Financial Issues

Higher education is very expensive in the United States. The federal government requires all F and J visa applicants to prove that they have the financial resources to fund the entire cost of their education. The federal government offers various loan programs to US citizens and permanent residents, but unfortunately, F and J visa holders are not eligible for those funds. Most international students find that the best option for funding sources is from their department, either in the form of a teaching assistantship, research assistantship, or student assistantship. Other students find on-campus employment through Career Planning and Placement Services to help offset the costs associated with studying and living in the US. F and J visa holders have very few off-campus employment options, and must wait one academic year before requesting off-campus work authorization. Always remember, though, that the consular officer will not grant a visa without verification of financial support in the form of liquid assets-the hope that you will work on campus is not sufficient. An award letter showing a scholarship, graduate teaching or research assistantship, however, can be used when applying for a visa.


Below you will find information regarding


The Graduate School offers important information regarding funding.

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Click here for information.

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To receive federal financial aid through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid you must be a citizen of the United States or have permanent resident status. The standard documentation for a permanent resident of the United States is the Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551, since 1997) or Resident Alien Card (Form I-551, before 1997).
You are not eligible for federal financial aid if:

  • You have only a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-717 or I-464)
  • You are in the United States on an F1 or F2 student visa only
  • You are in the United States on a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa only

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Non U.S. Citizens - Resident Status
A non U.S. citizen may apply for resident status in the same manner as a citizen, if (s)he is in the United States for other than a temporary educational purpose. In order to demonstrate this, applicants must provide evidence from the U.S. Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services of one of the following:

  1. A U.S. permanent resident alien with a Permanent Resident Card (green card).
  2. An applicant for U.S. permanent residence whose Petition for Alien Relative, or Employment-based Immigration Petition for Alien Worker has been approved, or who have been issued an Employment Authorization documentation pending adjustment of status. These individuals will have documentation of this status such as an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) or I-140 (Immigration Petition for Alien Working) Approval Notice, or an I-151 or I-551 Notice of Action indicating approval of petition to become an immigrant.
  3. An alien with a current valid visa type issued for purposes of working in the United States, and currently working in the State of Michigan.  These currently include visa types of A, E, G, H, I, L, R and TN.
  4. An alien granted asylum or refugee status.

Great Lakes Tuition Policy - Undergraduate Students Only
Undergraduate non-resident students who, at the time of Admission, reside from a state (MN, WI, IL, IN, OH, PA, NY) or province (Ontario, Canada) that borders on a Great Lake will pay 110% of the approved undergraduate resident rate.

Good Neighbor Program - Graduate Students Only
Graduate non-resident students who, at the time of Admission, reside from Lucas, Ottawa and Williams counties in Ohio or Ontario, Canada and enroll at Wayne State University in eligible academic programs will have the non-resident portion of tuition waived.  This tuition benefit does not apply to certain academic programs, including Medical School and the doctoral Pharmacy program.  Please refer to the Tuition and Fee Regulations for additional details.

Please Note:  Tuition and Residency programs change regularly, please review the information at the Office of the Registrar to confirm your eligibility.  Up to date information can be found on the Tuition and Fee Regulations page, or by contacting the Office of the Registrar at or 313-577-3541.

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Informaiton about Graduate School Scholarships and Fellowships can be found on the Graduate School Funding page.

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Many opportunities for grants for graduate study are available from public and private institutions. Information about these outside sources of funding may be available in a student's academic department. Information about financial aid sources outside of WSU for international students is available on the Web at


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Departmental Awards
Many graduate departments award Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA), Graduate Student Assistantships (GSA) and Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA). These awards provide a stipend, assistance for 6-10 credits of graduate tuition per term, and subsidized health and dental insurance coverage. As a GTA, GSA or GRA, the student spends about 20 hours per week in teaching, research, or related duties. Fellowships, scholarships, internships and traineeships may also be available. Information concerning all of these awards may be obtained by writing directly to the contact person of the department in which the student plans to major. Visit the Wayne State University website for information about departmental contacts. Because Fall Term appointments are usually awarded early in the calendar year, be sure to submit applications and supporting documents to the department in adequate time for consideration.

Graduate assistantships are appointments made to students enrolled in a master's or doctoral program at Wayne State University. Appointments may be made for one, two or three semesters of the calendar year. Graduate student appointees must be in good academic standing, i.e. have a minimum 3.0 honor point average or its equivalent. The graduate assistant must be enrolled for a minimum number of six graduate credits each per fall and winter semester appointments and one graduate credit for a spring/summer semester appointment. Assistantship positions provide a salary, tuition scholarship, and subsidized medical and dental insurance. The tuition scholarship provides payment for up to ten graduate credits for each of the fall and winter semesters and up to two graduate credits for the spring/summer semester appointment. The scholarships will pay for only graduate credits listed on a student's Plan of Work.

Graduate assistant positions include: Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA), Graduate Student Assistants (GSA) and Graduate Research Assistants (GRA). Below are definitions for each of the graduate assistant positions.

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) must be master's or doctoral students in good standing. GTAs provide approximately 20 hours of instructional service per week over the course of a semester. GTAs may be assigned teaching duties, including grading, in undergraduate level courses or related laboratories or discussion sections, and may serve as instructors of record for undergraduate courses. Students who are primarily assigned to perform such duties for undergraduate level courses or related laboratories or discussion sections should be classified as GTAs.

Graduate Student Assistants (GSAs) must be master's or doctoral students in good standing. Graduate Student Assistants provide approximately 20 hours of service per week over the course of a semester. Graduate Student Assistants may be assigned research, administrative and scholarly duties for the primary benefit of the University or granting agency under the supervision of a University faculty member or administrator. Students who are engaged in work whose product is reasonably expected to be used among other purposes for the student's dissertation, thesis, essay, or independent or directed study, or who are engaged in other work for the primary benefit of the student's research, scholarly or education program, should not be classified as Graduate Student Assistants but as Graduate Research Assistants. All Graduate Student Assistant appointments must include a Graduate Student Assistant Certificate of Relevancy.

Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) are typically doctoral students in good standing who hold their appointments in academic or research units. In some instances, the Graduate School may approve appointment of master's students as Graduate Research Assistants, provided their master's program carries a significant research component directly relevant to their own academic programs of study. Graduate Research Assistants provide approximately 20 hours of service per week over the course of a semester in research or academic activities relevant to their own academic programs of study. These activities should relate directly to the student's degree requirements and should be reasonably expected among other purposes to contribute to a student's dissertation, thesis, essay, independent or directed study, or otherwise be undertaken for the primary benefit of the student's research, scholarship or academic program. All Graduate Research Assistant appointments must include a Graduate Research Assistant Certificate of Relevancy.
Please see University Policy 2000-2 - Position Definitions and Terms of Appointment for Titles Held by Graduate Students and Postgraduate Trainees for additional information regarding these positions.

For more information regarding financial aid please visit the website

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