Step 2: Obtain your Form I-20

The Form I-20

The Form I-20 certifies that you have been admitted to FSU for a specific program of study, have financial resources to support your academic and living expenses in the United States and are eligible to apply for the F-1 nonimmigrant student status. The Form I-20 is generated by the Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and is associated with a particular SEVIS ID and record.

This page explains the process by which you can obtain your I-20 from FSU. For information about possible funding options for your study at FSU, please see our funding page.

Determine your Estimated Total First Year Costs

Before issuing your I-20, we must verify that you have sufficient financial resources to meet the costs of your first year of study and that you confirm availability of funds for the length of your academic program.

Listed below are estimated total minimum costs for your first 12 months at FSU. Please account for potential 15% annual increases in tuition and fees. These figures do not account for large personal expenses, such as the purchase of a car or frequent travel. The estimates assume minimal summer living expenses and no summer course enrollment. If you enroll in summer courses, your cost of attendance will be considerably higher. We advise you to keep these points in mind when planning your personal budget.

If you are bringing a spouse and/or children to the U.S. on an F-2 dependent visa, you must show an additional $6,000 for your spouse and $4,000 for each child to cover their estimated first year living expenses. This requirement does not apply to dependents with U.S. citizenship or another visa status. If purchasing insurance in the U.S. for your dependents, their expenses may be higher than these estimates.

Undergraduate Programs (30 Credits/Year), 2018 - 2019

Expenses Amount
Tuition and Fees $21,683 (30 credits)
Housing $6,588
Board $4,078
Books/Supplies $1,000
Health Insurance $2,524
Personal  $1,250
Between Semesters $2,000
TOTAL $39,123

Graduate Programs (18 Credits/Year), 2018-2019



Expenses Amount
Tuition and Fees $20,043 (18 Credits)
Housing $8,452
Board $4,078
Books/Supplies $1,000
Health Insurance  $2,524
Personal $1,250
Between Semesters $2,000
TOTAL $39,347


Specific Graduate Programs (>18 Credits/Year), 2018-2019

Program Estimate
Master of Finance (MSF) $54,917
Master of Marketing (MSM) $56,028
Master of Accounting (MAcc) $56,028
Master of Business Administration (MBA) $62,692
LL.M. for Foreign Lawyers $51,878
Juris Doctorate (J.D.) $60,009
MFA in Film Production $70,106
MFA in Writing for Stage & Screen $54,536
M.S./Ed.S in Mental Health Counseling $61,581
M.S./Ed.S in Career Counseling $59,360
M.S./Ed.S in School Psychology $59,360


Activate your permanent FSUID

After you are formally admitted to FSU, you must activate your permanent FSUID using your EMPLID, first (given) name, last (family) name, and date of birth as you entered them in your application for admission. After formal admission to the university, which you can see in your admission application, you will receive an email from Admissions containing your EMPLID.

Note: The FSU-assigned EMPLID is not an SSN and cannot be used for any use outside FSU’s campus.

Fill out the online Certification of Financial Responsibility (online CFR)

Once you are admitted to FSU, we will email you a link to the online Certification of Financial Responsibility (online CFR) in your myFSU account. The online CFR is where you will provide us the information and documents we need to issue your I-20. You will be able to access the online CFR only after successfully activating your FSUID (see the instructions above).

Please read the additional instructions as you fill out each section of the online CFR. Note that you must click ‘Save’ before continuing to the next section.

Section 1: Bio Demographics

Complete this section with your biographical information as it appears on your passport.

Note: In the Permanent Residency field, do not enter ‘U.S.’, unless you have a valid U.S. Permanent Residency Card (‘Green Card’). If you are a U.S. Permanent Resident, you do not need to obtain an I-20 or F-1 status.

Section 2: Academics Information

Use the following descriptions to help you determine which type of student you are for purposes of issuing your I-20:

  1. New Student – you are currently not in the U.S. and are not a ‘Transfer Student’ (option C., below).
  2. Readmitted Student – you currently have an active SEVIS record at FSU, whether as a student or on OPT.
  3. Transfer Student – you currently have an active SEVIS record at a school other than FSU. Please read about how to have your SEVIS record transferred to FSU.
  4. Change of Status – you currently are in the U.S. with a nonimmigrant visa status other than F-1 and wish to change status to F-1. For more details about this process, please read about studying at FSU in a visa status other than F-1 or J-1 on the New Students page.

