International Student Admissions Requirements

International Student Admissions Requirements2018-09-13T12:56:32+00:00

Elim Bible Institute and College is committed to helping qualified International Students receive a solid biblical education that will empower them to succeed in life and ministry. Our admission personnel work closely with applicants to assist them through the process from application, to acceptance, to arrival.

What You Need To Know:

Following are a few of the most important things International’s should know as they consider applying to Elim.

  • CANADIANS: If you are Canadian, it is not necessary for you to follow all of the steps outlined on this page. Contact the Admissions office at or give us a call to learn more.
  • REQUIREMENTS: It is important for international applicants to understand what they will be required to submit to us during the application process. This will include:
    • Elim’s Application Online (including a $50 application fee)
    • High School or Approved College Transcripts
    • Approved English Proficiency Scores
    • Income Verification Documents
    • $5,000 USD down-payment
  • FINANCIAL AID: Elim may offer financial aid (scholarships & work-study) to eligible international applicants, up to 40% of the total cost to attend Elim. Financial aid is determined on a case-by-case basis according to need and available scholarship funds. Please note, International students are currently NOT eligible for the “Full-Scholarship Giveaway” promotion. 

Five Phases To Enroll At Elim for Internationals

There are FIVE phases to the Admissions Process that every International student (excluding Canadians) must address in order to successfully enroll in classes at Elim. We strongly urge applicants to save or print this page to use as a checklist for success. If you get stuck or have questions, simply email us at and we will respond as quickly as possible. 

Phase 1:The Application Phase

Your first goal is to apply to attend Elim Bible Institute and College. Once you have submitted all of your documentation, the Admissions Committee will let you know if your request for enrollment to Elim is approved within 2 weeks. 

STEP 1: Affirm Financial Resources

Elim may offer financial aid (scholarships & work-study) to eligible International students for up to 40% of the cost to attend Elim (tuition, room & board.) However, applicants must also affirm they have the financial resources to pay the remainder of their school bill. We will ask you to confirm that you have these resources via email first. Later, we will request that you send us documentation showing your financial status.

See the estimated International student costs on the right sidebar of this page. Don’t forget to convert the total cost into your country’s currency! 

Use the below tool to help you get an idea for the cost to attend Elim. Try converting $9,000 USD to your country’s currency to get an estimate of the MINIMUM cost to you in your country’s currency.

STEP 2: Complete a Full-Time International Application

Begin the application process at International Student’s may only apply to attend full time. Elim does not offer online classes at this time. The $50 application fee (due upon completion of the application) will be applied to your total costs upon arrival at Elim.

STEP 3: Submit Proof of Completed Secondary Education

To be eligible to attend Elim, you must show proof that you have successfully completed secondary education. We will notify you what documents we will need from you after you have started your application. The required documents are different for every country. 


Phase 2:The Verification Phase

Once you have been accepted to attend Elim we may ask you to verify (1) your English Proficiency and (2) that you have the funds necessary to attend college in the United States. Each of these steps are required before we can send your Form I-20 to you. Note: if one or more of these verification steps fall short of our standards, we may withdraw your application.

STEP 1: Submit English Proficiency Exam Results

Unless we communicate otherwise to you, international applicants will be required to complete an English Proficiency Exam. You must show proficiency in FOUR areas including (1)reading, (2)listening, (3)speaking and (4)writing. You will be required to submit your scores from ONE of the following tests. If your scores are below those shown below, we may deny your request to enroll at Elim.

  • TOEFL – Visit the TOEFL website for more information. Our code is 9552.
    • Paper Based Test: minimum score of 540
    • Computer Based Test: minimum score of 215
    • Internet Based Test: minimum score of 75
  • IELTS – Visit the IELTS website for more information.
    • minimum score of 6.0

STEP 2: Secure Financial Aid & Pay Reservation Deposit($250 USD) 

Every International student is required to pay a non-refundable $250 USD Reservation Deposit as part of the application process.

After the Financial Aid Department has processed your Income Verification Form, you will receive an email from Elim with details about your eligibility for financial aid (as well as the aid amount, if applicable.)


If we are awarding you financial aid, it is important that you secure your award within 30 days! If you do not, you may lose the award we offer you. You will have 30 days* from the date your Award Email was sent to you in order to secure your aid by sending Elim a $250 USD Reservation Deposit.

The $250 Reservation Deposit will be applied to the shipping costs associated with your Form I-20. The remainder of your Reservation Deposit will be applied to your school bill. If your request for an F1 Visa is denied or you do not meet another verification requirement, Elim will refund your Reservation Deposit minus shipping costs associated with your Form I-20.

