EAP: Frequently Asked Questions

There is no application deadline for American Language Institute (ALI) admission.

Students are enrolled on a first-come first-served basis. The ALI will accept applications until we reach our limit. Enrollment typically closes one month before the beginning of a session, and we cannot guarantee a spot until we receive your application form, application fee, deposit and bank statement. The ALI will post an announcement on its website main page when we close admission for a session.


Please complete the online application.

Students requiring an I-20 need to submit proof of financial funds required for their planned number of semesters of study. Please see the Financial Affidavit for more details.

If a student intends to apply for admission to SF State after studying English at the ALI, she/he may submit transcripts and any certificates from all schools/universities attended to the ALI before or while attending the ALI.

The ALI will give the academic documents to the SF State Admissions office for a pre-evaluation of grades. If the student meets the minimum grade requirement, the student will receive a "Letter of Conditional Admission" from the university. This letter does not mean admission to SF State Undergraduate or Graduate program. The student will officially apply to the university while studying at the ALI or during SF State’s application period and needs to meet the English and all other requirements before gaining admission to a degree program.

If your I-20 has not been sent to you yet, the ALI will indicate in the "remarks" section that "the student is admissible to SF State after completion of up to a year of English studies and all academic requirements."


The ALI provides an I-20 form for students who need to apply for a student visa (F-1) in their home country. Upon receipt of your completed ALI online application, bank statement, financial affidavit and application fee, we will mail your I-20 form along with an admission letter to the address listed on your application.

Yes, but you need to apply by yourself. It is not guaranteed.

Dormitory space is limited so reservations need to be made well in advance. Please see the Housing page.

Yes, but the ALI does 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 the Housing page.


Students with an F-1 and J-1 visa must have health insurance while studying in the US. The ALI provides students (and dependents) health insurance coverage for a fee.

All F-1 and J-1 students are required to buy ALI-sponsored insurance. Please see Health Insurance for more information.

Insurance coverage must be purchased and renewed each semester before classes start. Cost of insurance changes every semester.

There are two exceptions to this rule:

  1. Students on a government-sponsored scholarship which provides compatible insurance coverage as a part of the sponsorship
  2. Students receiving insurance coverage through an employer-sponsored plan (i.e., receipt of insurance is part of the employment compensation through your spouse).


The ALI does not provide airport pickup. There are several options from San Francisco Airport (SFO) and Oakland Airport (OAK).

All fees must be paid in full by the first day of the session. Students will get instructions on how to register and pay the tuition.

No, you do not have to take the TOEFL before studying at the ALI.

However, the ALI is not a program for “true beginners.” True beginners are students who cannot say and understand simple English sentences. Students must have some ability to read, write and speak English.

The ALI is certified by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) 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 SF State and some American colleges.


The ALI is an intensive English language program. The curriculum focuses on academic skills and university preparation. It is primarily designed to give students the language and academic skills necessary for successful university study in the US.

The ALI offers an optional Friday class that focuses on TOEFL test preparation. This class is only for current ALI students.

The error message will tell you what to do to fix the problem. Follow the instructions.

If it tells you that a reset code will be sent to you, check that the email address shown is correct. Contact the ALI office by email at globaled@sfsu.edu if you want to change the email address. Wait one day for the information to be updated before requesting the reset code.


SF State Undergraduate Admissions offers conditional admission. Please visit Conditional Admission for more information.

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