Section 3: Contact Information

Enter your current contact information outside of the U.S. Even if you currently live in the U.S. and/or have a U.S. phone number, please only enter your non-U.S. address and phone number.

Section 4: Funding Information

Enter estimated amounts for the different types of funding you will use to meet your total first year costs. You do not need to enter exact amounts because we will verify your funding information based on the documents that you upload in Section 7.

Section 5: Transfer Information

If you indicated that you are a Transfer Student in Section 2, enter the request information as it appears on your current I-20.

If you indicated that you are a Change of Status student in Section 2, you will also be asked to complete this section. Please enter your current visa status (e.g. F-2, H-4, E-2, etc.) in the SEVIS ID Number and Issued By fields. If you know the exact or approximate date your current visa status will expire, then please enter that date into the Current Program Completion Date field. If you do not know, then please enter January 1st of this year.

Please read about how to have your SEVIS record transferred to FSU.

Section 6: Dependent Information

As an F-1 student, you may sponsor the F-2 status of a spouse or child (‘dependent’). As explained in in the above, you must provide additional evidence of funding to cover the expected living costs of your dependents. For more information about the F-2 dependent status, please read our Dependents page.

For each dependent that you wish to bring with you to the U.S., fill in the requested biographical information and make sure to upload a scan of his or her passport biographical information page in Section 7.

Section 7: Supporting Documents

Before uploading any documents, make sure they are saved as PDF or JPG files and can be opened on your computer. If you are receiving an error when trying to upload a file, try reducing the file size or using a different web browser.

  1. Passport Document: the passport biographical information page (with the photo, name, date of birth etc.) for you and your dependents (if any).
  2. Funding Document: The following types of documents are acceptable (more than one type can be submitted). All documents must be in English and dated within the past six months.
    1. A bank account summaries/statements or letters specifying the owner of the account and the amount currently available (currencies besides U.S. Dollars are acceptable). All account summaries and letters must be printed by the financial institution with their letterhead. All letters must be signed by a manager.
    2. Scholarship, grant or assistantship offer letters from an academic department or the athletics department at FSU.
    3. Scholarship or grant award letters from non-FSU organizations, specifying what expenses are covered and the upper limits of that coverage.
  3. CFR Document: complete the CFR Document with your funding information and sign part 6. If you have a family sponsor, they should sign part 8. If the sponsor is using funds from a company account, you must also submit a letter of sponsorship printed by the company on their letterhead and signed by a company representative.
  4. Transfer In Form: If you indicated that you are a Transfer Student in Section 2, with the help of your current international student advisor, complete the Transfer In Form (both Parts I and II) and email it to

Submit the Online CFR

After uploading your documents in Section 7, make sure to click ‘Confirm’, ‘Next’ and then ‘Finish’.

We will review your online CFR submission within three business days. If we find any mistakes or requirements not met, we will inform you via email so that you can go back into the online CFR and make the corrections or amendments.

Receive and check your I-20 for accuracy

Once you have submitted all the required information and documents through the online CFR, we will email you instructions to choose your I-20 delivery method. Once you have selected your delivery method and, if applicable, paid for the express shipment, we will issue and send out your I-20 within three business days.

After receiving your I-20, review it to verify that the biographical information on your (and any dependents’) I-20(s) matches the that of your passport(s). In addition, check the PROGRAM OF STUDY section to ensure that it matches the degree program to which you have been admitted. Note that the information in the MAJOR 1 field on the I-20 will not exactly match the name of your program of study at FSU but will correspond to the CIP code assigned to your major in the FSU Degree Program Inventory. In addition, the PROGRAM END DATE listed on your I-20 may be later than your anticipated graduate date - this is to account for variation in individual student progress and program requirements, which are not superseded by information on your I-20. If you graduate earlier, we will update your the I-20’s PROGRAM END DATE at that time.

If any piece of information does not match, email as soon as possible with scans of the I-20 and passport, and an explanation of the correction needed. We will send you a corrected I-20 as soon as possible.

Once you have confirmed the accuracy of your I-20, sign and date the STUDENT ATTESTATION section at the bottom of the first page.


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