Application Process

Follow these simple steps for application to begin the process to take English classes.

  1. Complete an ESL Day Application by Applying Online Now.
  2. Look at our Academic Calendar for start and end dates of our sessions
  3. After you submit the online application, e-mail to confirm receipt of application and to establish e-mail contact for future correspondence. As soon as we receive your application, you will be assigned a student ID number.
  4. Provide Proof of Financial Ability to pay all program costs. This can be a current personal or family bank statement or payment guarantee from your government, U.S. Sponsor, company or agent. See the Program Costs in order to estimate the total amount to be guaranteed.
  5. Pay a non-refundable application fee ($125 for international students, $75 for local residents) for the program. Payments can be made by: check or money order from an American Bank made payable to Rockford University, credit card via a secured fax line (do not send credit card information via email), wire transfer – international money transfer to Rockford University’s bank account. Contact for specific bank information.

Important: Our minimum age requirement is 18 years. All beginning students must have some prior study of English and be able to use or understand 200-400 words in English. Bilingual instruction in Spanish is used as needed.

Required: Health and Immunization Requirements


United States Student VISA—For International Students

International students must have a current F-1 Student Visa to enroll in our ESL Program. If the student does not have an F-1 Student Visa, he or she may apply through Rockford University to receive one. Students can also find information about changing status by visiting the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services website. Please notify us at when this process is complete. International Transfer students who have an F-1 visa from another English language program must complete a Rockford University Transfer Form in addition to steps 1-3 above.

Download Transfer Form (contact ESL by email)

Process for Applying for an F-1 Student Visa

  1. Complete the Rockford University ESL Application Process (Steps 1-3).
  2. Fax or email a copy of the information page from current passport. It must show the student’s full name, date of birth, and country of citizenship.
  3. Once all the application documents have been received and application fee is paid, we will contact the student and issue and send a Form I-20. The I-20 is an application for an F-1 Student Visa.
  4. Take the I-20 to the nearest US Consulate or Embassy to arrange for an F-1 Student Visa Interview. (There may be a fee for the interview.)
  5. Pay a $235 SEVIS Fee, which can be paid online at This is separate from the application fee paid to Rockford University and must be paid before the visa interview.

Once the student has received an F-1 Student visa, he or she must immediately contact us at to confirm that all required documents are in order to and finalize the admission process.

Department Information

English as a Second Language (ESL)
Burpee 2nd Floor
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
fax: 001-815-226-4161
Maria Diemer, ESL Coordinator

Mon-Fri – 8:30 am to 5:00 pm