Additional Resources

Sponsored Student Presentation

Sponsored Student Release Form


Who is considered a sponsored student?

A sponsored student is a student whose tuition and fees are paid for by a third party sponsoring organization through a financial guarantee (FG) or terms of appointment/award (ToA), both of which will be referred to as a financial guarantee in this FAQ, and the funding source is listed on their I-20 or DS-2019.

What are examples of sponsoring organizations?

Some common examples of sponsoring organizations are AMIDEAST, IIE (Fulbright), Ministry of Education Malaysia, Omani Government, Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM), UAE Government and USAID. 

Financial guarantees should be submitted through CyStart using the Sponsored Students e-form.

When should I submit my financial guarantee?

Sponsored students should submit their first financial guarantee by the first Friday of the semester that they start at Iowa State. Students should then submit each updated or new financial guarantee that they receive within 10 days of getting the new financial guarantee. 

What costs does my financial guarantee cover?

Each financial guarantee is different so students will want to review the terms of what is covered in their financial guarantee, but common items that are covered include tuition and mandatory fees.

What costs are not covered by my financial guarantee?

Again this will depend on the individual financial guarantee, but some common items are parking permits/tickets and library late fees.

What should I do if the funding section of my I-20/DS-2019 does not list my sponsor?

Sponsored students should submit their financial guarantee on CyStart using the Sponsored Students e-form. The student’s financial guarantee will then be reviewed, and they will be notified when a new I-20/DS-2019 listing their funding source has been issued and ready for pick up. 

What should I do if I will no longer be funded by my sponsor?

If a student finds out that their sponsor will no longer be able to fund their studies, they will need to submit proof of funding for one academic year so that the funding information on their I-20/DS-2019 can be updated. Students should submit funding in Cystart through the Immigration Document Upload form. Following submission, students will be notified when a new I-20/DS-2019 listing the funding source has been issued and ready for pick up.

Online Courses

Are sponsored students allowed to enroll in online courses?

Sponsored students will need to check if their sponsor allows them to enroll in online classes. Some sponsors limit students the number of online classes students can take during their degree program, and students must have approval from their sponsor before they enroll in an online course. 

Does my financial guarantee cover online courses?

Students will need to check if their financial guarantee will cover the costs of online courses. Some sponsors require students to get approval in order to take an online class and will issue a separate financial guarantee specifically for the online course once the student has been approved. 

Health Insurance

My sponsor provides health insurance, how do I waive Iowa State University’s health insurance?

If a sponsor provides health insurance and does not require students to have health insurance through Iowa State University (ISU), the sponsored student will need to waive ISU’s health insurance when they arrive at Iowa State. To waive Iowa State's health insurance, please complete the Sponsored Students: Health Insurance form in Cystart to provide the financial guarantee showing that your sponsor will provide health insurance. Please be sure to complete the form again each time an updated financial guarantee or terms of appointment is received. More information on how to waive ISU’s health insurance can be found on the Student & Scholar Health Insurance webpage or by emailing

Transcripts and Information for Sponsors

My sponsor requires me to submit a transcript at the end of each semester.  How do I request a transcript?

An official transcript can be requested through AccessPlus on the Student tab on the top of the screen, and then select Grades & Transcripts on the left hand side. When requesting a transcript, students can request that it is sent directly to their sponsor. Students are able to request an official transcript after the start of the semester and request that it be held until the end of the semester after final grades and/or degrees have been posted. 

How do I request an unofficial transcript?

Students can request an unofficial transcript requested through AccessPlus on the Student tab on the top of the screen, and then select Grades & Transcripts on the left hand side. 

How do I request that the university complete an Online Course Audit?

Students should request an official transcript using the method above and then attach the online course audit form they receive from their sponsor in reply to the confirmation email immediately after placing the order. Students should specify that the form is to be completed and sent with their transcripts with their name on the form. If a student does not immediately receive a confirmation email, they should call the transcript office at 515-294-1840 for further instructions. If a student is not required to order and send transcripts then please fill out a certification request form, found under “forms” on the Registrar’s home page, and email it along with the online course audit form to

My sponsor has requested information on my anticipated graduation date and number of classes that I have remaining.  Who should I ask to submit this information?

Students should speak with their academic advisor or major professor to request a letter stating how many classes they have remaining and when their anticipated graduation is. 

Will the university release information to my sponsor without my knowledge?

ISU can only release certain information about students under a federal law known as FERPA that is considered directory information such as name, education level, and enrollment status. ISU can only release other information including grades if the student has provided written consent stating that it is okay for ISU to release the information. Students may complete the following forms if they would like to permit the release of university records or immigration records


Am I allowed to work as a sponsored student?

Sponsored students should review the terms of their financial guarantee and/or check with their sponsor to see if they are eligible to be employed while being sponsored. If students in F-1 status are able to work while being sponsored they are eligible to work on campus without special permission from ISSO, but must make sure their I-20 has the appropriate work authorization on it before they engage in any off campus employment. Students in J-1 status must receive written permission from their sponsor before they are able to be employed, and must receive authorization from ISSO before they begin their employment. 


Why do I receive a U-bill if I am a sponsored student?

All students receive a U-bill so that they are aware of the charges on their account, and so that students can pay for any charges that their sponsor will not cover. 

My U-bill has not been paid by my sponsor.  What should I do?

If a student’s U-bill has not been paid, they are encouraged to contact the Accounts Receivables office to confirm that they are identified as a sponsored student, have a current financial guarantee on file, and that the charges on their account are billable to their sponsor. 

Disclaimer: This Frequently Asked Questions is intended for general information and guidance. As this information can quickly become outdated or may not apply to your situation, please consult with an International Student Advisor in the International Students and Scholars Office regarding your individual questions.