CALIFORNIA—Under the new proposition issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday, July 6, international students will be required to show that they will be attending at least one in-person course during the fall semester to remain in the United States.
According to the modified ICE guidelines, non-immigrant students are not permitted to take full online curriculum. If there is a change from in class to online mid-semester, universities will have 10 days to report it and international students must leave the country immediately. ICE made modifications that students already in the country with full online courses may take other measures to maintain a non-immigrant status such as “reducing a full course load or taking a medical leave of absence.”
The California Community Colleges chancellor stated that the rule would impact approximately 20,000 students, while California State University estimates around 11,000 students. The University of California has not announced how many will be affected. There are 40,000 current international students on the nine campuses altogether.
The announcement made on Monday requires colleges and universities to acknowledge if they plan to be fully open, utilize hybrid model or offer online-only classes by Wednesday, July 15. Some Ivy League schools have already planned fall curriculum to be fully remote before the announcement, including Harvard University.
As colleges and schools transition from an in-person semester to an online curriculum, the change has led colleges and universities to offer at least a couple courses in person in the fall to avoid the risk of losing international students and their tuition. Colleges and universities will lose a significant portion of revenue if the students fail to return or if they do not receive new students due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
International students encompass 14.4 percent of students across the 10 UC campuses and pay approximately $42,323 annually for undergraduate studies, tripling the amount of what the in-state residents pay. Currently, approximately eight percent of colleges are planning to be online as noted by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
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