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Rachel Whitlock '14

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Rachel Whitlock '14

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International Student Process

If you are not a US citizen or you do not yet hold US Permanent Resident status, you should apply as an international student.

Monmouth College has a deep history of welcoming students from every part of the world. We embrace international diversity within our student body, knowing it benefits us all. When engaged and enthusiastic young people from many countries and many cultures study, reflect, and socialize together, great things happen. The international students who come to Monmouth flourish here, academically and socially. We look forward to the possibility of welcoming you as a part of the Monmouth community.

The following sections will walk you through all the steps necessary to apply for admission, receive financial assistance, and secure the I-20 documentation necessary to apply for an F-1 student visa. There's a lot to do, but we're here to help. Follow the steps below closely, but if you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to reach us at international@monmouthcollege.edu.

International Admissions Requirements

Applications for admission will be reviewed upon successful completion of the following steps. Admission decisions will be sent to the student as soon as a decision has been reached. 

  • Fully complete either the Common Application or the Monmouth College International Student Application for admission to Monmouth College.
    • Application deadlines are as follows:
      • Applying for fall (first) semester, which starts mid-August: July 1
      • Applying for spring (second) semester, which starts early January: December 1
  • Submit the following via email to international@monmouthcollege.edu or via post to the Office of Admission.

     

    • Official transcripts from all secondary schools and institutions of higher education attended. All documents must be accompanied by a translation into English if in another language.
      • Final examination results, which are often not available until the summer following graduation from high school, and final transcripts are required of admitted students upon arrival at Monmouth College, but do not need to be provided as part of the application itself.  We follow WES guidelines regarding high school graduation credentials (by country):  http://www.wes.org/wes_tools/.
      • We may require international students who have attended university outside of the United States complete a transcript evaluation by World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluations (ECE). The information provided enables our Registrar to determine transfer credit and proper placement into courses. This is to your benefit as it can provide for credit toward graduation from Monmouth College.
    • English proficiency is requiredIf you have successfully completed three or more years of high school in an English-language national or international school, you are exempt from proving further English proficiency. If your first language is not English, you must prove English proficiency in one of the following ways. Test scores or earned certificates must have been issued within the past two years:
    • While an ACT or SAT score is not required for admission consideration, it is highly recommended that an official score report be submitted. 
    • Essay (500-1000 words) describing your academic interests and goals, and your reasons for studying at Monmouth College. Include in this essay information about yourself that would be helpful as we consider your application: academic interests, service activities, leadership experiences, artistic and athletic interests, hobbies and special skills, and career goals.
    • At least one letter of recommendation from a teacher, guidance counselor, or EducationUSA advisor. Recommendations must be on official letterhead and/or directly submitted from the recommender's email address.
    • Photocopy of the identification pages of your passport.
  • Monmouth College offers scholarships to international students with demonstrated records of academic achievements. Scholarship amounts will be determined after a student has successfully applied for admission to the College.

Financial Assistance and I-20 Requirements

If your application for admission has been accepted, the following next steps are required in order for financial aid to be awarded and the student visa process to begin. 

After we have received and reviewed the Certification of Finances form and financial documents, we will consider issuance of the I-20 form. The more clearly and fully documented your funding, your parents’ and/or sponsors’ employment status and annual income, etc., the more smoothly the visa application process tends to go.

