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. 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.

Q: Can I fax my application?
A: No.

We only process applications that are accompanied by an application fee, tuition deposit and bank statement. As a result, we do not process faxed applications.

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 and living in the U.S. by submitting a certified bank statement in English, showing a minimum of $34,500 USD or equivalent in other currency. We require this document before a Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status (Form I-20) can be issued. The ALI's I-20 is issued good for one year and you must show the funds needed for that period.

Q: How can I become conditionally eligible to apply to San Francisco State University (SF State)?
A:
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 Eligibility" 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."

Q: Does the ALI issue the Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status (I-20 Form)?
A: Yes.

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 application, bank statement, application fee and tuition deposit, we will mail your I-20 form along with an admission letter to the address listed on your application.

Q: Can I get housing on the campus of SF State?
A: 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 our Housing page.

Q: Does the ALI provide housing information for off-campus housing or for a homestay program?
A: 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 our Housing page.

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

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

Starting fall 2016, all F1 international students are required to buy ALI-sponsored insurance through Wells Fargo Student Insurance at CSU Healthlink.

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).

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

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

Transportation service from SFO:

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

Q: When should I pay tuition?
A: 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.

Q: Do I have to take the TOEFL before attending the ALI?
A: 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.

Q: Is the ALI a TOEFL preparation course?
A: No

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 U.S.

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

Q: I am having problems creating my SF State Password.
A: 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 (ali@sfsu.edu) if you want to change the email address. Wait one day for the information to be updated before requesting the reset code.

Q: Does the ALI offer Conditional Admission to SF State?
A: No.

SF State does not offer conditional admission. Even if you complete the highest level at the ALI, any student must apply and meet all of SF State's application requirements before gaining admission to a degree program.