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Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) Students

Welcome to the University of Northern Colorado! We are excited that you have chosen to attend UNC and look forward to meeting you on campus. The Office of Global Engagement values an opportunity to support our sponsored students and to help ensure a smooth transition to life at UNC and in the United States. 

We understand how important attaining a full or partial scholarship from a sponsoring agency, such as the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) is, so to help answer many of the questions that come with the sponsorship and enrollment we have provided the following information:

Sponsorship Documentation:

Financial documentation and proof of funds availability is required to receive I-20 from UNC for any academic program.  These are provided to students by SACM only after the following conditions have been met: 1) the student must have submitted proof of eligibility for a SACM sponsorship (generally through a “For Admissions Purposes Only” letter), and 2) the student must be provided a pre-admit letter by UNC. This pre-admit letter must be then given to SACM in return for the Financial Guarantee.  A “For Admission Purposes Only” letter is not an acceptable document for SACM to pay your bill.  a Financial Guarantee issued for the University of Northern Colorado with the student’s name and active program dates. 

A typical sponsorship application process may likely follow these steps:

  • Apply for a SACM scholarship directly to SACM or another sponsoring agency:
  • Obtain a Financial guarantee document that includes your full name, academic program and states University of Northern Colorado as the host institution
  • Apply to a university via regular admission process
  •  Once admitted to UNC, provide your UNC admission letter to the sponsoring agency
  • Arrive on campus
  • Check-in at UNC Office of Global Engagement (OGE)
  • Register for classes at UNC
  • Send SACM or your sponsoring agency current schedule of courses
  • SACM or sponsoring agency will send updated financial guarantee document directly to UNC Bursar’s Office, attention Kathi Bland (Kathi.Bland@unco.edu).

Please check with your sponsor to ensure that the appropriate sponsorship steps are followed. 

SACM will cover most fees UNC charges, however not all charges are covered by SACM.  The list of fees SACM will not cover include:

  • UNC Outdoor Pursuit activities charges
  • Campus Recreation Center charges for fitness/wellness, intramural sports and pro shop services.
  • Campus Recreation Center memberships – please see Kathi Bland about options for access to the campus recreation center
  • Computer Lab printing charges
  • UNC Parking permit
  • UNC Parking citations
  • Library fines
  • Lost book charge and processing fees
  • Binding and publication fees
  • On campus housing
  • UNC Dining plan

Finances and Holds:

It is the student’s responsibility to provide current Financial Guarantee and other sponsorship documentation directly to Kathi Bland, UNC Bursar’s Office.  Any changes to your financial sponsorship documentation, holds or other concerns must be communicated in a timely manner. 

Students who are sponsored by SACM will have a hold placed on their account to not get assessed service charges while we wait for the payment from SACM to come in.  Once the payment from SACM has been applied to the account the no service charge hold will be taken off the account and the student will receive service charges on any balance they are responsible for. 

Past due holds are run monthly by the Bursar’s office.  Past due holds prevent a student from registration, transcripts and receiving their diploma.  The hold may be removed for registration if the student’s balance is covered in full by SACM.  Students who owe a balance over $500 from charges not covered by SACM will need to pay their balance to have the hold cleared for registration.

Past due accounts that have less than $500 holds will not prevent registration, however it will hold transcripts and receiving their diploma.  

Financial guarantee holds may also be placed on a student’s account if the Bursar’s office is missing a current financial guarantee on a student’s account.  This hold prevents a student from registering for classes and receiving transcripts and diplomas.

Other holds may be placed on students’ accounts for missing orientation, not providing immunization records or other important requirements.  You can check the types of hold you may have via the Office of the Registrar Holds and Error Messages.

FERPA Information for Sponsored Students:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 Section 99.31(a)(4) permits educational institutions to release certain personally identifiable information for financial aid purposes.  Section 99.31(a)(4) states that “an educational agency or institution may disc lose personally identifiable information from and educational record of a student without the consent required by Section 99.31 if the disclosure is in connection with financial aid for which the student has applied and for which the student has received.”  As a condition of the financial aid provided by the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the registrar of your school must send a copy of the student’s registration to SACM at the beginning of each academic term.  The student’s transcript or official evaluation letter for Bachelor’s level students, Master and Doctoral students, Professional Programs’ students or other thesis or dissertation students must be sent directly to the sponsoring agency at the end of each academic term.  Similarly, progress reports must be sent to SACM on a session-by-session basis for students enrolled in English as a Second Language or other professional training program.

