Colleges which go fully online now risk their foreign students getting deported

The Chronicle of Higher Education has compiled a list of colleges’ plans for classes in the fall. It’s comprehensive and they have a pie chart showing that a full 60% have in-person classes scheduled. That may sound awful and like it’s a terrible idea, but colleges need to offer at least some in-person classes or ICE could come for foreign students. US Immigration has announced that non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 visa status students must take classes in person or face deportation. They made the announcement yesterday that “Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States.” Here’s more from NPR:

As college students across the United States and around the world contemplate what their upcoming semester might look like, the federal guidance limits options for international students and leaves them with an uncomfortable choice: attend in-person classes during a pandemic or take them online from another country.

And for students enrolled in schools that have already announced plans to operate fully online, there is no choice. Under the new rules, the State Department will not issue them visas, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not allow them to enter the country.

“Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status,” read a release from ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program. “If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.”

The agency said students already in the country and faced with a fully online course of study may take alternative measures to maintain their nonimmigrant status, “such as a reduced course load or appropriate medical leave.”

The rule applies to holders of F-1 and M-1 nonimmigrant visas, which allow nonimmigrant students to pursue academic and vocational coursework, respectively.

More than 1 million of the country’s higher education students come from overseas, according to the nonprofit Institute of International Education.

[From NPR]

This is awful. The Trump administration is weaponizing the pandemic against foreign students because of course they are. I only hope that some emergency rulings are made to block this ruling, which is nonsensical and will result in people dying for an education.

Meanwhile Harvard is going fully online in the fall and they’re not reducing their $50,000 a year tuition at all. And in case you think a lot of students at Harvard benefit from affirmative action that’s true, but only if they’re white, rich and connected.

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17 Responses to “Colleges which go fully online now risk their foreign students getting deported”

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  1. Original Jenns says:

    That Harvard article is amazing. Definitely reading the entire thing and sharing later today! Thank you!! And yes, this is absolutely weaponizing the pandemic against immigrants. It’s despicable and incredibly on point with this admin.

    • hmp says:

      That article is brilliant! I have a friend who is a double legacy and got into Yale – she always talks about how it’s not that hard to get in and her grades weren’t even that great and it drives me nuts, because I worked my tail off to get there. I don’t really have the heart to tell her that there’s a reason she didn’t get into any other school except Yale, but gosh I wish she reads this one day.

  2. Noki says:

    International school fees are crazy high, this doesnt make sense they are still bringing in a lot of money for fees and their maintenance. Also do international students get scholarships in US or is that reserved for the domestic?

    • fluffy_bunny says:

      My son’s school has a high international student population and they offer everyone scholarships. I think they even have ones that are specifically for international students.

    • Millenial says:

      In my experience, most undergrad international students are full-pay and that subsidizes tuition/tuition scholarships for American students

  3. Tiffany says:

    Schools are not gonna be happy with this one. It isn’t just tuition that these international students bring in. I knew someone who was a rocket scientist who was recruited hard by universities. These are the kind of things that bring in funding for departments.

    Schools should sue over this.

    • Jay says:

      That was my first thought, too- most postsecondary institutions have become dependent on the higher tuition fees paid by international students. Are they forcing them to open in order to keep their international students? Why does this administration want colleges to open so badly? It really doesn’t make sense to me.

  4. Tx_mom says:

    Foreign students don’t usually get need-based aid. My kid is at a good school (Rice) and a lot of foreign students (According to parents I’ve talked to) are planning to just do online from their home countries.

    This is such a shitty move in an emergency. A lot of foreign students live in the US year-round, have families, leases, cars, etc. and may not even be able to fly out of the country since a lot of places are (reasonably) refusing to admit travelers from our virus-ridden country.

    • Frataastic says:

      I used to work at Rice! Yay Owls!

      Where this is really going to hit is with the grad/PhD population. They do alot of the support work for those classes as TAs that are a part of their university support. If the classes move online, and then THEIR classes move online it’s a doozy.

      Outside of Rice, some foreign students do get need based aid. And also come from counties where internet is spotty and unreliable (if it exists at all)

  5. Teresa says:

    I hope at bare minimum these schools make a generic one credit class for all international students called “Observing Your Surroundings 101” and students have to walk on campus once a week and wave at a professor in a lawn chair.

  6. Molly says:

    This is a brain drain. We’re going to lose money and talent because of this.

    Trump is also going to end DACA again this week. 700,000 people and their families will also added to the turmoil happening.

  7. chloe says:

    I know someone that works with our local state university in my town and her job was to bring international students to the school, what she told me is the international students pay more to get an education in the US, but usually their country helps with the cost, so the college is making more money, which is great since most of the students are local and get a discount for staying in town and attending college. We also have two private colleges in my town and between the state and private we have around 10% total student body international students, it brings quite a bit of $$$ into my small town. I dated an international student years ago and most of them lived off campus and they spent tons of money while in this country, he was always buying Levi jeans because he said they cost hundreds of dollars in his country.

  8. EMF999 says:

    I have a small team of young foreign nationals (two from China, one from Taiwan and one from India). The crap they have to deal with regarding visas just breaks my heart. It took me the best part of two weeks to write a long (12 page) letter justifying approval of two of their H1B applications and this was after they “won” the visa lottery. Unfortunately, my firm has now decided that it is so much work that they will no longer sponsor foreign applicants.
    It is so frustrating as these kids are uber-smart, hard-working and in every way are model employees. And they are so darned appreciative of every tiny thing we do to help them – there is no sense of entitlement.
    They all went to top tier universities here in the US. The fact that we are now using the pandemic as yet another excuse to discriminate against kids like this just makes my blood boil.

  9. Dee Kay says:

    As a professor, this breaks my heart. It’s so cruel and unjustified, all it does it create unnecessary harm for thousands of students who are working hard to get a good education in this country. I hate this administration, it is like a bunch of school bullies are in charge of everything and do crappy, mean-spirited, and dangerous and hurtful things for absolutely no reason except to feel better about themselves.