2022-2023 Estimated Costs and Expenses for a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019)

Congratulations on your acceptance to Ball State! In order to receive your Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019), you must provide:

  • financial documentation (instructions below)
  • a clear copy of the main photo page of your passport, along with each dependent (spouse or child) that you will bring (Note: Your passports must be good for at least 6 months from the date you plan to enter the U.S. or you may be denied entry.)

You might have submitted this documentation during the application process but you will need to submit this again to International Services when requested. Keep the originals of your financial and all other documents for your visa interview. 

How much will you need to show?
The estimated costs include tuition, average fees for two semesters and living expenses for an academic year (9 months). These costs will vary depending on your course of study, where you live and how much you spend personally.  

You may need one of the following documents:

  • Declaration of Financial Support - Personal (You will need this filled out if you submit a bank statement from a family member or friend who is willing to support you as your private sponsor and is willing to sign this document.)
  • Declaration of Financial Support - Academic Department (You will need this filled out by the department if you have secured a scholarship or assistantship from a BSU department. Or we can accept a copy of an offer email or offer letter from the department showing the value of the offer to you.) 
  • Transfer In Request Form (You will need this form filled out by you and a DSO at your current school if you are currently in the U.S. studying at a school in the U.S. or on OPT and need to have your current SEVIS I-20 record and number transferred to BSU once you have finished classes there or finished your OPT.)

If you have already received your Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019), then you must:

  • apply for a U.S. Visa
  • meet health requirements and carry health insurance
  • determine your housing arrangements
  • complete a housing contract (if you plan to stay on campus)
  • prepare for your travel to Ball State
  • Check in virtually and attend International Student Orientation
  • begin your educational journey at Ball State
Financial Documentation

Ball State issues Certificates of Eligibility (I-20s and DS-2019s) to hundreds of students every year. In order to receive your certificate, you must provide financial documentation to ensure that you can support yourself during your time here.  The documentation that we require will also be needed at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate when applying for your student visa, so you need to keep a copy for that purpose as well.

Funds must be documented for an academic year of study (9 months). Students will need to document additional funding for dependents (spouse and children) who will join you in the United States.

Ball State is required to certify that an international student has the financial ability to attend their program of study for one academic year (9 months) before we may issue student Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 and DS2019) documents.

International students who do not receive university support may submit a personal bank statement or sponsor’s bank statement as documentation to fulfill this requirement.

Please ensure that you provide proof of funds for the correct degree level, as tuition for undergraduate, graduate, and Intensive English all differ. If you plan to bring your spouse or dependents, you must add the additional cost to your total.

2021 - 2022 Estimated Costs

  • International students may document funding by using personal funds, funds from private sponsors, financial awards through Ball State, and other governmental or institutional support.
  • Note: When providing bank statements, we only need the first page of a current statement that shows the date, the name of the owner of the account, the currency and the ending balance. We can convert your currency using a currency converting website. 

Personal Funding

Submit current bank statements in your name showing the date, your name as the owner of the account, the currency and the ending balance.  

Private Sponsors

Provide the sponsor's current bank or other financial statements showing the date, the name of the owner of the account, the currency and the ending balance. .

Submit a letter or letters that show the relationship between you and the sponsors, the amount of support, and the length of support. Or you may submit the Declaration of Financial Support  (PDF) in place of a letter.

If the bank statement owner is a company, we will need an official signed letter from the bank stating that the person supporting you with a Declaration of Financial Support is the owner of the company and has the right to withdraw funds as a signatory of that company account.

Ball State Financial Awards

If you have been awarded a graduate assistantship or scholarship from Ball State, please submit a copy of the official award letter, or have a representative from the awarding department email us with the following information:

  • Your (student's) name.
  • Department awarding the graduate assistantship or scholarship.
  • Department representative's name and contact information.
  • The amount and length of support.
  • For graduate assistantships, the letter or email needs to state whether it is a full or partial assistantship, as well as the amount of the stipend you will receive for your work.  

If the financial award from Ball State does not document enough funding to issue an I-20 or DS-2019 then you must also provide additional proof of funds, such as personal funds or private sponsor funds (see above).

