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Frequently Asked Questions

As a newly admitted international student, you probably have a lot of questions about typical university business. Please review the most frequently asked questions below. If you have a question that you feel should be on this page, send an e-mail to and we'll add it to the list.
Q: As a new international student at Oakland University (OU), when is my first payment due?
A:  Tuition and university housing charges are generally due three weeks into a semester. For the exact dates, please visit the Billing and Information Web page. Tuition is assessed based on the student’s class standing, residency and the number of credits enrolled. Students are billed monthly by Student Business Services. Tuition is payable in U.S. dollars according to the established due dates. Student Business Services will send monthly billing notifications electronically to each student’s official Oakland University e-mail address. Students also may access their billing information on e-bill, the university's electronic billing notification system. Questions about your bill may be addressed to the Office of Student Financial Services at or (248) 370-2550. Failure to receive an electronic notification does not excuse students from required payment on the specified due date

Q: Does Oakland accept late payments?
A:  Payment in full of the total balance due will avoid assessment of a 1½ % monthly late payment penalty. Student accounts must be paid in full by the established due dates for students to be eligible to register during the next registration period. Transcripts, diplomas or other statements of record will be withheld and students will be ineligible to enroll and/or continue to be enrolled in future terms until their obligations have been fulfilled. If an account is not paid in full by the end of the semester, it will be referred to an outside collection agency that will report it to the credit bureau.

Q: How do I pay my bill for tuition, housing, etc.?
A:  Payment can be made by cash, check, online from your checking or savings account (ACH), debit card (PULSE or STAR networks), or by credit card (Visa or MasterCard). All payments must be in U.S. currency. Remittance should be made payable to “Oakland University” and identified with the student name and Grizzly ID number. Receipts will not be mailed. Payments returned by the bank are considered nonpayment and may result in cancellation of registration. A $25 charge will be assessed for returned items. Payment options include:


  • Online through eBill. You will need your Grizzly ID number and six-digit SAIL PIN. The account will be credited immediately when paying through eBill.
  • By mail, to the Cashier’s Office, 120 North Foundation Hall, Oakland University, Rochester, MI  48309-4401. Please allow 5-6 days for mail delivery. All payments should include your     Grizzly ID number to ensure correct and timely processing.
  • In person, at the Cashier’s Office, by cash, check or credit card. Your account will be credited immediately when paying in person.  Be sure to bring your driver’s license, OU Spirit Card or other government-issued picture identification. You may use the payment drop-box, located outside of the Cashier’s Office, during non-business hours.


Q: Does Oakland University accept traveler checks as payments? 
A:  Yes, but it has to be in U.S. currency and it has to be purchased through a U.S. bank. Check the Student Financial Services website for more information or e-mail your questions to them at

Q: Who do I make traveler’s checks payable to?
A:  Oakland University.

Q: Can the amount be paid through a credit card/check or a draft?
A: Yes it can, but the check has to be in U.S. currency. Only Visa or MasterCard credit cards are accepted. For further questions, e-mail Student Business Services at

Q: Who should my draft be payable to and what amount?
A:  Your draft has to be payable to Oakland University. If you are planning on living on campus, your check needs to include your first semester tuition and housing based on the chart below. If you are planning on living off campus, your check needs to include only your tuition amount for the first semester. Refunds are only given after the draft has been cleared by both banks.

Q: How long does it take to clear the check?
A:  It should not take more than three (3) weeks to clear your check.

Q: What amount do I pay?
A:  As an F-1 or J-1 international student, the United States Customs and Immigration Services (U.S.C.I.S.) requires you to be a full-time student. Amount dues vary depending on what level you study and how many credits you are registered for. International students must be registered full-time in the fall and winter semesters, which is 12 credits for an undergraduate student and 8 credits for graduate and Ph.D. students. If your first semester at Oakland University is a summer semester, you MUST be a registered full-time student, which is 12 credits for an undergraduate student and 8 credits for graduate or Ph.D. students. Please see the chart below to estimate your bill. You can also estimate your cost for tuition and room and board for one semester by using OU's cost estimator. See OU's tuition chart for published tuition rates and the housing and meal plan rates. Below are the 2009-2010 rates for the fall and winter semesters based on full-time enrollment for students living on campus:

Out-of-State Residents

 Class standing
 Tuition1  Books
& supplies
 On campus
room & board
& misc.







 Junior/Senior/2nd Degree/Undergrad Prep












 Graduate Physical Therapy






 Graduate Executive MBA






1. Tuition estimate is for full-time enrollment. Tuition is charged per credit hour. 2. Book and supply expenses vary depending on your course schedule. Students can purchase books through any book vendor including Barnes and Noble at OU. 3. Housing costs vary depending on living arrangements. The off-campus housing budget is $5,902 for fall and winter semesters. For students living at home, the budget is $1,500. 4. Personal and miscellaneous expenses can include transportation, clothing, personal hygiene, telephone, meals not covered by a meal contract, etc. For students living off campus or at home, the personal and miscellaneous expenses is $4,272.

