A Guide to Finding Off-Campus Housing
- Decide on a budget. How much are you willing or able to spend? Consider rent, water, electricity, gas, telephone service, cable TV, trash, and food.
- Find a roommate (unless you will be living alone). When selecting a roommate, talk about sleep and study habits, overnight guests, paying bills, cleaning habits, if they smoke/drink, etc. Think carefully about living with this individual: Would they be polite, reliable, and flexible?
- Decide on the type of house or apartment that you’re looking for. Consider access to a washer and dryer, dishwasher, and garbage disposal. Also consider if you need to find a place that allows pets and also how far from campus the house is.
- Start looking for potential apartments/houses. These are the most common sources of rental properties:
Note: This is where Truman students post about housing opportunities and requests.
- Bulletin boards around campus have housing opportunities. EX: first floor of SUB
- Schedule a visit with the landlord to view the property. It is recommended to visit at least three rental properties so that you can see a variety.
- Before visiting, make a list of questions that you would like to ask the landlord.
- How much is the security deposit?
- How much is rent each month and when is rent due?
- Which utilities am I responsible for?
- Who is responsible for mowing the yard, clearing snow from the driveway, and making repairs?
- Is there parking available?
- How close to campus is the building?
- Are pets allowed?
- Will the apartment be furnished, or do I need my own furniture?
- Are a dryer and washer available?
- Does heating work well in the house?
- Can I sublease my room during months that I go back to my home country?
- Have there been any problems with water leakages or mold?
- During your visit, carefully look over the apartment that you would be renting. Take pictures!
- Research the landlord and talk with others about their experience renting from the same place.
If you feel confident that you have found the perfect place, the next step is signing a lease. A lease is a legally binding document. It is very, very important that you understand the lease before signing it. Only sign the lease if you are sure that this is the place you want to live. If there is anything in the lease you do not understand, ask for clarification. If the landlord makes any promises about the apartment, make sure it is in the lease.
Have somewhere to go, but no way of getting there? Kirksville offers the following services that allow you to travel within or out of town.
In and Around Kirksville
- Phone Number: 660-665-8404
- In order to use Kirk-Tran, you must call 24 hours in advance to let them know the time and location that you would like to be picked up.
Hours of Operation
- 6:00 am – 6:00 pm (Mon-Fri)
- To schedule a ride, call between: Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.
- Inside city limits: $2 per one-way trip
- Outside city limits (within 15 miles) $3 per one-way trip
Kirk-Tran also has a Deviated Fixed Route on weekdays from 7:00 am – 6:00 pm and 9:00 am – 3:00 pm on Saturdays. The route repeats every hour, and the fare is $2.00 per one-way trip. To use the Deviated Fixed Route, you must make a reservation in advance by calling 887-666-5375. Click here for schedule.
Shuttle Train Airport Taxi
Glen Mortiz: Owner
- Phone Number: 660-956-4298
Hours of Operation
- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- $45 per hour
- Major credit cards accepted
- Reservations are accepted
Out of Town
Amtrak Train Routes
Purchase a ticket online at www.amtrak.com and take the ticket with you to the train station.
Take a local cab or ask your CIL for a ride to the La Plata train station.
The La Plata train station is a 15 minute drive from Truman’s campus.
- Kansas City – approximately $30-60 and 2.5 hours
- St. Louis – approximately $90-$110 and 5.5 hours
Station Name: LAP
535 N. Owensby St.
La Plata, Missouri
Kirksville Regional Airport
Contours Airlines provides flights between Kirksville and Chicago. You can purchase a ticket online at contourairlines.com. If you’d like to book connecting flights through Contour Airlines from the Chicago O’Hare International Airport, please visit an airline booking site such as kayak.com or expedia.com.
Take a local cab or ask your CIL for a ride to the Kirksville Regional airport. The airport is a 10 minute drive from Truman’s campus.
27161 Airport Trail (Highway 63 South)
“Truman Rideshare” Facebook Group
Read posts to see if someone is looking for a passenger or post a personal request for a driver at www.facebook.com/groups/7469185950/.
Use this page to monitor potential rides to and from cities such as Columbia, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Chicago. Truman students carpool in return for paying for a portion of gas costs.
Obtaining a Missouri State Driver’s License
PASS THE WRITTEN TEST
- Prepare for the written test by studying the Driver’s Guide and taking online practice tests.
- Request a Driver’s License Letter from the Center for International Students.
- Go to the Kirksville Driver Examination Station to take the written test. Bring your ID with you.
- The Kirksville Driver Examination Station is currently at the Kirksville Regional Center at 1702 East La Harpe Street.