  • This also means that UNCO will NOT communicate any of the above information to family members or friends, as they are not included in the sponsoring agency exemption of FERPA, except in the case of a life-threatening emergency.
  • Students who wish for information to be shared with family members or friends my do so through written consent. More details can be found under the “Written Consent” tab located here: https://www.unco.edu/registrar/ferpa.aspx 

International Orientation and Check-In:                                                                                                                      

When students arrive in Greeley, Colorado they will need to check in with the Office of Global Engagement Office located in the University Center Room 1110. Students should bring passports, I-20, I-94’s, and a local physical address to complete check-in. CIE will send instructions on this before orientation. 

All international students attending UNC must attend the International Orientation at the start of the first academic term.  International Orientation is generally the Friday before classes each term. Orientation attendance is required.  Students who do not attend orientation will have a hold on their account preventing registration.  In addition to important general information about UNC, US immigration requirements, and important reminders for students' health and safety, orientation also includes a dedicated Sponsored Students Advising Session with in-depth information about sponsorship, online course enrollments, additional requirements and expectations for sponsored students. 

Immigration check-in is completed through UNC Global by uploading a copy of your passport, F1 visa, I-94 for you and your dependents and updating your local physical address, review of UNC Student Code of Conduct (acknowledging UNC Student Responsibilities Agreement).   

Intensive English Program
Students who have completed high school may qualify for the Intensive English Program. Degree seeking students who have provisional admission with an English language requirement must complete all required courses (based on placement exam) at 80% or higher to meet the language provision

Undergraduate students may begin taking academic classes with Intensive English Classes when they reach Level 6. 

Graduate students may begin taking academic classes with Intensive English Classes when they reach Level 7. For more information please visit our Intensive English Program website: https://www.unco.edu/global/intensive-english-program/ 

Enrolling in classes
When students have completed Check-in and their English evaluation (if needed) they should meet with an academic advisor to begin selecting courses to enroll in. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure they are enrolled full time (Undergraduate – 12 credit hours, Graduate – 9 credit hours). SACM students are NOT permitted to enroll in online courses without a separate permission from SACM and a separate Financial Guarantee should be issued for online courses only If an academic advisor discusses online courses during the course selection process it is the student’s responsibility to explain to the academic advisor that they are unable to enroll in online courses due to scholarship restrictions. Late enrollment fees are not covered by SACM.

Registration schedule and dates is available from the Office of the Registrar.

Change of major

SACM has approved students for scholarships based on the major they have applied for.  If a student wishes to change their major the student must first get approval from their SACM advisor.  If the SACM advisor approves the change of major the student will receive a new financial guarantee which should be submitted to Kathi Bland, Assistant Bursar, in BEAR Central.

Once approved by SACM, a student must complete and submit a Major/Minor change formto the Office of the Registrar.

Maintaining F-1 Immigration Status

It is YOUR responsibility to maintain your immigration status.  International Students and Scholar Services team is available to answer questions and provide expert advice. 

  • Keep your passport, visa and I-20 documents safe.
  • Ensure both your local (US address) and F-1 home country addresses are accurate and up to date. A P.O. Box is not acceptable. 
  • Update your local address within 10 days of moving
  • Do not allow your immigration record to expire. Be attentive to the end date on your I-20. Should you need to extend your I-20, we ask that you do so 30 days before the “Program End Date” listed on the I-20. Status Extension requests are completed in your UNC Global Account.
  • Dependents: 
    • If you wish to bring F-2 dependent family members (spouses and children) to the United States with you during your studies, you may submit that request at the time of your document review process before being issued your I-20. If you wish to add dependent family members at a later time, please follow the instructions on our Dependent Family Members handout.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment
    • Undergraduate Students: 12 credit hours per semester
    • Graduate Students: 9 graduate credit hours per semester
    • Registration requirements may change later in a program 

**Your sponsor may require additional credit hours.

Note: No more than 3 credits of distance learning credits (such as online course credits) will count towards the full-time requirement for both undergraduate and graduate students. Always check with your SACM Advisor before enrolling in online classes.


