International Student Fee

UPDATED Aug. 15, 2019

The University of Michigan has long welcomed students, faculty, staff, and visiting scholars from other countries to study, teach, and work on our campus. International students and faculty are highly valued members of our community of scholars. They contribute unique perspectives, enrich the culture of the community and broaden the global focus of the institution.

Particularly for students, the university places a high priority on providing supportive services and infrastructure that promote a sense of welcome and integration into the campus community and that promote academic success.

To help address these needs, the university will implement a student service fee of $500 per semester for enrolled international students studying in Ann Arbor with F or J visa status. This fee will help the university to maintain and enhance its commitment to international student services, programming and compliance. It will take effect with the Fall 2019 semester.

Q. What is the international student fee and to whom does it apply?
A. This is a fee assessed to enrolled international students studying in F and J visa status, along with other tuition and mandatory student fees each term of enrollment.

Q. What is the purpose of the fee and how will it be used?
A. The university is strongly committed to the continuing success of our international students. We seek to raise revenue through an international student fee to support this priority. Revenue from the fee will be allocated to help cover the cost of sustaining and enhancing services to support the success of international students and compliance and reporting requirements.

It will take some time to determine the specific ways in which the funding generated by the fee will be utilized. Many in our community have communicated directly with the Provost’s Office and through the International Center the need for additional services and programming, and we want to be thoughtful and listen to these groups as we make allocation decisions.

Q. Will the revenue from the new fee now fund the International Center?
A. The new international student services fee is not an International Center fee. Revenue from the fee will not flow directly to the center. The fee is intended to maintain and enhance the university’s commitment to international student services, programming and compliance. The International Center will be actively involved in helping to determine the best use of these funds.

Q. What services for international students will be supported by the fee?
A.  The university provides a comprehensive, distributed suite of services geared toward the success of international students that will be supported as a result of the fee. Some of these services are offered centrally by the International Center. Many others are offered by the university’s 19 schools and colleges or otherwise managed centrally.

For example, in addition to check in and orientation services offered by the International Center, many schools and colleges also organize orientations for international students that are specific to their academic programs. A number of academic programs are sequential degree or exchange programs developed through institutional agreements with international colleges and universities. Additionally, the English Language Institute provides language, academic and intercultural instruction to many international students.

As students pursue their studies, the International Center offers additional immigration advising and programming. International students also take advantage of an array of school or college peer adviser programs, student organizations, cultural exchange activities and workshops with topics varying from tax preparation to intercultural communication. Many activities are organized as a collaboration between university staff and international students themselves.

The schools and colleges and the International Center collaborate to promote career opportunities for international students in several different ways. As academic units develop opportunities for students to gain practical experience as a part of their academic programs, the International Center advises on relevant immigration regulations governing internships and other practical training opportunities.  Schools and colleges and the International Center also host panels of international alumni and offer workshops about navigating the U.S. job market.

Q. Why is the university introducing this fee now?
A. This fee is necessary to ensure a stable source of revenue to sustain and enhance international student support services. The university has a number of fees that generate resources for various purposes, such as those that support the University Health Service and Student Legal Services. The change puts U-M in alignment with a number of institutions that have international fees, tuition differentials for international students, or both.

They include the University of Illinois ($874-$2,374 annual tuition differential), University of Maryland ($125 per term fee), Ohio State University ($2,928 annual tuition differential), University of Virginia ($100 per term fee), Purdue University ($1,000 per term tuition differential and $145 per term fee), University of Wisconsin ($1,000 annual tuition differential and $200 fee), Michigan State University ($1,500 annual fee) and University of Chicago ($450 one-time fee).

Q. Is this new fee being initiated because of changing federal immigration policy?
A. No. Revenue from the fee will be allocated to help cover the cost of sustaining and enhancing services to support the success of international students and compliance and reporting requirements.

Q. How much is the fee and how will it be charged?
A. The fee is $500 per term. It will be assessed with other tuition and mandatory fees in each term the student is enrolled.

Q. When will the fee take effect?
The fee will take effect in fall 2019.

Q. Will the international student fee apply to those enrolled in spring/summer?
A. Yes, but not until the spring and summer terms of 2020. The fee will be reduced by half in the spring and summer half-terms.

Q. I am an international Ph.D. student or student appointed as a GSRA, GSSA, or GSI. Will I be assessed the fee? Will the fee be covered by my appointment?
A. All Ann Arbor campus international students studying in F and J visa status will be assessed the fee along with tuition and other mandatory fees. Consistent with the terms of their offers of admission, the university will cover the fee for all Ph.D. students in good academic standing. In addition, the university will cover the fee for students appointed as GSIs or GSSAs, in accordance with the Graduate Employees’ Organization collective bargaining agreement.

International students who are appointed as a GRSA but are not Ph.D. students will be assessed the fee. As is the case with other university fees, your department may pay the fee on your behalf. Students unclear about whether their fee will be covered should contact their departmental supervisor.

Q. I am an international student supported by an external fellowship or U-M fellowship. Will I be assessed the fee? Will the fee be covered by my appointment?
A. Yes, you will be assessed the fee. Fellowships vary greatly by institutional and grantor conditions, and may cover a portion of your tuition or all tuition and fees, and may include a stipend. The university will cover the fee for all Ph.D. students on fellowship.

Q. I am a faculty member who supports an international student as a GSRA on my grant. Will the grant be charged the fee?
A. Under the university’s current tuition waiver policy, student fees for GSRAs are not charged to the sponsored research grant. Fees may be fully or partially covered by the school or college using non-sponsored funds per the terms of GSRAs employment contract. The university will cover the fee for all Ph.D. students in good standing, including those appointed as GSRAs. Students unclear about whether their fee will be covered should contact their departmental supervisor.

Q. I am an accepted international student who has been issued an I-20 or DS-2019. Will my documentation need to be updated?
A. No, students will not need to resubmit documents as a result of this fee.

Q. I am an admitted international student, but my I-20 or DS-2019 documents have not been issued. Will the new fee be reflected in my documents? Will I need to submit additional financial statements?
A. No, students will not need to resubmit documents as a result of this fee, nor submit additional financial statements.

Q. I am an international student spending a semester off-campus while completing an internship, which is one of my degree requirements. Will I be assessed the fee during my semester off-campus?
A. If you are enrolled during the semester, including reduced enrollments such as Engineering Co-ops, the fee will be assessed alongside other tuition and fees.

Q. Is the international student fee the same amount if I am enrolled as a part-time or NCFD (not a candidate for a degree) student?
A. Yes.

Q. I am an international student studying at the University of Michigan as part of an exchange or reciprocity agreement. Will I be assessed the international student fee?
A. No, you would not be assessed the international student fee. Generally, an international student studying at U-M as part of an exchange or reciprocity agreement pays their home institution’s tuition and fees. Note that a non-degree-seeking international student who is direct enrolled and not on a reciprocal exchange will pay the international student fee. Check with your U-M school or college program to verify if this applies to you.

Additional details: If you have additional questions or concerns regarding the international fee, please email internationalstudentfees@umich.edu.