- Testing is available every Friday and every first, third, and fifth Tuesday of the month. Testing hours are from 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- If you pass the written test, you will receive a test receipt. Take the receipt and all the other required documents (see below) to the Kirksville License Office.
- The Kirksville License Office is now located at 105 W Potter Avenue. Their hours are Monday-Friday between 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. If you go on Friday afternoon, it will be very busy and you will have to wait longer. You will be issued a temporary instructional driving permit.
IMPORTANT: With a driving permit, you can ONLY drive with a licensed driver that is at least 21 years old. The permit is valid for six months.
PASS THE DRIVING TEST
- When you feel confident in your driving abilities, you can take the driving test at the Kirksville Driver Examination Station at 1702 East La Harpe Street. You can only take the test on the 1st, 3rd, or 5th Tuesday of the month between 9:45 a.m.-4:15 p.m. or every Friday from 9:45 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Take the driver’s permit and the other required documents (see below).
During the driving test, you will drive your car with a license examiner in the passenger seat. They will ask you do to things like parallel park, make turns, use features on the car like windshield wipers and lights, etc.
IMPORTANT: You must provide your own vehicle, and you CANNOT use a rental car.
- If you pass the driving test, you will receive a receipt. Take the receipt and all other required documents (see below) to the Kirksville License Office at 105 W Potter Avenue between Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. If you go on Friday afternoon, it will be very busy and you will have to wait longer.
- You will be given a temporary license that is valid for 60 days. The State of Missouri will verify your legal immigration status, and they will mail your official driver’s license to you.
- Your Missouri State driver’s license allows you to drive legally in any state in the United States
- Documents to take to Written and Driving test:
- Passport, visa, I-94 , I-20 or DS-2019
- Social Security Card or Denial Letter from Center for International Students (contact email@example.com for more information).
- Driver’s License Letter from the Center for International Students.
- Official Proof of Address – Ex: Utility bill, bank statement, check stub, or rent receipt.
- Money (amount varies)
Obtaining a Missouri State Identification Card
A Missouri State Identification Card may be used as proof of identity if you do not have a Missouri State Driver’s License.
What to bring:
- Visa, I-94 (print at cap.gov/i-94), and I-20 or DS-2019
- Social Security Card or Denial Letter from CIS
- Certificate of Enrollment from CIS
- Official proof of address – utility bill, rent receipt, or check stub
Where to go: The Kirksville License Office is located at 105 W Potter Avenue, Kirksville, MO 63501.
What to pay: $11.00 (cost may vary)
To Get an Identification Card:
- Take the required documents to the Kirksville License Office, open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- You will receive a temporary state ID valid for 60 days. During those 60 days, the State of Missouri will verify your legal immigration status and mail the official ID card to you. This card is valid for 6 years
When do I need to complete the scholarship renewal process?
If the value of your scholarship requires scholarship service hours the scholarship renewal process should be completed annually beginning with the third semester of the award. You should complete the renewal process as soon as you know you qualify for renewal. The online renewal process can be completed prior to leaving campus in the spring if you anticipate that you will meet the criteria for renewal. If you wait until the beginning of the fall semester to begin the process it may take several weeks to finalize your scholarship. This will affect the amount of fees due to the University. Your scholarship will not apply to your student account in a timely manner and you will need to make payment arrangements with Student Accounts, pay the amount due and be reimbursed when the scholarship is credited to your account, and/or incur interest charges on your balance due.
After your freshman year at Truman, scholarships are reviewed based on your cumulative Truman Grade Point Average (GPA). Scholarships are usually reviewed after the spring semester grades are posted.
Please note that Truman-funded scholarships apply toward tuition and on-campus room and board.
Eligibility Requirements for Scholarship Renewals
You are required to pass at least 24 credit hours during the academic year to remain eligible.
Scholarships are renewed for the academic year with this scale (subject to available funding):
|Cumulative Truman GPA||% of Original Scholarship Amount|
|3.25 or higher||100%|
Students who increase their Truman GPA (either to renewal range or to a higher level of renewal percentage) after any term of enrollment, should contact the Financial Aid Office regarding any potential changes in their renewal status.
Unless stated otherwise, scholarships awarded to beginning freshmen can be used for up to eight semesters
Transfer student scholarship eligibility is prorated based on the number of transferable credit hours.
|Transfer Credit||# of Semesters for Scholarship Eligibility|
|12-29.9 hours||8 semesters|
|30-59.9 hours||7 semesters|
|60-89.9 hours||5 semesters|
|90 hours or more||3 semesters|
Scholarship Renewal Service Obligation
If you have been awarded more than $1,500 of scholarships per semester, your scholarship renewal requirements will include completing a scholarship renewal service of 58 hours per semester (an average of four hours per week) beginning your third semester at Truman. If you do not want to complete the service requirement, you may opt to renew one-half of your scholarship or receive only $1,500 of scholarship awarded, whichever is greater.
