Admissions and Financial Aid

Visa Process

The Heller School does not require international students to submit a statement of financial support with their application. However, we do require this information if you have been accepted by Heller. The majority of students that study at Heller apply for the F-1 visa status using a Form I-20. In certain cases, students who receive significant funding from a sponsor other than a friend or family member may request a Form DS-2019 to apply for the J-1 visa.

Cost of Attendance

As part of submitting obtaining your I-20, you will be asked to demonstrate that you have sufficient (liquid) funds to pay for one year in your academic program. The VIDOF Form will walk you through this calculation, but essentially you will need to demonstrate that you have enough funds to cover the cost of your program minus any scholarship that Heller provides, i.e., if Heller is awarded you a 55% tuition scholarship, you would have to demonstrate that you have the funds to cover 45% of tuition plus living expenses. 

Securing Your Visa

After replying to your offer of admission and paying your tuition deposit, you will need to secure a Form I-20 or DS-2019 from Brandeis University’s International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) in order to apply for your student visa to enter the United States. To do so, you will need to submit the following items to the Heller Admissions Office:

  • Visa Information and Declaration of Finances (VIDOF) Form submitted online
  • Clear copy of your current valid passport including photo, expiration date, name and passport number
  • Submit proof of assured funds (required financial documentation). Please follow instructions on the VIDOF Form to determine the amount of assured funds you need to provide according to your program's cost of attendance. Proof of assured funds includes bank statements, sponsorship letters and any scholarship/loan award letters if applicable
  • Dependents: If you have a spouse or unmarried child(ren) under the age of 21 accompanying you to the U.S. and you are requesting a visa document for your family member(s), please complete the Dependent Section on the VIDOF and submit a copy of each dependent's valid passport and additional financial support in the amount of $7,200 per dependent. Note: students should anticipate that $7,200 is the minimum estimated dependent cost per year for each dependent. Actual dependent costs may be higher depending on lifestyle choices. For more information on dependents, please see Dependents.
  • Health Insurance Agreement Form (for J-1 Visa Applicants ONLY): Both Brandeis University and the State of Massachusetts require that all students, regardless of visa status, carry personal health insurance. The Health Center provides information on insurance and health service fees. For J-1 visa holders, U.S. law requires you and your dependents (on J-2 visas) to maintain additional health insurance. Detailed information on the health insurance requirements for J-1 visa holders can be found on the ISSO website.  All J-1 and J-2 visa holders will need to confirm that they have from home, or will purchase, health insurance coverage that meets the J requirements to maintain their visa status. J-1 visa holders will need to complete the J-1 Health Insurance Agreement prior to enrollment.  
  • SEVIS Transfer Students: If you are requesting to transfer your F-1 or J-1 student visa from a previous school (or from OPT/Academic Training) to Brandeis, please see Transfer SEVIS Record to Brandeis.

Please review the detailed VIDOF Form instructions on the ISSO website here. ISSO is also available to answer all VIDOF and visa related inquiries. Please email a member of the ISSO staff if you have additional questions.