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Financial Assistance

Untitled design (23).pngAnother problem the COVID-19 pandemic may create for international students and scholars is financial hardship. If you are struggling to pay rent, pay for your tuition, or are experiencing other financial distress, please make an appointment with an OISS advisor to discuss your options.

To help us provide more resources to those in need, we have also included links to donate to these funds, for those who are interested. Should you have any questions about giving to MSU, please email ISP Advancement at isp.intladvancement(at)

International Student COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Award

The Fall 2020 International Student COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Award application closed on Monday, August 31, 2020.  We are no longer accepting applications at this time.

OISS has a new method for offering assistance specifically for international students who have a demonstrated financial need during this global pandemic. 

If you experiencing financial distress as a direct result of COVID-19, please login to MyOISS and submit an application for the International Student COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Award.

Examples of financial need could include any of the following: 

  • MSU tuition and fees
  • housing on or off campus
  • food and daily essentials
  • transportation related expenses
  • health insurance and healthcare expenses
  • spouse/child dependent related expenses

To be eligible for this financial assistance you must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be an MSU student in good academic standing and be enrolled for Fall 2020
  • Must demonstrate dire financial need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Must maintain F-1 or J-1 immigration status
  • If enrolled less than full-time, then you must have an approved Reduced Course Load on file with OISS
  • Must have completed at least 2 semesters at Michigan State University.

Please email oiss(at) if you have questions about the award or the application process. 

OISS Funding

OISS has a few other methods of offering assistance specifically for international students and scholars who have a demonstrated financial need.

  • Emergency Tuition Award (ETA): For a limited number of F-1 and J-1 students who experience financial hardship in the last two semesters of their degree program. For doctoral students who are all but dissertation, the award will cover one credit. For others, typically the award covers the cost of three credits. The deadline for fall ETA is September 1, 2020. CLOSED
  • The Lillian Kumata Scholarship Program, through Community Volunteers for International Programs (CVIP), provides a limited number of need-based, partial tuition scholarships to MSU international students and scholars and their spouses for the fall and spring semesters, up to $2,500. Apply through the CVIP website.

  • David D. Horner International Student Scholarship Fund: The Horner Fund provides emergency assistance to international students in critical financial distress. The amount of the award varies based on the student's circumstances and needs. Learn more about the scholarship or make an appointment with an OISS advisor to discuss an application. Give to the David Horner fund, or apply to the David Horner scholarship

  • International Student Emergency Fund: granted through the Office for International Students and Scholars, small awards of up to $500. Give to the International Student Emergency Fund. 

Short Term Loans

There are a number of short term, low-interest loans available to international students. Find details and application processes on the Financial Aid website.

The Graduate School

Graduate students may be able to get funding from their academic departments. Graduate students can learn more about funding opportunities through their academic departments.
The Graduate School website lists resources for external funding, tips for writing grant proposals, and more.

Council of Graduate Students (COGS)

COGS Working-Remotely Technology Awards: to help with the costs of technology upgrades needed to complete coursework-research remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, COGS has designated a limited amount of funds to offer one-time reimbursement awards of up to $50 to Graduate and Professional students. Find more details and apply on the COGS website.