The TruPositions website should be used when you are searching for a position. Examples of service include:
- research for a faculty member in your academic major
- service to a University office
- a special project related to an interest area or assistance in a community non-profit organization.
Benefits of Completing Service: There are a number of benefits for completing your Scholarship Renewal Service. Whether it is gaining transportable skills in a workplace setting, or simply having a direct supervisor, the positions available to you will provide additional work depth to your strong academic resume. Often times, you are able to do your service in an office related to a career you are interested in, which provides even greater opportunities for you after you graduate.
Review the scholarship renewal policy here: https://www.truman.edu/wp-
#1 – What is subject to income tax?
Non-residents are subject to taxation on income earned in U.S., including compensation for services, scholarships, prizes and awards, honorarium payments, and reimbursement of expenses.
#2 – What do I have to do?
All international students MUST file either Form 1040NR or Form 8843. An international student is required to file Form 8843 if you meet all of the following conditions:
1) You do not have any income subject to tax (or income less than $12,000 for Indian students who are able to claim the standard deduction).
2) Your scholarships do not exceed the tuition and books expense; AND
3) You do not have any tax withholdings
#3 – Can I use free online software?
Free online software (ex. Turbo Tax) is NOT designed to handle the special rules for international students; therefore, using the software will give you the wrong tax liability, which could result in PENALTIES! Moreover, free online software offers free federal tax return but requires additional fees to file a state tax return. DO NOT USE THEM!
#4 – Where can I go for help? Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).
Every spring semester, Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) (an on-campus association of accounting students) offers FREE income tax preparation assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. This is the single best resource international students have to fulfill the annual tax filing requirements. IRS-certified volunteers will be able to help you file either a federal return 1040NR or Form 8843 and state return MO-1040, claim your salary or scholarship exemptions, and get your FICA taxes back if employers mistakenly withhold them. You are strongly encouraged to utilize this free service every year.
VITA is a free tax service for Truman students, faculty, and the Kirksville community, sponsored by Beta Alpha Psi. IRS-certified volunteers will be able to help you file federal and state tax returns as well as Form 8843. You are strongly encouraged to use this FREE service every year. For more information, visit vita.truman.edu, call 660-785-6064, or email VITA@truman.edu.
#5 How will the new tax bill affect me?
Prior to 2018, international students were allowed to claim a personal exemption which reduced taxable income by $4,050. Congress recently passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which eliminated the personal exemption. As a result, international students may see a smaller refund or a larger tax due than they have in prior years.
#6 Are scholarships taxable?
You don’t need to worry about this, VITA volunteers will help you.
Scholarships are not taxable if all of the following conditions are met:
- The taxpayer is seeking a degree
- Scholarships are used for tuition, books, etc., but NOT for lodging and meals
- The taxpayer is not expected to provide any service in return
- Note: “Scholarship hours” worked by students at Truman ARE taxable and the taxable portion is reported on a W-2.
Scholarships in excess of tuition and books are taxable income. In other words:
- Scholarship > Tuition, books, etc. – The excess scholarship is taxable.
- Scholarship < Tuition, books, etc. – The scholarship is not taxable
# 7 What about FICA taxes?
You don’t need to worry about this, VITA volunteers will help you.
Lawfully employed F-1 and J-1 visa holders with non-resident tax status are not subject to Social Security and Medicare (FICA) tax withholding. Certification of all exemptions from FICA taxes must be made with your employer. To prove to your employer that you are not subject to FICA – direct them to Publication 519. This exemption ends after five calendar years when an individual on a student visa meets the substantial presence test by being physically present in the United States for more than 182 days in the sixth calendar year.
Note: If Social Security tax has been withheld in error from your wages, you should first request a refund from your employer. If you are unable to get a refund from your employer, you will need to file Form 843 and Form 8316to request a refund.
# 8 Can you provide examples?
Se-In is from South Korea and has a salary of $7,000 from a summer internship, a scholarship of $11,000, and pays tuition of $8,000. She is unmarried with no dependents.
Se-in’s income is roughly $10,000 ($7,000 salary and a scholarship in excess of tuition of $3,000). Referring to the table at the end of this document, we see that under the South Korean/US tax treaty, $2,000 of her salary is tax-exempt and all of her taxable scholarship ($3,000) is exempt. Thus, she will have to pay tax on only $5,000 ($8,000 minus her salary exclusions of $3,000 minus).
|Income Broadly Conceived||10,000|
|Less: Salary Exclusion (Tax Treaty)||(2,000)|
|Less: Scholarship Exclusion (Tax Treaty)||(3,000)|
Trang is from Vietnam and has the same income as Se-In. However, referring to the treaty table at the end of this document, the US does not have a tax treaty with Vietnam. Therefore, she will be taxed on her full salary of $7,000 plus her taxable scholarship of $3,000.
|Income broadly conceived||10,000|
|Less: Exclusion (no Tax Treaty)||(0)|
#9 How can I tell if my country has a tax treaty with the US?
