Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

SIU Spring

Frequently Asked Questions


Who can help me with admissions questions?

Lili Angel-Post is in charge of all admissions to the Center for English as a Second Language.  Her office is located in Faner 3239 and she can be contacted at cesl@siu.edu.  If you would like admission to an undergraduate or graduate program at SIU, you can apply on-line.  See the Center for International Education’s website for more information on admissions.

I want to help my friend apply to CESL, what should I do? (i.e. for students currently in Carbondale and enrolled in CESL or SIU).

If you currently live in Carbondale and would like to help a friend apply to CESL, please make an appointment to see Lili Angel-Post.  Her office is located in Faner 3239 and she can be contacted at cesl@siu.edu

I am currently attending CESL, how can I apply for admission to SIU?

Current CESL students can apply for undergraduate and graduate admission to SIU on-line.  See the Center for International Education’s website for more information on international admissions. 


Who can help me with financial questions?

CESL's accounting office is in charge of all student payments and also accepts all scholarship documents. The office is located in Faner 3242 and can be contacted at cesl.fin@siu.edu.

What is the deadline to pay for each term?

If you are self-sponsored, you must pay for the next term by the registration deadline.  The registration deadline for the next term is always on Friday of the second to last week of the current term.  Any payments received during the last week of the current term or later will have a late fee of $25.00 for each week the payment was late.

When is the last day to withdraw from class without financial penalty?

Students who officially withdraw from CESL by the first Friday of the term will be refunded tuition and activity fees ONLY.  All other fees are non-refundable.  Any withdrawals (for any reason) after week one will not be refunded tuition or fees.

How do I request a refund?

Refunds are processed if a student withdraws prior to the second Friday of the term.  If you are a scholarship-funded student, you must request a refund through your scholarship agency.

I’m a sponsored student, what do you need from my scholarship agency so I don’t have any financial holds?

Your scholarship letter must state that tuition and fees will be covered for the Center for English as a Second Language and include dates for the entire term.  CESL can ask for a scholarship letter if the current letter does not meet these requirements.

What is the penalty if I do not pay or submit my scholarship letter by the registration deadline?

If CESL does not have a payment or active scholarship letter on file for you, you will have a “financial hold.” After the second week, no documents, including your class schedule, will be given to you until the financial hold is resolved. You cannot attend classes with a financial hold. If you do not have a hold removed after seven days of non-attendence, then immigration regulations require your record to be terminated.

CESL Policies:

Who is my advisor?  What do they do?

Your advisor is Lili Angel-Post. Her office is in Faner 3241, and her email is cesl@siu.edu. The CESL advisor is available to help you with academic, immigration, intercultural, and personal issues.

How can I see an advisor?

In order to see the advisor you should check in at the main CESL Office (Faner 3242), or you can schedule an appointment with your advisor by contacting her via e-mail.

Am I allowed to take a summer vacation from May-August?

No F-1 full-time CESL student is eligible to take a “summer vacation” from May – August unless they have satisfied the requirement of being enrolled full time for the four consecutive terms prior to the summer term. This is based on immigration regulations.

What is CESL’s authorized annual vacation policy?

You must study the equivalent of one academic year (four terms together) before you can take an authorized annual vacation for one term.  Transfer students who have time at a previous university may submit transcript documentation to the CESL advisor to determine if you have accrued the equivalent of four consecutive terms.

Can I take a travel break or “vacation” between terms?

Yes all students are eligible to take vacations and travel within and outside of the United States between CESL terms.  Review the term calendar or go to the CESL Office if you would like to know the exact dates of breaks between terms.

Are there any exceptions to CESL’s vacation policy? i.e. family emergency or medical problem.

No, there are no exceptions to the four term authorized annual vacation policy.  If you must withdraw due to a family emergency or medical issue, you need to talk to your advisor to determine your rights and responsibilities as an F-1/J-1 student.

How can I make a formal complaint about an issue?

Student Complaint Forms are available in the CESL Office (Faner 3242) and online, under the “Current Students” page.  Completed forms can be givento the CESL Front Desk (Faner 3242) or to the student advisor.

How do I get copies of official documents (such as grade reports, transcripts, certificates, enrollment confirmations)?

You can request official documents at the CESL front desk (Faner 3242).  Please know that processing your request may take up to five business days.

What are the promotion (passing) requirements for each level?

CESL promotion requirements are in the CESL Student Handbook under the “Current Students” page.  If you have questions, your advisor will be happy to meet with you and discuss the promotion requirements.

What is CESL’s absence policy?

CESL’s absence policy is in the CESL Student Handbook.  Please be advised that regular attendance is an F-1/J-2 visa requirement.  If you do not attend regularly you will receive a warning.  If the attendance problem continues, the CESL advisor must terminate the student's I-20 for failure to maintain regular academic progress and dropping below full course load.  If a student misses seven consecutive class days, their I-20 will be terminated for unauthorized drop below full course load.


What is the difference between PBT and iBT TOEFLs?

PBT (Paper Based TOEFL) is an institutional TOEFL administered by CESL and valid only within CESL and Southern Illinois University Carbondale.  An iBT (Internet Based TOEFL) is administered by ETS-approved testing facilities and scores are valid for admission at any university in the United States (depending on their admission requirements).

Where can I take an iBT TOEFL and how do I sign up?

There are two iBT testing facilities in our area:  One is on campus (Morris Library 7th floor) and one is in Carbondale (Prometric Testing Center).  There are also many other iBT testing facilities throughout the United States.  To register, go to  ETS website

How do I know the iBT equivalent of my paper (PBT) TOEFL score?

If you are not sure what the iBT equivalent for your PBT score is, you may contact your CESL Advisor.

Does CESL accept the IELTS?

No, CESL does not accept the IELTS test for level promotion within CESL.  Southern Illinois University Carbondale accepts the IELTS exam for final admission (6.0 for undergraduate admission). 

How can I submit my iBT TOEFL score to CESL?

Students who take an Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) exam may not use those scores for placement or promotion into a CESL level. iBT scores that have been submitted to the university to meet full time admission requirements for SIU undergraduate or graduate level programs will be reviewed for promotion into GSE level only. These iBT scores must be submitted to CESL either by the Center for International Education or Graduate School. Students cannot submit iBT TOEFL score reports directly to CESL.