You may pay your $250 USD Reservation Deposit by calling Elim at (800) 670-3546 or through

* You must pay your Reservation Deposit within 30 days from the date your Award Email was sent to you OR {Fall Freshmen, by February 1}  |  {Spring Midterm Freshmen, by November 15}

STEP 3: Return Financial Agreement Form

After we have processed your financial aid award, we will send you an email outlining your total remaining costs to attend Elim. We will also email you a financial agreement form. You will be required to sign and return these documents (by mail or email.)

STEP 4: Elim Verifies Your Finances

Once we have received your financial agreement, Elim’s Admissions Department may contact you requesting additional documentation showing proof that you can afford to attend Elim. We are required by the United States Department of Homeland Security to gather and confirm this information.

Additional documentation may include bank statements, sponsor bank statements, letters from donors and more. We cannot send your Form I-20 until this step is complete, as it is required by law.

STEP 5: Pay First Down-Payment ($4,750 USD)

Your final step in Phase 2 is to pay another $4,750* USD towards your school bill. You may pay the $4,750 USD down-payment by calling Elim at (800) 670-3546 or through

The deadline for sending Elim your $4,750 USD down-payment is July 15, (or November 15 for the Spring semester.) If we do not receive your down-payment by this date, we will not send your Form I-20 to you. 

*If you elect to not attend Elim at any point in time, we will fully refund your $4,750 down-payment.

Phase 3: The Form I-20 Phase

Once you have completed all of the steps in phase 1 & 2 above, it will be time to create and send your Form I-20. The Form I-20 is a very important government document that will allow you to apply for your Visa and get through customs when travelling to the United States. 

STEP 1: Provide Additional I-20 Information

In order to successfully create your Form I-20, you will be receiving an email requesting additional information. 

STEP 2: Elim Creates & Mails I-20

Elim will create your Form I-20 and arrange to ship it to your provided physical address. You will not need to worry about shipping costs as they will be deducted from your Reservation Deposit which you paid in Phase 2.

Depending on your country and location, shipping may take a few days to a few weeks. Please note that Elim cannot send your Form I-20 electronically (by fax or email). 

STEP 3: Confirm I-20 Received

Once you have received your Form I-20, please notify us immediately so we can mark your package as successfully sent and received. 

STEP 4: Pay I-901 Fee

After receiving your Form I-20, you will need to pay your I-901 SEVIS fee, which needs to be completed before arriving at your Visa appointment. Your I-901 fee will cost you $200 USD.

STEP 5: Schedule Your F1 Visa Appointment

You should schedule an appointment with the United States embassy located in your country as soon as you receive your Form I-20 and have paid the I-901 fee. Click here to find a U.S. Embassy in your country. 

Remember there may be a considerable wait time before your appointment. Scheduling this appointment should be done as soon as possible. Click here to see an estimate of average wait times for your country.

STEP 6: Arrive At Your Appointment Prepared

This appointment is a very important step in your admissions process. If the U.S. embassy does not grant you an F1 Visa, you will not be allowed to travel to the United States and attend college at Elim. It is very important you prepare and arrive at your appointment with all of your documentation. Talk to the U.S. embassy before your interview and ask them what you need to bring to your Visa interview.

We also suggest you review these common questions that are often asked at a Visa appointment.

Phase 4: The Travel Phase

It’s time to travel to Elim! At this point you have successfully completed Phases 1-3 and have received an F1 student visa. Please follow the steps below to ensure safe arrival to both the United States and Elim.

STEP 1: Purchase Tickets

You will need to purchase a round trip ticket, arriving to the Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC). While purchasing your ticket, keep in mind that you will need to arrive to Elim no later than August 21 for the Fall semester or January 5 for the Spring semester. 

STEP 2: Send Us Your Flight Information

Once you have purchased your ticket, email us your flight itinerary.

STEP 3: Arrival To Rochester

You are responsible to arrive at Rochester, NY (this can be via plane, bus, or train.) Once you have arrived at Rochester we will take care of transporting you to Elim’s campus, which is located in Lima, NY. Please note that we are not located in or near New York City.

Phase 5: The Orientation Phase

During Elim’s mandatory International Orientation we will provide you with helpful information as you transition from your home country to the United States. We will assist you in completing important legal documents, such as finalizing work study papers and establishing a social security number (if applicable.) You will also receive 1 on 1 assistance to assure you are prepared for the start of classes. 

Through out your orientation you will have the opportunity to meet current Elim students as well as staff and faculty, all in the hopes of providing you with a successful transition to being a student at Elim.