- Use the table below to check. If your country is not listed, there is no treaty in place.
Tax Treatment of International Students (Pub 901 and 4011)
|Bangladesh||2 years||$8,000||No limit||21|
|China, People’s Republic of China||No limit||$5,000||No Limit||Does not apply to Hong Kong||20|
|Commonwealth of Independent States||5 years||N/A||Limited||Personal services income is exempt if taxpayer stays more than 183 days in US||6|
|Cyprus||5 years||$2,000||No Limit||21|
|Czech Republic||5 years||$5,000||No Limit||21|
|Egypt||5 years||$3,000||No Limit||23|
|Estonia||5 years||$5,000||No Limit||20|
|France||5 years||$5,000||No Limit||21|
No limit – scholarship
|Iceland||5 years||$9,000||No Limit||19|
|Indonesia||5 years||$2,000||No Limit||19|
|Israel||5 years||$3,000||No Limit||24|
|Kazakhstan||5 years||N/A||No Limit||19|
|Korea, South||5 years||$2,000||No Limit||21|
|Latvia||5 years||$5,000||No Limit||20|
|Lithuania||5 years||$5,000||No Limit||20|
|Morocco||5 years||$2,000||No Limit||18|
|Netherlands||No Limit- Salary
3 years – Scholarship
|Norway||5 years||$2,000||No Limit||16|
|Pakistan||No limit||$5,000||No Limit||13|
|Philippines||5 years||$3,000||No Limit||22|
|Poland||5 years||$2,000||No Limit||18|
|Portugal||5 years||$5,000||No Limit||23|
|Romania||5 years||$2,000||No Limit||20|
|Russia||5 years||N/A||No Limit||18|
|Slovak Republic||5 years||$5,000||No Limit||21|
|Slovenia||5 years||$5,000||No Limit||Can apply to graduate school||20|
|Spain||5 years||$5,000||No Limit||22|
|Thailand||5 years||$3,000||No Limit||22|
|Trinidad & Tobago||5 years||$2,000||No Limit||19|
|Tunisia||5 years||$4,000||No Limit||20|
|Ukraine||5 years||N/A||No Limit||20|
|Venezuela||5 years||$5,000||No Limit||Can apply to graduate school||21|
#10 The CIS staff cannot assist with tax preparation!
The CIS staff does not assist in the completion of personal income tax forms for international students or staff. We urge each one of you to utilize the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) service provided by Beta Alpha Psi in the spring semester. We especially urge you to contact a competent tax consultant before responding to the IRS if you receive an IRS letter declaring that you have a tax liability. The IRS publishes information booklets which are available through the IRS public service system.
- 519 U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens
- 901 U.S. Tax Treaties
- 8843 Statement for Exempt Individuals (with instructions)
- 1040NR Non-Resident Alien Income Tax Return (with instructions)
- 1040NREZ U.S. Non-Resident Alien Income Tax Return (with instructions)
Forms for State of Missouri Tax Returns can be found at dor.mo.gov.
Please check the Beta Alpha Psi website (bap.truman.edu/vita/) for information or dates of free income tax preparation.
|Mihaela I. Britt
Britt Immigration Law, LLC
303 N. Stadium Blvd., Suite 200
Columbia, MO 65203
Serratelli Mijal PLLC
One Columbus Center, Suite 619
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
|McCrummen Immigration Law Group LLC
2005 Swift Ave.
North Kansas City, MO 64116
$50 consultation fee – phone, Skype
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St. Louis, MO 63105
Roberta F. Farrell, LLC
2510 Holmes Rd.
Kansas City, MO 64108
Tueth, Keeney, Cooper, Mohan and Jackstadt P.C.
34 N. Meramec Ave., Suite 600
St. Louis, MO 63105
Free consultations – phone, email
Scott Global Migration Law Group
2011 N. Racine Ave., Unit 1
Chicago IL 60614
$50 consultation fee – in person, phone
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Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.
10 South Broadway, Suite 2000
St. Louis, MO 63102
|Helene Fehlig Tatum
Law Offices of Fehlig & Fehlig-Tatum, LLC
920 E. Broadway, Suite 203
Columbia, MO 65201
Free consultations – phone
|Buchmiller Immigration, LLC
1 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2350
Chicago, IL 60602