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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 Summer 2021 International Student COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Award application closed on Monday, June 7, 2021.  We are no longer accepting applications at this time.

OISS is again able to provide limited financial assistance to international students who are experiencing financial difficulty because of the 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 maintain F-1 or J-1 immigration status
  • Must have completed at least 2 semesters at Michigan State University
  • Must demonstrate dire financial need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Must be an MSU student in good academic standing and be enrolled for Fall 2021.  If graduating in the summer, must be enrolled full-time for Summer 2021 or you must have an approved Reduced Course Load on file with OISS for Summer 2021.

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.

  • International Student Emergency Tuition Award (ETA): ETA is for a limited number of F-1 and J-1 students who are experiencing financial hardship and are approaching the completion of their program of study. For doctoral students who are all but dissertation, the award will cover one credit. For others, typically the award covers the cost of up to three credits. 
  • 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.