International FAQs

What You Need to Know

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application deadline for an International Student?

June 1

Does JBU offer full-tuition or full-ride scholarships?

JBU does not offer full-tuition or full-ride scholarships for International students.

How much does it cost to attend JBU?

See our Costs page.

What are the additional costs to attending JBU (in addition to tuition, room, and board)?

  • $200 International and JBU Freshman Orientation Fee (one-time fee)
  • $200 SEVIS fee
  • $1988/yr. medical insurance fee
  • $600-$800/yr. textbook estimate
  • Travel expenses to and from JBU
  • Students may incur additional course fees (see misc. fees)

What scholarships can international students receive?

International Student Scholarship: JBU offers the International Student Scholarship which ranges from $3,000 to $9,000 per year and is based on financial need.  Once the application is complete, students who have financial need will be considered for this scholarship.  Academics and student commitment to the mission of JBU are also taken into consideration when awarding.  There is no separate application for this scholarship.  By completing the International Application process (including the International Student Financial Information Form), you have applied for this scholarship.

Application deadline: March 15

JBU awards the top scholarships by April 1, so all students interested in the international student scholarship must apply by March 15.  JBU has a limited amount of funding for international students so after April 1, students are awarded based on remaining funds.

International Work-Study Program: The work-study program is an on-campus job in which students work 8 hours per week and can earn up to $1700 per year.  Work-study is awarded based on financial need.

Athletic scholarships:

Are international students eligible for merit-based academic scholarships or competitive academic scholarships?

No, international students are not eligible for JBU competitive nor merit-based academic scholarships.

How do most International Students pay to attend JBU?

Most International JBU students are paying their own way or are receiving very substantial sponsorships from family members, organizations, or churches.

Is the $9,000 International deposit an additional fee?

No, it is not an additional fee.  The $9,000 International deposit will go towards the cost of the first year at JBU. The deposit will be applied to the student’s tuition account at JBU.  It is fully refundable until the date of enrollment.  

Are there outside scholarships for International students?

There are a limited number of outside scholarships for International students to attend university in America. Here is a list of some websites to explore for outside (non-JBU) scholarships:

What is Work-study?

John Brown University has a rich heritage of providing jobs for students through the Joe R. Smith Services program. Each year nearly 600 students participate in the JBU Work-study program which not only provides financial support for students, but promotes essential academic and career development as well!

There are different job opportunities all over campus that you may be assigned to or have the option to choose. A student can work up to 8hrs a week throughout the whole year. There is an online account in which you can view the Work-study job openings as well!

More Work-Study information

What is the policy for working on or off-campus for International students?

Employment is defined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as “any type of work performed or services provided in exchange for money, tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, food or any other benefit.”

The student can engage in employment outside of campus only when specifically authorized by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

F-1 visa students in status may engage in on-campus employment/work-study through JBU. On campus employment/work-study is limited to a maximum of 8 hours per week.Students do not need to apply to the USCIS to get an Employment Authorization Document.

Can I arrive early to the US?

Due to government regulations, students with an F-1 student visa status may only enter the US 30 days prior to the start date of school. 

I do not have a ride from the airport to JBU.  What should I do?

JBU is not able to provide transportation to and from the nearby airports.  Jim’s Express Shuttle service provides transportation for a fee from the two nearby airports. Tulsa airport is a 1 hour 20 minute drive from JBU. The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport is a 40 minute drive from JBU.

Tulsa Airport (TUL) to JBU: $140 (JBU student rate)  

Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) to JBU: $42

Contact Info for Jim’s Express Shuttle:
Phone: 479-205-0011
Cell: 479-366-3045


What support does JBU offer International Students?

JBU values International students and wants to offer them the best support to help them feel welcome and adjusted to life at JBU. Below is a list of some of the ways that we seek to support International students:

  • International/MK Orientation: 3-day freshman orientation designed to help International students get to know each other and adjust to life at JBU.
  • Friendship Families: You will be paired with an American Friendship Family who can be your “home-away-from-home” during your time at JBU.
  • World Awareness Week: A week in which we celebrate what God is doing around the world as well as learn from our International Students.
  • International committees and clubs:
    • CIF (Council For International Fellowship)
      CIF serves the link between international students and domestic students. They sponsor fun events such as the international Food Night and JBU World Cup Soccer Tournament.
    • Mu Kappa
      Mu Kappa is a club organized by MK's with the goal of supporting MK's in their transition from their home overseas into the college experience here at JBU. Mu Kappa organizes events in order to encourage relationships with other fellow MK's on campus to support and encourage each other in our unique situations and experiences. Beyond this, we hope that having this support system will give us confidence to make relationships with other students on campus. Events include but are not limited to: camping, weekly dinners with the missionary-in-residence family, annual goat roast, movie nights, worship night, and supporting the rugby team at home games.
    • MOSAIC (Multicultural Organization of Students Active In Christ
      MOSAIC’s purpose is to be a Christ-centered student fellowship which pledges to develop and sponsor cultural, educational, and social programing for their members and other JBU students.  We celebrate diversity and provide cultural awareness for the entire campus community.  The organization will sponsor different activities throughout to promote the different cultures on campus and encourage diversity in the community of JBU.  Activities include Soul Food Day, movie nights and discussion, and weekly planning meetings.
    • SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise)
      Students In Free Enterprise seeks to change lives around the world through education and service that equips people, builds communities, and inspires hearts. JBU SIFE is students with ideas to meet needs, organizing into teams, and implementing projects to raise the standard of living for others.

