For Future Students

Who can study at ELI?

ELI accepts applicants from every country. Our program focuses on academic English and is designed for students with a high beginner level of English.

What kind of visa do I need to study at ELI?

If you are in your home country and do not have a visa, you will apply for an F-1 visa after you are accepted to ELI. We also accept students with the following visa types: F-2, L-2, J-1, J-2, U.S. Permanent Residents, and U.S. citizens. Your visa type will determine how many courses you can take.

Does ELI offer part-time study?

Part-time study (4 or fewer classes) is available to people with the following visa types: J-1, J-2, F-2, L-2, Permanent Residents, and U.S. citizens. Students who come to ELI on an F-1 visa are not eligible for part-time study.

How much will it cost to study at ELI?

Cost depends on how many courses you take. Please see our cost page.

When do ELI classes start?

ELI has 3 semesters per year: spring, summer, and fall. The spring and fall semesters last 14 weeks, and the summer semester lasts 10 weeks. For specific start dates, please see our 2015-2016 program dates.

How do I apply to ELI?

Please see our application checklist for instructions. We strongly encourage you to apply at least 90 days before you wish to enter the United States.

How can I pay the application fee? Is it refundable?

The $50.00 application fee can be paid with credit card online. If you cannot pay by credit card, please our alternate payment methods.

I have been accepted to ELI. How long will it take to receive my I-20?

Once you have been accepted and your tuition and fees have been received, an I-20 can be issued within 7 weeks. Since this process takes some time, we encourage you to apply early and submit accurate documents. Mailing time may be around 1 week depending on the destination.

Can my wife or child be included on the I-20?

Dependents can be included on the I-20 by notifying ELI in advance. Please include copies of their passports in your application. Also, the amount shown in your bank statement will need to reflect the additional cost per dependent: $7,000 per dependent per semester.

How will I be placed into levels?

ELI offers 4 levels in each subject area. Incoming students take Texas A&M University’s English Language Proficiency Exam (ELPE) to determine the appropriate level in each subject area.

Can I arrive in the US after the first day of the semester?

Yes, but you must arrive no later than the 2nd week of classes.

Does ELI provide housing for students?

ELI does not provide or arrange for housing for students, but we are happy to help students find housing on-campus or off-campus.

Does ELI offer conditional admission to Texas A&M University?

ELI does not offer or arrange conditional admission to Texas A&M University. If you have questions about conditional admission, please directly contact the Texas A&M department in which you hope to enroll.

Does ELI offer TOEFL preparation?

ELI offers a TOEFL preparation course in the fall and spring semesters. The course is open to students in Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, and Advanced levels.

How do I get admitted to Texas A&M University? Can I waive the TOEFL test?

For international student applicants, Texas A&M University always requires a TOEFL or IELTS score on file. Please see the Texas A&M International Admissions page for complete application instructions.

How do I apply for my student visa?

ISS will process the I-20 and send it back to us.

For Texas A&M Advisors

What are TAMU’s English Language Proficiency Requirements?

The university’s English Language Proficiency Requirements vary based on a student’s classification:

How do I know if my student has met their requirements?

Students who have not met their requirements will have an English Language Proficiency hold on their account. Until removed, this hold will prevent the student from registering for classes.

What ELI courses are available?

ELI offers courses in: Composition (ELIC), Grammar (ELIG), Listening (ELIL), Oral Skills (ELIO), Reading (ELIR), and Vocabulary (ELIV). Earning an A or B in an Advanced (300) level ELI course will fulfill the student’s English Language Proficiency Requirement for that subject area.

How can I enroll a student in an ELI course?

Please send us an email stating the student’s name, UIN, which ELI course(s) to enroll, and which semester he would like to take them. This email must come from a departmental advisor; ELI cannot process requests from students.

Can we choose the level and course section?

Texas A&M students are placed in Advanced (300) level courses. A complete course schedule can be found through the “Schedule of Classes” function in HOWDY, and you may request the course section that best fits your student’s needs.

