English Language Institute

How to Apply

Minimum Requirements

Who Can Apply

Any international student (a person whose native language is not English) who has graduated from a high school or college/university and with the desire to improve his/her English.

If you match this profile you can apply online.


There are three sessions of the English Language Institute available throughout the year: Spring, Summer, and Fall (More Information).

Financial Statement Requirement

Before an I-20 form can be issued to an admitted student, U.S. immigration law requires the University to verify that the student has sufficient funds to finance their studies.

You must submit the following:

  • Affidavit of financial support (financial affidavit form)
  • Certified bank letter reflecting availability of the cost of the session along with English translation.

There is no financial assistance available for new incoming international students; any assistance is offered after establishment of an academic year GPA at UNK.

Health Requirement

You are required to submit a completed Pre-Enrollment Health Record form which includes vaccination history upon arrival on campus.

Download the Pre-Enrollment Health Requirement Form

Certified English translations are required for all non-English documents submitted. This document requires your health provider's records and signature and should be turned in to the Health Office upon arrival on campus.

It is also required that all international students have medical insurance while attending UNK. Medical insurance is available through Student Health Services. See International Student Health Insurance Requirements for complete information.

Arrival Form

By completing the form below, UNK International Student Services can assist you in making arrangements for ground transportation to campus and residence hall check-in. If you do not complete this form, you will need to make your own arrangements regarding your arrival to our campus.

Click here to complete arrival information.

International Student Application Instructions

English Language Institute

Admission Deadlines:

We encourage you to begin planning early. The University has established firm deadlines for applying for admission. Deadlines for all applicants seeking admission as students are as follows:

  • Fall Semester: May 15 to begin program in mid August.
  • Spring Semester: October 15 to begin program in early January.
  • Summer Semester: February 15 to begin program in mid May.

These deadlines are strictly enforced. Therefore, you must ensure that the International Admission Office receives your application, all fees and all application materials by the admission deadline.

A $45.00 UNK fee must be paid when you submit the online application. An additional $50.00 ELI Placement Test Fee is required along with a $40.00 Express Mail/Courier Fee for secure Federal Express shipment of all Immigration documents (Form I-20/DS-2019 and Admission Letter). Payment of the ELI Placement Test Fee and the Express Mail/Courier Fee must be accomplished using the online payment links in Step II.

Special Note: Please have a credit card ready for payment of all application fees.

Contact the International Admission office with questions at intladmin@unk.edu or by calling 308-865-8526.

I. Complete the online Application

Note: please have a credit card ready for payment of all application fees.

1. Start at: http://www.unk.edu/admissions/apply.php

2. Sign in

3. Pay the $45.00 application fee.

II. Additional Requirements

The quickest, most secure method for payment of fees is done through the following links:

Individual student: click here

Agency payment for multiple students:click here

All immigration documents are sent via secure express delivery, such as Federal Express. Applicants will be emailed a tracking number to follow delivery of the package. All fees must be made payable to: University of Nebraska at Kearney and can be paid in the form of a personal check or a money order in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank, or using a credit card.

Electronic Check Re-Presentment Policy
In the event that your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds, we may re-present your check electronically. In the ordinary course of business your check will not be provided to you with your bank statement, but a copy can be retrieved by contacting your financial institution.

Please contact the International Admissions office with any questions you may have by email at intladmin@unk.edu or by telephone at 308-865-8526.

III. Submit Required Documents

Applications will not be processed until online application and all fees are received.

1. Copy of Passport Biographical Page:

Copy of personal information page of national PASSPORT which includes: name, date of birth, passport expiration date, and photo. Passport must be valid for a minimum of six (6) months after the planned start of academic program and must remain valid at all times while in the U.S.A. According to regulations, all Immigration documents, including Form I-20 or DS-2019, must match passport name.

2. Affidavit of Financial Support:

Original Bank/Financial Verification reflecting availability of a minimum $23,465.74 per academic year to attend UNK; to be accompanied by the UNK financial affidavit. Documents submitted in native language must be accompanied with an official translation. Document must be on official letterhead with bank seal and original signature.

Additional costs which may be incurred: $2,200 for summer living expenses, $3,000 for spouse, and $1,500 each per minor dependent.

3. Verification of Educational History:

Diploma or letter from the school reflecting graduation from high school accompanied by a complete English translation must be provided. (Only originals or certified copies of originals are accepted. Dates of attendance must be included.)

Students who attended a foreign university/college and who wish to have credits considered for transfer to UNK, must provide to the Office of Student Records and Registration: an official transcript from the institution reflecting all courses attempted and grades received along with a professional credential evaluation completed by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). See www.naces.org for a complete list of member agencies or contact the Office Records and Registration for an approved list.

English Language Institute students must wait until admission to a full time UNK degree seeking program has been accomplished.

Contact the International Admissions office with any questions you may have by email at intladmin@unk.edu or by telephone at 308-865-8526.

IV. Submitting Information

Upon submission of the online application and fees, all required supporting documents as specified above must be sent to the following address:

University of Nebraska Kearney
International Admissions
Memorial Student Affairs Building
2510 11th Avenue
Kearney, NE  68849 U.S.A.
Phone: (308) 865-8526 Fax: (308) 865-8987
E-mail: intladmin@unk.edu

All supporting documents, in the native language, must be accompanied with an original, certified English translation. This office does not offer a translation service; contact the Education USA office in your area to assist you with this requirement.

All original materials sent to support an application for admission become the property of UNK and are not returned.

V. Receiving Information

After International Admissions receives your application, fees and all required documents, you will receive an email informing you of your admission decision or a request for further information within approximately 5 days. Upon approval, you will be sent an admission packet which includes:

  • Acceptance letter: A letter informing you about your acceptance in the ELI program.
  • Form I-20: Immigration document that certifies your admission to the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
  • Health Requirement Form: This information contains the mandatory requirements for immunizations. The pre-enrollment health form must be completed by your physician. The physician will include your complete vaccination history prior to your arrival in the USA. This document must be submitted to the UNK Student Health Office upon arrival. This document can be downloaded by clicking here (it must be signed by parent/guardian if student is under 18 years old).
  • Housing Contract and Information: The catalog contains general information regarding UNK housing. The official contract must be signed and returned to UNK along with a deposit AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to guarantee a room. The contract must be signed by the parent/guardian if student is under 19 years old. Also included is information regarding meal plans and the Board Plan Agreement for signature along with the Roommate Preference Sheet. These documents should be returned to the Office of Residential and Greek Life. Email: resilife@unk.edu.
  • Steps to take to arrive in Kearney, Nebraska, USA: This information explains briefly the procedure of applying for a student visa at the U.S. Consulate and provides hints to assist in the process. Additional information included is: Instructions for payment of the mandatory $200.00 SEVIS fee (you will need the receipt at your visa appointment); hints about traveling; directions for completion of the I-94 document on the airline; a listing of hotels and motels in Kearney, Nebraska; and finally information regarding Maintaining Immigration status while at UNK. Item #11 on the steps form gives information regarding access to the Arrival Form which should be submitted once your tickets have been purchased to ensure that someone from the International Student Services Office is available to meet your flight and deliver you to the UNK campus.

Upon receipt of Admission Packet, review the Form I-20 and Admission Letter for accuracy. If corrections are required or you have questions, contact the International Admission Office immediately.

VI. Getting the Visa

Overseas Educational Advising Centers are located in major cities worldwide and are affiliated with the United States Information Services (USIS) and/or the United States Embassy. There, applicants can find advisors and information to help understand the admissions process. Overseas advisors are experienced and well-informed about American university systems and admissions procedures.

Students applying for a visa to study in the United States are being required to undergo additional scrutiny since September 2001, as rules changed to insure U.S. Security. You will be required to have a face-to-face interview at the U.S. Consulate/embassy in your home country and undergo a back ground check. You will need the Form I-20, letter of acceptance, and I-901 fee payment receipt at your interview.

More information at: Admitted Students – Getting the visa.