Can I learn English at JBU?

JBU accepts International students who show proficiency in the English language (based on test scores and the application essay).  JBU offers 3 levels of English classes (ESL I, II, and III) for current International students who have been accepted to JBU and need limited English language support.  However, JBU does not offer a robust English program for students who are seeking to learn English. 

How many International students attend JBU?

In 2014, JBU students came from 42 states and 40 different nations.

Over 100 International students attend JBU in the undergraduate division.  Approximately 15% of JBU students grew up overseas. 

What is an I-20?

The I-20 is a legal document that JBU sends to the student. The student brings this with them when they go to apply for a visa at the US Embassy. This document lets the US consulate know that the student meets our acceptance requirements and has proven that they can afford to come to JBU. The I-20 does not guarantee the student a visa.

How do I obtain the I-20 Form which is necessary for a student visa?

Once a student has completed the application process and is accepted to JBU, we require the following documents:

  • International Student Financial Information Form
  • Copy of the identifying page of your passport
  • $9,000 deposit

Once the Admissions Office has received the above 3 items, JBU will issue the necessary documents (Form I-20) for you to apply for a student visa.  It is your responsibility to present all documents to the US Embassy or consulate nearest you to obtain a student visa.

What is an F-1 Student Status?

An F-1 student is a person who has a residence in a foreign country to which he or she plans to return, and has come to the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of attending college, university, seminary, conservatory, or other academic institution.

What is the $200 SEVIS fee, why is it important, and how do I pay it?

The SEVIS I-901 fee is required for all F and M students as well as J exchange visitors. Paying your SEVIS I-901 fee is very important. Without this fee, you will not be eligible to apply for a visa. Once a student receives the I-20, he/she will need to make the $200 SEVIS fee payment and complete the Form I-901.

You are required to present the hard copy of the “Payment  Receipt” for this fee, at the time of your interview with the Consulate at the American Embassy.

You must have a complete and accurate I-20 to complete the Form I-901 online and to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. If you do not have an I-20 or if the information on the form is incorrect, contact the school official or exchange visitor program sponsor for a copy of the form before you continue.

You must be able to print the Form I-901 payment coupon or payment receipt when you complete the form online. Ensure a printer is connected and working before continuing. You cannot return to the page and print the coupon or payment receipt at a later time. To pay the fee on line:

If you have questions:

  • First, check the I-901 FAQ page at
  • If the answer to your question is not here, then contact the I-901 Helpdesk at (US) 1-212-620-3418
  • Or, email the SEVIS Representatives at

What is a Social Security Number?

A number assigned to eligible individuals by the Social Security Administration of the U.S. federal government, primarily so that they can file taxes and pay into the Social Security system. In general, non-citizens can only obtain Social Security numbers if they are authorized by the Citizenship and Immigration Services to work in the U.S. Social Security cards can be unrestricted, or restricted, meaning its holder can only work with a CIS issued employment authorization document.

Who is eligible to receive Federal Student Aid and fill out a FAFSA?

To receive federal student aid, you must meet certain requirements. You must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number (unless you’re from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau).
  • Be registered with Selective Service if you are male and 18 to 25 years of age (go to for more information).
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate or pass an exam approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program at a school that participates in the federal student aid programs.
  • Not have a drug conviction for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (such as grants, loans, or work-study).
  • You must not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal student loan.
  • You must demonstrate financial need (except for unsubsidized Stafford Loans).

Other requirements may apply. Contact your school’s financial aid office for more information.

How do I maintain F-1 status as a student?

You are subject to immigration laws imposed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). You must keep your basic documents valid. If you entered the United States as a student, you must maintain that status by enrolling in a minimum number of credit hours (12 hours for undergraduate students). Failure to maintain status will result in a loss of all F-1 benefits and may provide the INS grounds to begin deportation proceedings.

What must I do if/when my passport expires?

Your passport allows you to leave and enter the country. All passports must be renewed six months before their expiration date as long as you are a student with an F-1 status. You should contact your home country's embassy for specific instructions. In the case your visa has expired and you plan to travel outside the US, you may need to return to your home country to apply for a new student visa. If your visa has expired and you have no plans to travel outside of the US, then it will not be necessary to obtain a new visa provided that you are maintaining your status as an international student.

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