My student passed the necessary sections of the ELPE. Can she drop her ELI course?

Usually, yes. For help with specific circumstances, please send us an email.

Can you help me with questions about the ELPE?

ELI does not administer the ELPE. All questions regarding the ELPE should be directed to Texas A&M Data and Research Services (DARS).

For Current Texas A&M international Students

I have an English language proficiency hold on my account. How can I remove this?

There are several ways to fulfill your English Language Proficiency Requirements and remove this hold. One way is to enroll in Advanced (300) level ELI courses and earn an A or B.

How can I enroll in ELI courses?

Ask your departmental advisor to send us an email stating your name, UIN, which ELI course(s) you’d like to take, and the semester in which you want to take them. We will strive to register you for Advanced level courses at a time that does not conflict with your major classes.

As a Texas A&M student, how much will ELI courses cost me?

ELI tuition is $550.00 per course. This cost will be charged to your Texas A&M student account, which can be paid through Howdy.

I passed the necessary sections of the ELPE mid-semester. Can I drop my ELI courses?

It may be possible to drop your ELI course. Please have your advisor email us for help with specific circumstances.

Can I enroll in ELI courses to improve my English even if I already met the proficiency requirements?

Yes! Any Texas A&M undergraduate or graduate student may enroll in ELI courses with the approval of his or her departmental advisor.

Student (F-1) Visa Questions

What is an F-1 visa?

An F-1 visa is a student visa issued to people who want to study full-time in the USA.

How do I apply for my student visa?

Once you are accepted to ELI, we will send you a SEVIS I-20. You will take this I-20, along with other documents, to sit for your visa interview. Please visit the Visa Office Web site for complete instructions.

Please note that to enter the U.S. as a student, you must obtain a SEVIS I-20 from the school that you will attend. Do not enter the country on a tourist visa to study.

When do I apply for my student visa?

Students are encouraged to apply early to provide ample time for visa processing. June, July, and August are the busiest months to apply.

How long will it take for the Embassy/Consulate to process my visa?

This depends on several factors. For an accurate estimate, please visit the Visa Office Web site.

How long can I stay on my F-1 visa?

You may stay as long as you are a full -time student (in good status with ELI), even if your F-1 visa in your passport expires while you are in the U.S.

How early can I enter the U.S. upon issuance of my student visa?

You can enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before the course start date shown on the I-20.

How long may I stay in the U.S. once I have completed my studies?

If you are in good status with the school you attended, you may stay an additional 60 days to prepare for departure or to transfer to another school. Students who are “out of status” with their current school can only stay 15-30 days.

What is "Status"?

Status is your right to remain in the U.S. You must have valid immigration status at all times. This is reflected on your “I-94” card that you are given each time you are inspected and admitted to the U.S.

SEVIS Questions

What is SEVIS?

SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, which collects information on an ongoing basis from schools and exchange programs relating to nonimmigrant foreign students and exchange visitors.

What is the SEVIS fee?

The SEVIS fee is required of all foreign nationals who come to the U.S. for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study in institutions such as colleges, universities, and language training programs. This fee is currently $200, and it can be paid at

Who is responsible for submitting the SEVIS fee?

Once you are admitted to ELI, you will pay your own SEVIS fee at The SEVIS fee must be paid before your visa interview.

When must the SEVIS fee be paid?

The SEVIS fee must be paid before the visa interview date. It is not necessary to pay the fee before scheduling a visa interview. In order to ensure that fee payment can be verified electronically, the fee payment must be processed at least 3 business days before the interview.

Am I required to pay the SEVIS fee if I am a returning student?

Returning students or continuing students who have not fallen “out of status” are not required to pay this fee.

Is my SEVIS fee refundable if I am denied my student visa, or problems arise and I am unable to attend ELI?

No, the SEVIS fee is not refundable, regardless of the situation.

Do I have to pay the SEVIS fee if I already paid it and my visa was denied?

You do not need to pay the SEVIS fee again unless it has been over 12 months of the initial denial.