Other Governmental or Institutional Support

Students relying on support from their government, such as the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission, must send a financial guarantee letter with the sponsor’s name and address. This initial letter may be for admission purposes, but the actual financial guarantee you receive later will state the dates that the financial guarantee covers and other details.

All funding information will need to be submitted via ourGlobalBSU portal. You will receive an email requesting this documentation onceyou have reached the appropriate stage of the I20/DS2019 creation process.

The majority of international students will need to obtain an F-1 student visa or, in some circumstances, a J-1 exchange visitor visa to be eligible to attend Ball State.

·       Note: In response to worldwide challenges related to the outbreak of COVID-19, the U.S. Department of State is suspending routine visa services in most countries worldwide. Embassies and consulates in these countries will cancel all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 18, 2020. Check the website of the embassy or consulate for its current operating status frequently. We hope this process will be back to normal visa processing soon. If not, you may need to defer to the next semester. 

We recommend that you consult the U.S. Department of State website as soon as possible to learn about the visa application process required by your local embassy or consular office.

Most students apply for a visa at the consulate office that has jurisdiction over their place of residence. You may apply for a visa at any U.S. Consulate office, but third-country nationals (individuals applying for a visa in a country that is not their country of origin) may find it more difficult to secure a visa.

We suggest that admitted students prepare the following documentation for visa interviews:

  • visa application forms, provided by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate
  • passport valid for six months beyond the date you will enter the United States
  • photograph that meets specifications
  • visa fee payment receipt
  • Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019)
  • Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee payment receipt
  • letter of admission from Ball State
  • evidence of sufficient English proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS/Pearson's PTE results), if applicable
  • evidence of sufficient financial documentation
  • evidence of sufficient ties to your home country

Learn More about Student Visas

Health requirements for students at Ball State exist primarily to protect the student body as a whole from infectious disease. Requirements are different for international students and domestic students (those from the United States).

Learn about health requirements and insurance.

Prepay for your TB test.

Living on campus has many advantages. Ball State offers two types of living accommodations for students: residence halls (dormitories) and University Apartments. If you are under 21 years old, you are required to live on campus for your first two semesters unless:

You will need to pay a deposit and the first month’s payment when you complete your housing contract.  The first payment of room and board fees may be made once you arrive to campus but must be made before you will be permitted to move into the residence hall. Check the housing website pages for details. You must already have a housing contract before you can move in early during International Orientation. Apply for housing. 

Students living in Studebaker East will be charged a low per night rate when checking in early for international orientation. Students staying in the dorm during any scheduled breaks will be charged a low per night rate. You will need to notify your hall director to let him know if you will be staying in Studebaker for any time during any scheduled breaks.  And note that you if you stay in Stu East even one night of any of the breaks, you will be charged for all the extra nights in that break. Check with the hall office about the rates for extra nights, the dates you are allowed to move in early before International Orientation and the move out dates for scheduled breaks if you do not plan to stay the entire break. Check the housing website pages for details. 

Learn More About Housing

It is important for you to complete your housing contract prior to your arrival at Ball State.

Complete the Contract

You probably have some questions. Where can I eat on campus? How often can I eat? What kinds of food are available? And most important, is the food good?

Learn About Dining and Meal Plans

When considering what to pack, learn about Muncie's climate and keep in mind that Ball State students generally adopt a casual style of dressing.

Useful items to bring with you would include:


  • summer clothing (T-shirts, shorts, cotton dresses, hats, sandals, light jacket)
  • winter clothing (sweaters, sweatshirts, pants, jeans, hat, scarf, gloves, socks, heavy coat, winter shoes or tennis shoes, boots, umbrella)
  • one or two nicer outfits with dress shoes for formal occasions
  • traditional clothing from your home country or area (very useful for international festival and other international events)

Personal Items

  • If you wear glasses or contact lenses, bring a spare pair and verification of your current optical prescription.
  • medication and back-up prescriptions for this medication
  • any personal hygiene products from your home country that may not be available in the United States (Most beauty and personal hygiene products can be purchased inexpensively once in Muncie. Local stores offer a wide range of products.)

