American Language Institute

         at San Francisco State University

Image: Photos of ALI students and scenes from around San Francisco

Application FAQ



Q: When is the application deadline?

A: There is no application deadline for ALI admission.
Students are enrolled on a first-come first-served basis. There is no deadline for applying but admission depends on whether we still have space at the time we receive your application. The American Language Institute can only accept a limited number of students for each session. Enrollment typically closes two months before the beginning of a session, and we cannot guarantee a spot until we receive your application form, application fee, deposit, and bank statement. All applications submitted after we close a session are returned to the sender. Please allow ample time for your application to be delivered to the ALI.

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Q: Can I FAX my application?
A: No
.
We only process applications that are accompanied by an application fee, deposit, and bank statement. As a result, we do not process faxed applications.

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Q: Can I pay my application fee and tuition deposit with my credit card?
A: No
.
The ALI does not accept credit cards, cash, and traveler’s checks for the deposit. Please send cashier’s checks, money orders, or personal checks.

  1. The application fee, tuition deposit, and express mail fee may be paid with one check made payable to “SF State-CEL/ALI”
  2. The SF State conditional eligibility service fee made payable to Payable to “SF State"

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Q: Do I need to submit a bank statement for $34,500 even if I plan to study at ALI for only one semester?
A: Yes.

The American Language Institute does not have funds to offer financial aid to its students. All applicants must prove that they have funds available for one year of study by completing the "Financial Institute Certification" on the application form or by submitting a certified bank statement in English, showing a minimum of $34,500. We require this document before a Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status can be issued. The ALI's Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status is good for one year and as a result requires a minimum of $34,500 on the bank statement.

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Q: How can I become conditionally eligible to apply to San Francisco State University?
A:
If a student intends to apply for admission to San Francisco State University after studying English at the ALI, she/he may submit transcripts and any certificates to the ALI before or while attending the ALI. For more information see Admission to SF State.

If the University Admissions office finds a student eligible to attend SF State, the ALI will issue a Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status indicating in the "remarks" section that "the student is eligible to apply to San Francisco State University after completing the intensive English program at the ALI." The student will also receive a "Letter of Conditional Eligibility" from the University.

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Q: Does the ALI issue the Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status?
A: Yes.

The ALI provides a Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status for students who wish to apply for a student visa (F-1) in their home country. Upon receipt of your completed ALI application form, bank statement, $50 application fee, and $200 deposit, we will mail your Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 form) for F-1 Student Status along with an admission letter to the address listed on your application.

Please send all of the required documents and fees together in order to avoid delay in processing your application. Please be sure to sign and date all documents where required and allow additional time for mail delivery.

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Q: Can I get housing on the campus of San Francisco State University?

A: Yes.
Dormitory space is available year round. Reservations usually need to be made in advance. Please see our Housing page.

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Q: Does the ALI provide housing information for off-campus housing or for a homestay program?
A: Yes, but we do not make arrangements for students.

Students who prefer off-campus housing will find a variety of options available throughout the city, but it is wise to arrange in advance for temporary housing in a hotel or residence club. The ALI can provide you with information about possible temporary housing. Please see our Housing page.

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Q: Does the ALI provide student health insurance?
A: Yes.

Students with an F-1 (student) visa must have health insurance in order to study in the USA. The American Language Institute provides student health insurance coverage for a modest fee for students who do not have a policy of their own. Please see Insurance.

If you are an F-1 student and have your own health insurance, you must show proof during orientation week. Please make sure your insurance coverage is currently active. If the insurance card or letter is not in English, please have your insurance company write a letter in English accompanying your card, including the exact dates of coverage.

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Q: Does the ALI provide airport pick up service?
A: No.

The ALI does not provide airport pickup. But there are several options from San Francisco Airport and Oakland Airport.

Transportation service from SFO:

  1. Public transit
  2. Shared-ride vans
  3. Taxi

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Q: When should I pay tuition?
A: All fees must be paid in full by the end of the orientation week of the session. Students will get instructions on how to register and pay information.

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Q: Do I have to take the TOEFL before attending the ALI?
A: No, you do not.
The ALI is certified by the Educational Testing Service to offer its students the (Institutional) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) twice each session, once at the beginning and once at the end of the course. The scores on these tests are used for placement in ALI classes and for certification of English proficiency for admission to San Francisco State University and some American colleges.

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