  • Complete and sign the International Student Certification of Finances Form, and (if relevant) Sponsor’s Affidavit of Support. This information is exactly replicated in the I-20, so you should be exact, precisely accurate and truthful. Note that the US Consular Officer who interviews you may also want to see proof of your parents’ employment, how long they have worked at their place of employment and how much they earn, as well as a statement from the bank about how long your family’s checking account has existed and what the average balance in the account has been.
  • Submit proof of available funds in the form of a bank statement(s), loan award letter, private or governmental scholarship award letter. For each source of funds you list in the year-by-year funding-sources table in our International Student Certification of Finances Form, you should include documentation of funds in the form of a bank statement, etc.
    • The bank statement must be on the official letterhead of the bank, dated within the last 6 months, and cover your college and personal expenses (minus the amount of your scholarship). It should include the current amount in the account, account holder’s name, account number, currency type, bank official’s name and signature and the address and phone number of the bank.
    • We can only accept a bank statement that indicates the amount in a liquid form and that usually is a checking or savings account statement. Employment, salary or pension statements, tax returns, property or personal assets, stock funds, insurance premiums and any other statement in the non-liquid form are not acceptable.
    • You should be able to show more funds in the family’s or sponsor’s bank account than just the amount you need for the first year of study. It is best to have one source of funding, and to have the money in only one bank account (the family account or the sponsor’s account). However, multiple bank statements are acceptable.
  • The college is required to be certain that you can afford the cost of attendance (tuition, food, housing, other expenses) for at least one year (two semesters). If you are awarded a scholarship, that amount should be subtracted from the total cost of attendance: you are responsible for the remaining costs.
  • The college also needs assurance that you have adequate funds to afford both college costs and non-college costs (books, travel, personal items, etc.) for every year of your studies at Monmouth College, and we need evidence of immediately available funds (liquid funds) in your family’s or sponsors’ bank account sufficient to cover the costs of the first year. 
  • You will see the required annual family contribution in the official financial aid award letter you will receive following the admission notification letter. You may want to take this financial documentation with you when you go in for your visa interview.

Visa Application and Arrival Process

After an I-20 has been issued, you should be aware of the following:

  • There are often long waits for visa interviews at US embassies. When applying for a visa interview, you must plan ahead of time. The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website enables you to check the visa appointment and processing times at the embassy in which you are planning to go for the visa interview. In addition, you will need to make travel arrangements well in advance of your arrival – the earlier you make travel arrangements, the less expensive your flights will be and the more options you will have for connections. Do not try to complete these important final steps in the admission process in the weeks before the beginning of the semester. It is too late.
  • You must send us the following two items. If we do not receive confirmation in these two ways, we will review and may cancel the I-20: 
    • Confirmation of travel plans (proof of arrival)
      • Send your travel itinerary by email to the Director of International Student Services to confirm arrival plans. You will need to do this at least three weeks before the beginning of the semester in which you start (in early August for the fall semester and in early December for the spring semester). Send address and contact information for relatives or friends within the U.S. with whom you are staying upon arrival as well as precise and detailed information about arrival on campus on the designated days immediately before international-student orientation to the Office of International Student Services.
    • Tuition/fees payment in full for the semester before the deadline indicated
      • Pay the bill for your tuition and fees for your first semester. You may do this by wire transfer. This payment is due before the start of the semester. If we do not receive it by the deadline, we will cancel your I-20. Watch for an email containing your first bill from the Student Accounts Manager in the Business Office at Monmouth College.
      • If the funds are coming directly from a bank, please use the following banking information:

        Midwest Bank of Western Illinois
        ABA# 071102500
        Beneficiary: Monmouth College
        Beneficiary Account #: 006-017

  • When you arrive, if not before, you must provide proof of successful completion of U.S. high school equivalency or you cannot begin classes at Monmouth College:  you will need to bring with you a certified copy or original of the primary document in your country that shows successful completion of high school studies. Test scores are not proof of High School completion. Proof may be a transcript that shows all courses taken, grades received and graduation date, or it may be a certificate of national examination results, or some other document (this varies by country). A certified copy is an original document or attested (signed with official stamp or seal) photocopy that has been issued by the educational institution or government agency responsible for issuing the document. An official English translation should accompany the document. 

Costs/Comprehensive Fees

Monmouth College sets its cost each year as a comprehensive fee. This fee includes full-time tuition, room and board: i.e., on-campus student housing and a 3-meal per day / 7-day per week meal plan. (Additional charges will be incurred if you choose to live in premium housing facilities or you choose a premium meal plan.) All students must be covered by health insurance. All international students are required to take the Monmouth College health insurance. Please keep in mind that colleges do increase their tuition each year.

Contact

international@monmouthcollege.edu
Telephone: +1-309-457-2131
Fax: +1-309-457-2141

Monmouth College
Office of Admission
700 East Broadway
Monmouth, IL 61462 U.S.A.

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