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Money and Banking

Student expenses

To be issued an I-20, F-1 students must provide proof of financial support to cover tuition, living expenses and other expenses (books, program fees and health insurance) for a year.  Tuition rates vary by program and are posted by the Student Business Office.  

Traveling with money

Carry enough cash to get you through the first 24 hours.

Non-cash alternatives

  • Prepaid debit cards allow you to preload the card with cash and if lost or stolen can be cancelled.
  • Check with your bank to see if there are any restrictions to using your bank debit card at ATMs in the U.S. as withdrawing money from a bank’s ATM generally provides the best exchange rate.  Be sure to be selective about the ATM you withdraw from because skimming is on the rise in Chicago. 
  • Wire transfer services like Western Union allow you to transfer money to yourself in the U.S.

Setting up a bank account

Opening up a basic checking or savings bank account is a convenient and safe way to hold your money while you are living in the U.S.  Most checking accounts come with a debit card and free checks which may be necessary to pay some bills.  To assist with bank selection Forbes created a list of what they consider to be the best bank accounts for college students.

To prevent money laundering U.S. financial institutions are required to verify the identity of each individual opening up an account, so you should expect the bank to request your name, date of birth, street address and an identification number such as your passport number or the alien number found on your I-94.

Documentation to bring:

  • Passport
  • I-20
  • I-94
  • Any secondary form of ID

Complete a Letter of Degree or Enrollment Verification request if you would like a letter confirming your status at Rush University.  If you have questions or need further assistance, please contact International Student Services.