Optional Items

  • music from your home country (CDs or tapes). Traditional music of your home country can be very useful for international events, presentations, etc.
  • pictures of your home country, your family, and your friends
  • camera
  • portable radio/CD player/iPod
  • alarm clock
  • towels (not provided in residence hall)
  • a set or two of bedding sheets (not provided in residence hall)

Most airlines allow one carry-on item and one “personal” item, such as a purse, briefcase, or laptop bag. For most airlines, carry-on bags must not exceed 22 by 14 by 9 inches in size or 45 linear inches (length + width + height).

The U.S. is very strict on what may or may not be carried on a plane. If you attempt to carry on a prohibited item, you will be asked to check it, or it will be confiscated.
Below is a short list of times that may not be carried on a plane:

  • scissors
  • fireworks
  • razors
  • cricket and baseball bats
  • any type of knife
  • aerosol cans
  • matches or lighter
  • guns (real or replica)

You can see a complete list of prohibited items at the Transportation Security Administration website or by calling 866-289-9673.

In addition to tuition and rent, students also need funds for food, laundry, telephone calls, transportation, entertainment, and other activities.


Students living in residence halls receive a university meal plan, which greatly reduces the amount of food bought for personal cooking. However, students may still wish to purchase snacks to prepare in the kitchenettes. Students living in university apartments or off campus need to prepare their own meals. The following are average prices for food items in Muncie:

(1 pound = 0.45 kilograms)

  • fresh chicken - $3.97 per pound
  • ground beef - $4.23 per pound
  • white rice - $1.62 per pound
  • white bread - $2.32 per loaf
  • eggs - $2.75 per dozen
  • milk - $3.52 per gallon
  • fresh apples - $1.92 per pound
  • cheese - $4.84 per pound

Several grocery stores in Muncie have international food sections. There are international stores in Indianapolis that have more variety and selection of international food.


Coin-operated laundry facilities are available in both the residence halls and apartment complexes. The cost to wash and dry one load of laundry is about $1.50 at these facilities. (Studebaker East residence hall has a laundry facility that uses card readers.)


Transportation is free of charge in Muncie. Students can use the university shuttle bus to get around campus. There is also a city bus system, MITS, which allows students to travel all over town for free with a valid student ID card. In addition, many students have cars on campus and may be willing to carpool to stores.


Muncie offers a variety of facilities for student entertainment. There are three movie cinemas in town. The university theater also offers a variety of show at discounted process to students. Prices include:

  • movie ticket, $10
  • game of bowling, $6
  • movie rental (Red Box), $1
  • restaurant meal for one, $5-10

Cardinal Cash

Cardinal Cash acts like a prepaid credit card and is accepted at various participating outlets throughout the campus, such as the Ball State Bookstore, The Atrium, The Tally, etc. You can use it to purchase:

  • books
  • supplies
  • gifts
  • clothing
  • food
  • snacks
  • beverages
  • recreation

International Orientation is typically the week before classes begin. It is mandatory for all new international students to attend. 

You are strongly encouraged to arrive in Muncie at least one day before International Orientation. This will give you the necessary time to settle in to your accommodations and become familiar with campus.

If you enter the United States with an F-1 or J-1 visa, then you are eligible to enter the country up to 30 days in advance of the date your academic program will begin (the date printed on your I-20 or DS-2019).

Have your passport, visa, I-20 or DS-2019, and financial documentation with you in your carry-on luggage.

  • Give the immigration officer your passport, I-20, or DS-2019.
  • The officer will verify your information in the SEVIS database and stamp your passport.
  • Your photograph will be taken, and your fingerprints will be digitally scanned.

Online Arrival Form

The easiest way to travel to Ball State University is to fly to the Indianapolis International Airport and take the Hoosier Ride shuttle bus service.  You must pre-pay for your bus fare online!