  • Failure to maintain full-time enrollment will result in the immediate termination of your F-1 SEVIS record and your permission to stay in the U.S.
  • Reduced Course Load option: F1 immigration regulations allow for a Reduced Course Load (RCL) for a few, specific medical and academic reasons. This requires prior approval from an International Advisor.

Tax Return Obligation

File a tax return with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by April 15th every year.  This tax obligation is required for every international individual EVERY year, regardless if you work/earn money in the U.S. or not. You can consult the IRS, a commercial tax preparer, or use one of the tax software programs provided by CIE and created specifically for international students. • Do NOT use TurboTax; it does not work for international students.

Social Security Number (SSN)

A SSN is a unique number assigned to you. Keep it somewhere secure and safe! Do not share your Social Security Number with ANYONE other than your employer (for payment) and your bank! You do not need (and are not eligible for) a SSN unless you have a job. You DO NOT need to have a SSN to apply for a job or to start a job in the U.S. (as long as you have proper authorization). You DO need to have a SSN to be paid by an employer in the U.S. You DO need a job offer letter to apply for a SSN.

Health Insurance and Immunizations

UNC requires all students to submit proof of immunizations. Students must submit records prior to registering for classes at UNC. Students will not be allowed to register until after they have submitted a completed immunization record.  Immunization records can be uploaded electronically via the Admissions Portal.

All international students are required to be enrolled in the UNC International Student Health Insurance coverage that meets US requirements.  Students wishing to waive out of the UNC Student Health Insurance Plan must present proof of coverage and complete an online waiver every term.

Attention:SACM instructions regarding insurance requirement and the insurance waiver process for sponsored students.  

The waiver for the upcoming year will open April 1st. If you waive the insurance for fall, your spring insurance will also be waived. You may complete one waiver in April for the entire school year (you can re-enroll at any time). The deadline to waive insurance is the 10th day of classes at 5:00 pm.

Instructions for waiving the insurance coverage and premium:

  • Make sure and have your insurance card available before starting the waiver. You will be required to enter your current insurance information
  • Login to the UNC Global Student Portal
  • In the "Control Center", you can begin the "Health Insurance Waiver" under "Requests". 
  • The Office of Global Engagement Staff will review your policy and approve the waiver if it meets all requirements. The Insurance office will then remove the insurance charges from a student's bill. If a student fails complete the waiver by the deadline, they may be charged for insurance for the term, and that will likely not be covered by SACM. 
  • COMPLETE THE WAIVER BY THE DEADLINE LISTED (deadline is always the 10th day of class)

Housing contract
UNC on-campus living is worry-free living, and you’ll be at the center of the action. You’ll be just a short walk from classes, labs and libraries. By living on campus, you will be among the first to know about social events, sporting competitions, campus concerts and more. You'll have easy access to University Center events, the Campus Recreation Center and have a variety of dining options to select from across campus.

Plus, you can’t beat the value and convenience of campus housing. Free laundry equipment, cable and high-speed Internet access are included, and you’ll save time, money and headaches not having to commute to campus.

Research shows that students who live on campus get more involved in student clubs and activities, find college more satisfying and are more likely to graduate (How College Affects Students, by Ernest Pascarella and Patrick Terenzini, Jossey-Bass, 2005). 

Learn more about options on the Housing & Residential Education Website: https://www.unco.edu/housing/ 


 The Office of the Registrar issues official UNC transcripts and provides an enrollment registration file to designated SACM advisors every term.  Academic progress is closely monitored by SACM based on the information provided by UNC.  Any students can order transcripts online via UNC online service. Please note that all orders placed are final. Orders can't be recalled or refunded after you have submitted an order. For more information please visit https://www.unco.edu/registrar/etranscripts.aspx 

SACM Letter Requests

All SACM letters requests must be directed to Ms. Laura Beyers (Laura.Beyers@unco.edu) in the Office of Registrar.  Academic advisors, faculty or staff are not authorized to issue SACM letters on behalf of UNC.  

Stay in the Loop!

Pay attention to emails and alerts from oge@unco.edu or internationaladvising@unco.edu. Please be sure to read these emails right away. They will help you avoid problems with your immigration status.

Get Involved!

Helpful resources:

Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM): https://www.sacm.org/