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Money Matters


Scholarship or Financial Aid for International Students

JMU does not offer any scholarships to international students, aside from the few scholarship that are provided to students once they are accepted at JMU.  

  • Occasionally a small scholarship (the Graybeal Scholarship) to be applied towards an international student's tuition only is offered when available.
  • International Student Loans offer international students loans to study in U.S. colleges, however you should know that the signature of a U.S. resident is also required.
  • As an international student on a F-1 or J-1 visa, you can work on campus for up to 20 hours a week, you can therefore earn some spending money by working for a place like dining facilities, the library, the computing helpdesk, the bookstore, etc.
  • Refer yourself to the International Financial Aid and College Scholarship Search. IEFA is the premier resource for financial aid, college scholarship and grant information for US and international students wishing to study abroad.

Opening a Bank Account

You are strongly encouraged to open a bank account in the U.S in order to facilitate your transaction of money from your home country, pay your tuition and fees, and avoid carrying large sums of money.

While very convenient due to its location on-campus and its ATM machines also located on campus, the Commonwealth One Bank is unfortunately not much of an option for individuals who do not have a Social Security number. Individuals who open a bank account with Commonwealth One Bank without a Social Security number within 90 days will have their account terminated.

For these reasons, and the fact that it has many ATM machines and branches all over the US, Wells Fargo is the bank of choice for the JMU international student community. During the international student orientations, ISSS arranges to open bank accounts to the Wells Fargo bank either located downtown or by the Sheetz Gaz station on the other end of South Main Street. By virtue of working with so many international students in the past, the bank and its staff members are very familiar with the issues that JMU international students are facing.

Managing a Bank Account

It is crucial that you ensure that your contact information is updated at all times. When you first opened your account you may have entered a temporary address and phone number (such as the International Students and Scholars Services's address and phone number). If this is the case (or if you moved to a different address make sure to make the necessary corrections on your virtual account by logging in to your bank's webpage.