How Do I Apply to the English Language Institute? 

To apply to the English Language Institute, please follow these easy steps:

  1. Decide which session you wish to attend: Fall (late August to early December); Spring (early January to early May; or Summer (early June to early August).

  2. Contact the ELI at to make sure that we are still accepting new students for the session you wish to attend. We advise new students to apply at least 2.5 months before the start of a new session.

  3. Complete the Application Form. Answer every question. You can type the information into the application form on the computer and then print it out. Or you can print the form out and handwrite the information. If you handwrite, please print clearly.

  4. Complete the Declaration and Certification of Finances and have it signed by your sponsor.

  5. Get a bank letter that indicates that you or your sponsor has enough money to cover your expenses while you are studying. The amount of money indicated in the bank letter can be stated in the currency of your country. See the Declaration and Certification of Finances for details.

  6. Make a photocopy of your passport page with your full name and the dates of issuance and expiration.

  7. Decide if you want to process the SEVIS Fee payment yourself or if you would like the ELI to process your payment for you. See below ( for information about these two choices. Click here for details about the $200.00 SEVIS Fee.

  8. Send the application form with all the required documents AND the application fee (US $50, not refundable) and, if you wish, the $200.00 SEVIS Fee to the address below.

Important Information About the Application Process

If you want to attend the ELI's English for Academic Purposes Program and need an F-1 visa to enter the United States, please read this information carefully.

In order to get an F-1 student visa, you must be admitted to the ELI and be issued a Form I-20 travel document. The Form I-20 is the paper you take to the U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country to apply for your visa.

You must also pay a $200.00 fee to support the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, SEVIS. See SEVIS for details about this fee. This SEVIS fee, called the I-901 fee, must be paid AFTER you are issued an I-20 travel document and BEFORE you apply for your F-1 student visa.

Here is some important information to know about the SEVIS fee:

  • The SEVIS I-901 fee is NOT the visa application fee. It is an additional fee required by the U.S. government to pay for the cost of operating the SEVIS database. The SEVIS fee must be paid in addition to the visa application fee that you pay when you go to the U.S. embassy or consulate to apply for your F-1 visa.

  • You must pay the SEVIS fee after you get a Form I-20 but before you go to the embassy for your F-1 visa. If you do not pay the SEVIS fee before visiting the embassy, your visa application will be denied.

  • Paying the SEVIS I-901 fee does NOT guarantee that you will be issued an F-1 student visa. If you are denied a visa, you can reapply during the next 12 months without having to pay the SEVIS fee again.

  • The SEVIS fee is NOT refundable if you change your mind and decide not to study in the U.S. or if your visa is denied.

You have two ways to pay your SEVIS Fee. The English Language Institute recommends the first choice for your convenience:

  1. As a convenience to students who apply to the ELI, we will forward your SEVIS fee payment for you over the Internet and send you a receipt with your acceptance letter and your Form I-20. This procedure will ensure that your SEVIS fee gets processed BEFORE you go to the U.S. embassy or consular office in your country to apply for your visa. Please note that the ELI cannot influence the decision to issue or deny you an F-1 visa.

  2. If you prefer, you can pay the fee yourself. See How is the SEVIS Fee Paid? for information about paying this fee yourself.   

Application Procedures for U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Applicants with other Visas

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or you hold a visa that gives you permission to live in the United States, the application process is different. Please call the ELI at 330-972-7544 to find out what steps you should follow to apply to our EAP Program.

Admission to The University of Akron

Please understand that admission to the ELI does NOT mean that you have admission to an academic program at The University of Akron. If you want to attend The University of Akron as a regular student after you have finished your English courses, you must get an application from: