General Information

  • The College is required to charge withholding taxes on grant money considered taxable income by the IRS for international students without an active country-specific treaty on file*. Typically the student account will be charged each semester, at the time when the funds are sent on behalf of the student to the federal and state governments. On the student account the tax charges appear as ‘Fed Foreign Stu W/H Tax’ and as ‘ME Foreign Stu W/H Tax’ for the federal and state withheld taxes respectively.
  • Taxes are generally not charged on grants for study abroad (non-U.S. territory).
  • SFS does not assess late fees on the current calendar year tax amounts on the student account, and does not hold students from participating in room draw and course selection based on the current calendar year tax amounts. Before requesting a transcript, the student account balance (including taxes) must be below $1,000.


Amount of Withholding

For the 2020-21 academic year foreign student withholding tax rates are the following: 14% for federal tax withholding, 5% – for state. This information is subject to change at any time per federal and tax regulations.


Tax Refunds

If students have not already paid the taxes on their student accounts, they must do so at the time they receive their refunds in the spring, generally in April or May. Students may make payments electronically, by personal check, or in cash. SFS does not accept third party checks. If students choose to receive their tax refunds from the government by check rather than direct deposit, they must deposit them into their bank accounts first; SFS cannot process them directly. Students may wish to have their refunds direct deposited into their bank accounts to save time and meet important deadlines.


Tax Adjustments

  • For the past several years, if a student’s refund amount was smaller than the amount charged on the student account for that calendar year, SFS has been able to do a grant adjustment to help reconcile the difference. We are hopeful this will continue going forward, but there are no guarantees.
  • Students may ask for an adjustment grant from SFS only after they have filed their tax returns and paid in amount equivalent to their refunds amount, as well as resolved any non-tax related balance on their student account.
  • Adjustments do not happen automatically; they must be requested by June 1st to allow adequate time for the adjustment to be processed. As expected, appropriate taxes will be charged on any additional grant.


Your Final Semester

ALL financial obligations to the College must be paid in full prior to graduation, including any 2020 taxes charged to your student account. The College cannot provide any grant adjustments or assistance for taxes withheld during the spring before graduation. Remember to file your tax returns next year to see if you are eligible for any refunds.



Pay as you go! If you’re able to pay your account in full over your 4 years, you’ll be less likely to run into drawbacks when you need transcripts, want to select courses, participate in room draw, study abroad, or … graduate!


*To be eligible to claim the country-specific treaty benefits, students from the treaty countries must have a valid Form 8233 and/or W-8BEN, signed in the current calendar year, on file with our office.


Last updated: June 12, 2020 at 11:33 am