HoosierRide offers a bus service that travels between the Indianapolis International Airport and the Ball State Student Center in Muncie two times a day. It is a two hour bus ride to Muncie. The total cost is approximately $11 from the airport. HoosierRide offers easy online ticketing as well as free WiFi service onboard the bus. Students who take the HoosierRide bus will arrive  near the Ball State Student Center.

If you plan to take a Hoosier Ride bus to Ball State, it is very important for you to complete our online arrival form.  Once complete, a representative from the Rinker Center for International Programs will pick you up from the bus stop and take you to your residence hall, university apartment, or hotel.

Taxi from Indianapolis Airport to Muncie

The cost is approximately $150-$200 and must be prepaid.

Find a Taxi

Daily Bus Service

Hoosier Ride/Miller Trailways provides daily bus service from Indianapolis International Airport to Ball State. These buses also leave from the Ground Transportation Center Zone 1 at the Indianapolis International Airport every day at 10 a.m. and 4:25 p.m. They arrive at the Student Center at Ball State at 12:40 and 7:30 p.m.

The tickets are $18 U.S. and can be purchased online on the Hoosier Ride webpage by using a credit card.

Buy Tickets

Select Leaving From: “INDIANAPS ARPT (E), IN” and Going To: "BALL ST UNIV (E), IN" and then choose your date of departure.

You can also purchase tickets directly from the Hoosier Ride/Miller Trailways bus driver in U.S. dollars before the bus departs.

Please select the shuttle that best fits your schedule, allowing for at least one hour from estimated airport arrival time to shuttle departure for Muncie.

The airport's Ground Transportation Center (GTC) is located on Level 1 of the parking garage. Please follow these steps to reach the bus to Ball State outside of the Ground Transportation Center at the Indianapolis International Airport:

  • When you arrive at the airport, proceed to the baggage claim area on the lower level to claim your checked baggage.
  • Exit the passenger terminal from baggage claim and take the crosswalk under the entrance to the Ground Transportation Center.
  • Exit the Ground Transportation Center and go to Zone 1. The Hoosier Ride/Miller Trailways to Ball State will leave from Zone 1.

If you have any questions about Hoosier Ride/Miller Trailways, please call 800-544-2383 or email its customer service for assistance.

Combine Municipal and Intercity Public Bus Service

  • From Zone 6 at the airport’s Ground Transportation Center, take the IndyGo Green Line bus to the Omni Severin Hotel.
  • From the Omni Severin Hotel, walk one block south to the Greyhound station at 350 S. Illinois St.
  • From the Greyhound station, take the Miller Trailways bus to the MITS bus station at 113 W. Main St., Muncie, Indiana.
  • From the MITS bus station, take the No. 16 or No. 14 MITS bus or a taxi cab to Ball State.

You may need temporary accommodations until you can move in to your long-term housing arrangements upon your arrival to the United States.

Please note, hotel space in Muncie is limited. To ensure there will be hotel availability, rooms must be reserved in advance. If temporary accommodations will be needed before moving into long-term housing, students are encouraged to make hotel reservations as soon as possible.

If you cannot find available housing in Muncie, please stay in Indianapolis where you can sightsee and enjoy the city until International Student Orientation

If you arrive in Muncie before your residence hall or on-campus apartment opens or after our regular office hours, you are responsible for making your accommodation arrangements. When calling to make a reservation, be sure to indicate that you are a new Ball State student. Hotel possibilities in Muncie are:

Best Western
3011 W. Bethel Ave.
Muncie, IN 47304

Courtyard by Marriot
601 S. High St.
Muncie, IN 47305

Days Inn
3509 N. Everbrook Lane
Muncie, IN 47304

Ball State University Student Center Hotel
2000 W. University Ave. L.A. Pittenger Student Center
Muncie, IN 47306
(Closed from Dec. 24 – Jan. 2)

Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suite
4201 W. Bethel Ave.
Muncie, IN 47304

Hampton Inn
4200 Bethel Ave.
Muncie, IN 47304

Super 8 Motel
3601 Fox Ridge Lane
Muncie, IN 47304

Comfort Inn
3400 N. Marleon Drive
Muncie, IN 47304