Skip navigation

Section navigation

Undergrad International FAQ [ Expand All ]

How is an I-20 issued?

Though not required until after admission, the Office of International Services strongly recommends that financial documents be submitted during the application process so that acceptable documentation is on file once an international applicant has been admitted. These items will be requested through the Application Summary, once submitted applications are ready to receive uploaded materials.

Please visit the Office of International Services website at for additional information on financial document requirements and follow up with them with any inquiries you may have about financial document requirements and I-20 processing.

Submission of financial documentation does not affect application review and admission.

Is financial aid available for international students?

International students are not eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid Programs. To be eligible for financial assistance, a student must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. Please visit the Office of Student Financial Aid website for more information regarding financial aid eligibility.

May the application fee be waived for international applicants?

No, application fee waivers will not be processed for international applicants. The $50 (U.S. dollars) application fee is required for consideration.

My school only gives one set of original documents. What if I cannot get “official” transcripts or marksheets?

The Office of Admissions does not require you to submit your original documents to the university. We understand that many universities only issue one set of original documents to students.

Students should plan to submit attested copies of all original documents to UIC. This can be done by making copies of your transcripts, marksheets, and/or degrees and having them stamped (certified) by the registrar or Controller of Examinations at your school. The school official must also certify that they sealed the envelope by stamping the envelope flap.

My school is refusing to give me the documentation required by UIC. What can I do?

If your university refuses to issue the required documents, you will need to request a letter from the registrar or Controller of Examinations explaining their policy. This letter should be submitted to UIC in a sealed envelope which bears the stamp of the individual who is issuing the statement.

Please note that this exception will only be considered by the Office of Admissions in extreme circumstances. UIC has experience working with applicants from around the world and realizes that circumstances vary, but submitting such a letter will not guarantee that the request for official documents will be lifted.

English is commonly spoken in my country and/or school. Do I need to submit TOEFL scores?

Yes, the use of English in your country or school does not determine TOEFL requirements.

TOEFL exemptions are only granted for the following circumstances:

  • Native English speakers from countries where English is the only official language.
  • Non-native English speakers who have completed two consecutive years of full-time high school or university study in the U.S. or another country where the only official language is English.
  • Non-native English speakers who have a minimum of one year of full-time employment in the US or another country where the official language is English. Applicants must submit a letter from their employer verifying at least 12 consecutive months of employment and describing their English language ability.

What are some examples of the academic credentials I may need to submit for the admissions review?

Acceptable documents for select countries:

People's Republic of China (excluding Hong Kong)

  • Senior high school transcript
  • Junior high school transcript
  • A-level certificate (if taken)
  • O-levels/GCSE/IGCSE certificates (if taken)

Note: Any student who enrolls at a university is considered a transfer student and is not eligible for admission as a First Year student. This is true even if the student has not finished his or her first semester at the time of application.

Hong Kong

  • Transcript showing courses and grades for Form III through Form VI
  • HKCEE exam certificate
  • HKALE exam certificate (if taken)
  • O-levels/GCSE/IGCSE certificates (if taken)

South Korea

  • Senior high school transcript
  • Junior high school transcript


  • ICSE or provincial Standard X exam certificate
  • ISSE or Standard XII exam certificate
  • O-level/GCSE/IGCSE certificates (if taken)
  • A-level certificate (if taken)
  • School marksheets for grades 9-12, if student attends a school which does not follow the Indian school system


  • O-level certificate (if taken)
  • High school or junior college transcript, only if O-levels were not taken
  • A-level certificate (if taken)
  • Polytechnic transcript


  • SPM certificate
  • SMR or SRP certificate
  • STPM certificate (if taken)

top of page