International Student FAQs

What is my 'Certificate of Eligibility Form'?
Your certificate of eligibility as an international student is your I-20 or DS-2019. See ISSS Visa Information for more details.
Does a certification from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) count towards my eligibility if I have a 3 year undergraduate degree?
Yes, if you have passed all 3 levels of the ICAI certification the Illinois Graduate College will consider you eligible for limited status admission with a 3 year Bachelor’s degree for Business Graduate Programs.
WiIl I need to pay the SEVIS fee or is it included in my MS in Business Administration program fees?
Usually paid online, the SEVIS fee is an additional fee paid by the student to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office. Information regarding the SEVIS I-901 Fee may be obtained from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.
I am confused about the EPT test - can you please provide more information? In addition, does the ESL class, as listed on the class schedule, count toward out total 40 credit hours needed for graduation?
Having to take the English Placement Test (EPT) is nothing to be concerned or worried about! Many international students are required to take this test because the University’s requirement is any incoming, non-native English-speaking student with 102 iBT TOEFL scores or lower/7.0 IELTS is admitted limited status and required to take the English Placement Test (EPT). Here is how it works: Students are responsible for scheduling their EPT with Linguistics Please make sure you do not schedule your test during the departmental orientation session. You will take English as a second language course at the same time as your other Fall semester classes, your MS in Business Administration coursework is not delayed. (The course counts as 0 hours toward University credits but 4 hours toward SEVIS credits if you desire to take a reduced course load.) To become eligible for full status in regards to the English requirement, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. achieve a 103 or higher on the TOEFL or a minimum of 7.0 on all IELTS scores, prior to check-in;
  2. achieve an acceptable score on the EPT; or
  3. successfully complete the course(s) prescribed as a result of the EPT test.

For information about other English Opportunities, see ISSS English Language Resources  

How can I improve my English?
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Practice makes perfect. Use English in conversations, writing and reading as must as possible. ESL Resources has many great suggestions for improving language skills.
I have been admitted on 'limited status' for English proficiency. What does that mean?
Full status admission for English proficiency is 103iBT or 7.0 IELTS or higher, however, lower scores will be considered for limited status admission. Students admitted on Limited Status must complete the English Placement Test upon arrival to campus and, if required, complete English as a second language course(s) (based upon EPT results). Once a student successfully completes both, the student will have fulfilled the requirements of the limited status.
I am confused whether I am considered a sponsored student?
A sponsored student is any student whose tuition and/or fees are paid directly to the University by an outside organization that requires a bill from the University before remitting payment. Students who receive scholarships, stipends, tuition reimbursement or personal payments from an organization are not considered sponsored students. This DOES NOT APPLY to students who are paid directly or supported by others. Sponsored students receive the same education and service as nonsponsored students other than they cannot use Career Services, unless the sponsor agrees in writing. For more information, see the University’s information.
I am a sponsored student, how can I ensure my sponsor is billed?

A sponsored student is any student whose tuition and/or fees are paid by a specific organization (other than the University of Illinois or a bank account) and the agency requires a bill be sent to that organization before payment is sent to the University. This DOES NOT APPLY to students who are paid directly or for support money. Sponsor agreements must not be contingent upon students grades and payments must be made when due. The University will not wait until the end of the semester to bill a sponsor. If your education at the University of Illinois is supported by an outside agency, University Student Financial Services and Cashier Operations (USFSCO) can bill the agency directly. Outside agencies can be other schools, educational foundations, businesses, and governmental agencies. They cannot bill relatives or your bank account. In order to bill your sponsor directly, USFSCO will require a signed letter of authorization from your sponsor. This letter must be written in English and on your sponsor’s official stationery. It must request the University to bill the sponsor for your account, identified by your full name (given name first and family name last) and date of birth. This authorization letter must include a billing address. It must clearly state what charges your sponsor will pay, for example: tuition only, or tuition and all mandatory fees. The University needs to know for what period of time your sponsor will be responsible for your charges. The beginning and ending dates are very important. If your sponsor wishes to renew its support after a given ending date, it can do so by sending a new authorization letter with new beginning and ending dates. The mailing address for USFSCO is: Agency Accounts, University Student Financial Services and Cashier Operations, 162 Henry Administration Building, 506 S Wright Street, Urbana, IL, 61801, USA. The letter can also be faxed to (217) 239-6890 to the attention of Sponsored Billing. You MUST keep your local address up to date in your Enterprise account. DO NOT give your sponsor’s address as your address. University Student Financial Services and Cashier Operations can only bill a sponsor for housing if you live in a U of I dormitory. Private residence halls or other University-owned or private housing cannot be billed to a sponsor. Bookstore charges for UIUC and UIS students: The bookstore has a separate billing procedure. Please contact the Manager of the bookstore to arrange for direct sponsor billing for books and supplies. Please be sure to bring a copy of your sponsor authorization letter with you. The University provides Health Insurance as part of mandatory fees. If you have other comparable insurance coverage you may petition to be exempt from our program. This petition must be presented to your campus’ Student Insurance Office during the designated enrollment change period. You will receive an email notification around the first week of the month following the start of classes informing you that your University of Illinois E-Bill is available for viewing, via the web. This notification will also instruct you on how to access your E-Bill. If the bill does not show your sponsor’s support, forward your authorization letter (or have your sponsor forward an authorization letter) and a printed copy of your E-Bill to USFSCO at 162 Henry Administration Building, 506 S Wright Street, Urbana, IL, 61801, USA. The letter can also be faxed to 217-333-9132 to the attention of Sponsored Billing. In any case, you must pay the portion of the bill by the date due for any of the various refundable and other charges that cannot be billed to your sponsor. If you do not pay your portion of the bill by the due date, you will be assessed late payment charges! Please do not send a copy of your student E-Bill to your sponsor as this will cause confusion and could lead to double payment! The University will send them a bill directly and the sponsor’s payment due date will be different from the due date stated on the student’s bill. USFSCO will bill your sponsor on a monthly basis. Sponsors, however, will have a different due date than students. If payment is not made in a timely manner, the charges could be billed to your personal account. You will then responsible for payment of all bills from the University and will be subject to the deadlines established for all students. In addition, USFSCO may not honor your sponsor’s request to bill them in the future. During the semester, it is a good idea to keep in touch with your sponsor. If you have any questions or problems you should contact USFSCO by phone at 217-333-2180, via e-mail at with Sponsored Billing as the subject line or stop by USFSCO at 506 S Wright St, Room 125 Henry Administration Building, Urbana, IL. Other useful websites: