Organizing your Money

International Student Expenses 

Tuition and fees for the each academic year are set by Winthrop University's Board of Trustees every July. These figures are based on non-immigrant, non-residency at the University (all F and J students and others). All figures are subject to change. Winthrop's Cashiers Office can provide detailed information on all University fees.

To acquire a Form I-20 from Winthrop University, international students are required to show proof of funding for one academic year. International students not allowed to work off-campus for one year when coming to the U.S. on an F1 student visa and on-campus employment options can be limited. The U.S. government requires a student show proof of funding for their education so they are not forced to work illegally and jeopardize their immigration status. For Information on the amount required for the Form I-20 please contact the International Center.


Bringing Money to the U.S. from Abroad

When students first arrive in the U.S., they will need enough money for immediate expenses such as food, supplies for campus housing, and other essentials until a bank account can be established. It is not recommended to carry large sums of cash while traveling; there are safer options available. Contact your home country bank now for details about the following:

  • Bank Checks/Drafts-These are useful for large sums of money but funds are not available for three days to three weeks after deposit (depending on which bank is used). 
  • Electronic Banking/ATMs/Check Cards-Cash is available immediately from Automatic Teller Machines. Exchange rates are good, but there may be a daily limit ($200-$300) and fees for using the service.
  • Traveler's Checks-The money is immediately available if checks are in US dollars, and they can be replaced if lost or stolen. But checks in large denominations can be difficult to use. Checks in a foreign currency are subject to exchange fees.
  • Wire transfers-This is the safest way to transfer money. It is immediately available but an account at a US bank must be opened first. There may be a fee for using the service. 


Banking in the U.S.

One of the first things to do after arriving in the U.S. is to set up a bank account. Before opening an account, do some preliminary research to compare services, benefits, level of customer service and fees. There are many different local banks (see below) located in Rock Hill. Each bank may have different processes and procedures.


There are two basic kinds of bank accounts:

  1. Checking accounts are for payment of regular bills and shopping needs. There are many different types of checking accounts. Be sure to look at the account fees and when they may be charged. After opening an account you will be given a book of temporary checks, but you should order checks with your name and local address printed on them. Most businesses will only accept a check that has the printed information.
  2. Savings accounts are for money you do not need to use immediately. Savings accounts earn interest on the balance and are available at all banks. If you have larger sums of money which you do not need for your routine living expenses, a savings account is a safe way to keep it.


ATM (Automated Teller Machine) Cards/Debit Cards

When you open an account at a bank, you will be issued an ATM/debit card. The card is directly linked to your bank accounts. Debit cards have become more commonly used in the U.S. than cash. You can use your card as a banking tool to access your bank accounts and to make purchases. Most businesses accept debit cards for payment. An ATM/debit takes money directly out of your bank account to make a payment. Some ATM machines may charge you a fee for use.


Local Banks

Listed below are several banks located in Rock Hill, South Carolina:

BOA or Bank of America
1710 Heckle Boulevard
Rock Hill, SC 29732
Phone: 803/981-5544 

Wells Fargo
2691 Celanese Road
Rock Hill, SC 29732
Phone: 803/366-3000

Please note: Since each person has different banking needs, the International Center will not recommend a particular bank to international students.

Tuition and Fee Payments 

New international students typically have until the first Friday of classes to pay their tuition and fees. Detailed information on the Winthrop University policy for payment of tuition, room, meals, insurance and other fees will be updated by Winthrop University's Cashier's Office. This summary is intended to help international students and their families understand the options for payment.

During International Student Orientation, the International Center will assist students in opening a bank account with a local bank. Listed below are several options on how to pay your tuition and fees:

Payment Options

  • Credit card payments may be made using a secure online payment gateway.  An additional fee of 2.75% of the total payment amount will be added to the charge when choosing the Credit Card payment option. The Cashier's Office will not accept credit card payments at the teller windows, by mail, e-mail or by telephone — only via the internet.
  • Winthrop accepts American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa credit cards.  
  • Wire Transfers directly to the University can be accepted. However, you must contact the Cashiers Office for the necessary wiring instructions. One alternative would be to wire the funds into the student's personal bank account and then the student an pay with a personal check.
  • Students and parents will be able to make payments directly from any U.S. checking or savings account by using the web payment option (Electronic Funds Transfer) with no additional charge, simply by entering the bank/financial institution routing and account numbers at the Cashiers Office. This recommended process is easy and involves no additional charge.    
  • Winthrop will accept Cash, Money Order, Travelers Checks, Cashiers Check, Bank Drafts and Personal Checks on U.S. banks at the teller windows in the Cashier's Office, as well as check payments received in the mail. Checks should be made payable to Winthrop University.

If you have any questions about organizing your money before coming to study at Winthrop University please contact the International Center.