tech, some graduate programs are considered “professional programs” and these programs have differential tuition. This means that the tuition for that program includes additional fees.   

  • Professional/Differential Tuition: Please review the list of professional programs with differential tuition here (View Professional Programs with Differential Tuition). If the student does not see their program listed, then the student's program has a base rate tuition.   

  • Base Rate Programs: All other programs at Georgia Tech that are not professional programs will have the base tuition rate.

Different Professional Program Additional Expenses

 

Total Estimated Expenses

After calculating the estimated expenses for their program using the steps above, all students should have identified 1 of the 6 numbers from the chart below as the total estimated expenses for their program. 

Total estimated expenses based on program

 

Dependent Expenses - if applicable

If the student will be bringing a legal dependent on an F-2/J-2 visa to the U.S., please review the information below and calculate the estimated expenses needed for legal dependent(s). If they are not bringing any dependents, please skip this step.   

F-1/J-1 students can request a form I-20/DS-2019 for their legal dependents who intend to apply for F-2/J-2 status. Legal dependents are a legal spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. Those requesting I-20s/DS-2019s for dependents are required by the U.S. federal regulations to demonstrate proof of additional funding for dependent visa holders.    

If the student has dependents who need a visa, the student will be required to provide additional proof of funding for each dependent.

Dependent expenses chart

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Calculating Estimated Funding

If a student has already received an official Graduate Teaching or Research Assistantship offer from Georgia Tech and wishes to use that offer as a source of funding, please review the following information to determine the estimated amount of that funding. 

  • For students receiving any funding from Georgia Tech such as a GRA/GTA position, an estimate of that funding will be used in issuing the I-20/DS-2019, which may vary from the actual amount a student receives.
  • Please review the official GRA/GTA offer letter for the following information:  
    • Total stipend amount each month  
    • Tuition Waiver (100% or partial, one-semester waiver, or one-academic-year waiver)   
    • Expected start date and timeframe for receiving funding 
 chart to calculate the estimated value of the tuition waiver

 

Tuition Waivers

When a tuition waiver is awarded, all students must still pay some mandatory fees. For this reason, the estimated value of a tuition waiver is less than the estimated tuition and fees expenses. 

Students in Tier 1 and Tier 2 programs with differential tuition will also have additional tuition fees to pay that are not covered by the waiver. 

Stipend

For I-20 issuance purposes, only one semester or academic year of estimated expenses are calculated. This means that only one semester or academic year of stipend funding is calculated, even if the student is expected to receive funding for more than one academic year. 

  • For one semester, multiply the monthly stipend by 4 to determine the total estimated stipend funding. 
  • For one academic year or longer, multiply the monthly stipend by 9 to determine the total estimated stipend funding.  
    • IMPORTANT: If a student is receiving GRA/GTA funding for a full year (fall, spring, and summer), only the funding for the fall and spring semester will be reflected on the I-20/DS-2019. For I-20/DS-2019 Issuance, expenses and funding are calculated based on a 9-month academic year (fall and spring only). Please calculate the value of the stipend and tuition waiver based on 9 months rather than 12 months. 

Other Georgia Tech Awards

If the student was granted any additional awards from Georgia Tech such as a fellowship, the student may add the value of that award to their GRA/GTA funding.

Total Estimated Funding

  • Add together the total estimated value of the tuition waiver and stipend funding to determine the total estimated funding available from the student's GRA/GTA offer.
  • Subtract the total GRA/GTA funding from the overall estimated expenses to determine if any additional funding is needed.
  • If the total of the GRA/GTA funding is equal to or greater than the total estimated expenses, no additional funding is needed.   
  • If the total of the GRA/GTA funding is less than the total estimated expenses, then the student must show additional funding.
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Financial Documentation

An F-1/J-1 student is required by federal regulations to show proof of adequate financial resources that are equal to or greater than the total estimated expenses of their graduate program.   

  • All international students who are required to provide proof of funding must submit a completed  financial certification form and financial documentation.  
  • To minimize delays in document issuance, students should review financial documentation requirements found on OIE's Financial Document Requirements website.  
  • For students who are not using a personal bank account in their name, sponsor verification is required. Sponsors must verify their sponsorship by signing under "Sponsor Verification" in the  financial certification form.  
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Frequently Asked Questions

 
Why are international students and scholars required to show financial documentation for I-20/DS-2019 issuance?
  • U.S. federal regulations require international students to show proof of adequate financial resources to meet expenses while studying at U.S. institutions. The estimated expenses and the expected funding sources for those expenses are listed in a student’s SEVIS record and on the I-20/DS-2019.   
  • U.S. federal regulations require that funding be shown for at least one academic year for degree-seeking F-1 and J-1 students attending programs for more than one semester.
What are the estimated expenses on an I-20/DS-2019?
  • OIE bases estimated expenses on current tuition/fee rates and the average local living and miscellaneous expenses costs.     

  • Expenses and institutional funding listed on an I-20/DS-2019 are estimates only used for the purpose of issuing an I-20 or DS-2019. Actual expenses and funding may vary.  

  • Per U.S. federal regulations, F1 and J1 visa holders are required to enroll full-time. Full-time enrollment at Georgia Tech is considered 12 credit hours for Graduate students. Tuition and fee estimates are based on 12 credit hours of enrollment. 

    • Additional information regarding enrollment requirements can be found on our website: F1 | J1  

  • Below are the three primary resources that OIE utilizes to calculate the estimated expenses needed for I-20/DS-2019 issuance each year:  

How are the estimated expenses and funding information on an I-20/DS-2019 used?
  • The estimated expenses listed on an I-20/DS-2019 are for I-20/DS-2019 issuance purposes only and they do not represent the actual charges to the student's account at Georgia Tech. Students should refer to the websites referenced in the section above to determine actual expenses.   

  • The funding information listed on an I-20/DS-2019 reflects the financial documentation that students submit to OIE in their I-20/DS-2019 request. Please note that OIE will not list the total amount of funding that a student has available and will instead list only the funding that is needed to meet the estimated expenses.   

  • For those students receiving funding through a GRA/GTA, scholarship, award, loan, or other sponsorship, the funding on the I-20/DS-2019 may vary from the exact amount of funding being provided. Students should contact the individual or organization providing the funding to determine the exact amount of funding that will be provided. OIE will only list the funding needed to meet the estimated expenses.   

What are the total estimated expenses? 

The total estimated expenses needed for I-20/DS-2019 issuance purposes are based on the following items:   

Total Estimated Expenses = Living Expenses + Misc. Expenses (such as books, health insurance) + Base Rate Tuition & Fees + Differential Tuition Expenses. (if applicable) + Dependent Expenses (if applicable) 

What is the estimated total funding if I have a GRA/GTA appointment from Georgia Tech? 

Total Estimated Georgia Tech Funding is based on the following items:

Total GT Funding = Stipend + Tuition Waiver + any additional GT awards (if applicable)
 
Important Note: If a student is receiving GRA/GTA funding for a full year (fall, spring, and summer), only the funding for the fall and spring semester will be reflected on the I-20/DS-2019. For I-20/DS-2019 Issuance, expenses and funding are calculated based on a 9-month academic year (fall and spring only). Please calculate the value of the stipend and tuition waiver based on 9 months rather than 12 months.