Q: How much money in cash should I bring?
A:  We recommend bringing enough money to pay for health insurance at the orientation as stated on your I-20 (approximately $720 for the minimum plan). You also want to have enough money to buy books, school supplies, initial transportation and food, and other daily expenses. 

Q: Do I need to get any immunization shots?
A:  International students attending OU are not required to provide any immunization documentation. However, if you do have records of your shots, we suggest bringing a copy of it with you.

Q: How do I get my Grizzly ID number?
A:  You can get your Grizzly ID number by:


  • Checking your acceptance letter. Your Grizzly ID is provided in your acceptance letter.
  • Logging into SAIL and checking the Account Summary block.
  • Checking your employment records if you are employed with the university.
  • Visiting in person and showing a picture identification to any student services office.


Previous OU students (not OU graduates) should contact the OU Help Desk at (248) 370-HELP (4357) or Or by phone or fax to any student service office once the following information is received via e-mail (NetID) or fax: 
  • A written authorization from the student requesting a release of the Grizzly ID. This authorization must include the student's birth date, telephone number, fax number (if appropriate), date, signature and either a fax or a scan of a picture ID (preferably a driver's license).
Q: How do I activate my SAIL account?
A: Follow these instructions:
  • Go to
  • Select "Login to Secure Area"
  • Enter your Grizzly ID number and PIN
    Admitted before 3/1/2008: PIN is your six-digit birth date (mmddyy)
    Admitted after 3/1/2008: PIN is randomly generated and is included on your acceptance letter
  • Follow the directions to change your PIN to a new six-digit number
  • Review the Terms of Usage and select "Continue"
  • Create a security question and answer to be used if you ever forget your PIN
  • Select "Exit" in the upper right hand corner of the page
If you need to reset your PIN, follow the steps on the Resetting Your PIN Web page.
    Q: How do I activate my e-mail (NetID) account?
    A: Follow these steps:
    • Go to
    • Select "Obtain your account or reset your password"
    • Enter your Grizzly ID number and PIN established when you activated your SAIL account (see above)
    • Enter a new password for your e-mail (NetID) account and select "Reset Password"
    There are three different ways to access OU e-mail:
    • Online at OU Webmail
    • Software such as MS Outlook or Apple Mail
    • Forwarding your OU e-mail to another account
    Q: When can I register for classes?
    A:  All new and transfer international students will have an opportunity to meet with an academic adviser, have lunch with him/her and go over your academic plan at the mandatory orientation.  While meeting with your academic adviser at orientation, you will register for your classes.

    Q: I am an international transfer student. When will I get my I-20 from Oakland University?
    A:  If you are an early admitted transfer student at Oakland University, you will be contacted by ISSO through e-mail when to pick up your I-20 prior to international orientation. If you are a late transfer admitted student, your I-20 will be ready for you to pick up in the ISSO during the first week of classes after orientation. NOTE: Whether you receive your I-20 from Oakland University or not, as long as you communicated with our office and you have been accepted to OU, you must attend our mandatory international orientation and you must attend classes.

    Q: Does Oakland University require health insurance?
    A:  Yes, all F-1 and J-1 and J-2 international students are required to purchase and maintain health insurance annually which meets Oakland University's requirements throughout the duration of studies in the USA and  proof of your health insurance coverage must be submitted to the ISSO each year. 

    Q: Can I purchase health insurance before I arrive to the United States?
    A:  Yes, ISSO accepts other health insurance policies; however your insurance policy MUST comply with our policy. The  health insurance information is mailed to you with your I-20.  All requirements must be met other than numbers 8 and 9 (medical evacuation and repatriation). If all requirements are met, besides numbers 8 and 9, you can purchase a separate policy through the ISSO for $75. This policy will be available to you at the orientation as well as the Oakland University full coverage policy for $1,448 for the academic year (August 25 until August 24).

    Q: How do I pay for the Oakland University Unitedhealthcare student insurance?
    A: United Healthcare accepts payment via check, money order, visa or mastercard.

    Q: How do I get a Social Security number?
    A:  Effective April 2006, international students are not allowed to apply for Social Security cards without a job (including internships and assistantships). Learn more on the Social Security Information page

    Q: How do I get from the airport to Oakland University?
    A:  Many times, alumni or current international Oakland University students are willing to help with transportation from the airport. You may contact the president of any multicultural organization to arrange transportation. You may also contact us at and we will forward your request to our current students to see if someone can help to pick you from the airport.

    Q: How can I find housing with other international students?
    A:  Please contact the president of any multicultural organization. You can also e-mail us at and we will forward your request to our current students to see if someone is looking for a roommate.

    Q: When can I move to on-campus housing?
    A:  Oakland's housing department allows international students to move in one (1) day before international orientation. Please contact the housing department at for instructions or further information. Students who applied for the International Village at OU’s student apartments can move in on Sunday, January 3.

    If you have any further questions, please contact us directly at We look forward to meeting you and having you here at OU!