I-20 Process

Alverno Heights Academy welcomes young women from around the globe to apply for the 9th, 10th, or 11th grades with the intention of graduating from Alverno.

In line with the mission of empowering each young woman to be exactly the person she wants to be, Alverno seeks applicants who are interested in participating in Alverno’s complete college preparatory and extracurricular programs.

In order to provide a completely authentic experience, we limit the number of international students we accept. Currently, 10 percent of Alverno’s student population is composed of international students from China, Hong Kong, and Korea. Additionally, Alverno maintains an exchange program with a high school in Japan that brings on average two girls a year to study for a semester.

Once a student at Alverno, international students will be enrolled in a complete college preparatory curriculum, take part in activities, study beside–and become friends with–American students. Because our school offers such a special experience, we have certain requirements that must be met.

International girls must speak sufficient English to succeed in our college-prep curriculum. We require the TOEFL Junior or TOEFL exams. All Alverno graduates must qualify for admission to a four-year college or university, and this includes graduates from other countries. Our teachers and fellow students are very helpful and supportive and our international graduates have transitioned successfully into college careers both in the US and abroad.

International students attending Alverno must arrange their own home stays although we can make a recommendation of an independent company. Whomever the student is living with must assume legal guardianship. We want the girls to live in safe, comfortable home environments with responsible adults to look out for them.


Applications for Alverno’s International Student Program will be accepted on a rolling basis until the prospective class is full.

Upon completion of the inquiry, you will be sent a link to the application and a request for further information. You will need to submit the following documents to Ms. Witherington, Director of Enrollment Management. They may be submitted via e-mail or regular mail.

  • International Student Inquiry- email to Director of Admissions
  • International Student Application
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation: Principal, Math Teacher, and English Teacher
  • Official academic transcripts representing the student’s three most recent years of school; transcripts must have an English translation.
  • English competency test results (TOEFL or TOEFL Jr.)
  • Copy of current passport
  • $300 Application Fee

Supporting documents can be sent in PDF format to the following email address: kwitherington@alvernoheights.org. You may also send documents by traditional mail to:

Ms. Kate Witherington, Director of Enrollment Management

Alverno Heights Academy 

200 North Michillinda Avenue, Sierra Madre, CA 91024

Upon receipt and review of the completed application, $300 application fee, and supporting documents, the Director of Enrollment will contact the applicant directly to set up an interview through SKYPE or in person.

Students who are accepted to Alverno Heights Academy will be required to pay all tuition and fees before the I-20 is issued, or if already issued, for it to remain valid.


Step One: Submit All Application Materials including application, $300 application fee, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and TOEFL scores.

Step Two: Within one week of receiving application materials, the Director of Enrollment Management will arrange for a Skype or in-person interview with the applicant.

Step Three: Within 5 business days of the interview, the Director of Enrollment Management will provide a formal, written letter to the applicant informing her of Alverno’s decision.

Step Four: The applicant will have one week to accept or reject the offer of admission.

Step Five: The applicant will submit the enrollment contract and the total tuition. Tuition will be refunded if the visa is denied.

Step Six: The Director of Enrollment Management will issue an I-20 to the student for their visa interview.