Many foreign governments place limits on the amount of their currency that can be exchanged for U.S. dollars (USD), or the amount of funds that can be brought out of the country.
Some governments require university documents certifying acceptance, dates of enrollment and expense estimates, before releasing or exchanging funds to U.S. dollars. To address these requirements, students should present their Certificates of Eligibility Forms I-20 or Forms DS-2019 and letters of acceptance to the appropriate officials.
It is the student's responsibility to assure monetary transfer permission in advance.
At times during the academic year, such as at the beginning of each semester, larger amounts of readily available funds may be required. Careful financial planning is required if your funds will be arriving periodically from overseas.
Personal expenses are conservatively estimated to average $1,000 to $1,500 per month for food, housing and miscellaneous items. Students expecting personal expenses to be covered by university stipends are cautioned that it may be several weeks before receiving their first stipend check. Plan to bring enough money to easily cover living expenses for the first two months of the first semester.
Note that our estimate of expenses is the minimum required to live on Long Island with careful budgeting. Students planning to live off campus, eat out in restaurants, purchase a car or enjoy off-campus entertainment will require additional funds.
Financial assistance for international students is limited. Most financial aid from New York State or the federal government is not available to nonimmigrant students. Very few scholarships or fellowships are available to international students other than those awarded through graduate programs. No long-term loans are available through the University. Because immigration regulations place restrictions on work in the United States, students should not plan to finance their education through work in the United States.
As a nonimmigrant student, you were issued a SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019 on the basis of financial affidavits and proof of financial ability to cover the costs of your proposed program of study. If there is an adverse change in your financial circumstances, do not come to the University with inadequate financial support. Please contact International Services for advice regarding your individual circumstance.
Academic departments make decisions about graduate teaching and research assistantships, fellowships, and tuition scholarships based on the funds budgeted to the department by the University and on funds available through faculty research grants. These awards are merit-based, and as such are not provided to every student.
Proficiency in spoken English is required for those who are offered teaching assistantships. Please see the enclosed information regarding SPEAK test requirements if you have been awarded a teaching assistant position.
Graduate students accepted without verification of a financial award should assume that they are not recipients of university financial assistance.
We recommend that you arrive with enough U.S. currency to pay for transportation to campus and for expenses during your first few weeks here. Do not carry large amounts of cash or other valuables, due to the risk of loss or theft. Cash and valuables you bring should be in your carry-on baggage or a money belt, not in baggage to be checked.
If home country regulations permit, students should bring at least $1,000 USD in traveler’s checks or debit cards for the first few weeks of school, in addition to the funds required for tuition, fees and books. If you plan on living off-campus you will need significantly more.
Students bringing large sums of money to the United States should seek advice from a bank official regarding the safest and most convenient way to carry or transfer that money. Most major banks in the United States have established connections with foreign banks, so it may be possible to transfer funds with a bank draft from your bank to be presented to the U.S. bank with personal identification. Transfer of funds should be in U.S. Dollars because foreign currency exchange may not be available locally, and the University and local businesses accept only checks or drafts in U.S. Dollars.
Credit cards, ATM cards, traveler’s checks, and U.S. bank drafts are also good options for safely gaining access to personal funds. Traveler’s checks may be purchased at banks or travel offices either in the home country or in the United States. They are typically available in denominations of $20, $50, $100, $500 or $1,000. Smaller denominations are preferable, as small checks ($20 or $50) are easier to cash. Students should carry at least $100 USD in cash when traveling; the largest denomination should be a $20 bill.
U.S. paper currency is issued in $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills; larger denominations are issued, but rarely circulated. Many shops prefer $20 bills or less when making purchases. Coins are 1 cent/penny, 5 cents/nickel, 10 cents/dime, 25 cents/quarter, 50 cents/half dollar, and 100 cents/dollar or $1. The half-dollar and dollar coins are seldom used and can be mistaken for quarters, however they are heavier and slightly larger than quarters.
Payment of Tuition, Fees and Other Charges
The University accepts the following payment instruments: cash, check, credit card,
demand draft and Flywire transfer (for international payments only).
Demand Drafts are common payment methods for international students. Demand drafts should be made payable to"Stony Brook University,"and be presented to the Bursar's Office upon arrival at the University. International students are not expected to pay their balances until they arrive at the University. Additional Tuition, Fees and Payment information may be found on the Bursar’s website at www.stonybrook.edu/bursar.
Billing statements will be available in SOLAR, upon enrollment. No paper billing statements will be printed or mailed. The University’s semester payment plan - the "Time Option Payment Plan" (TOPP) is availablethrough SOLAR.
For wire transfer information, please contact the Bursar’s office at 1-631-632-9316. The contact information is on the web page: www.stonybrook.edu/bursar