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Email from Janine Davidson, Ph.D., MSU Denver president
July 7, 2020
On Monday, the federal government issued updated guidance for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program that allows international students to go to college in the United States on F-1 visas. The announcement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says that international students can’t enter or remain in the country if they’re taking only online courses in the fall, reversing an exception that was made for the spring and summer semesters in light of COVID-19 forcing universities to transition online.
As you know, Metropolitan State University of Denver is offering most of its courses online this upcoming semester with public-health-informed protocols in place on campus to protect our students and minimize risk. We’re reviewing the federal guidance, along with other institutions of higher education, on behalf of our affected students – which is most of the roughly 160 international students enrolled at MSU Denver this fall.
As we work through the guidance, we’re identifying one-credit-hour courses to offer on campus that students can enroll in to meet the government requirements to remain enrolled and in the U.S. The University is focused on supporting our international students and ensuring their ability to successfully complete their degrees, and we believe their presence on our campus and in our country makes us stronger.
While we work on our fall plans internally, two universities – including Harvard, which announced earlier this week that it would offer all its classes online-only for the 2020-21 school year – are suing the Trump administration over the unfair burden this places on the more than 1 million international students at U.S. colleges and universities, so we’ll be monitoring those legal challenges as well.
We will communicate more in the coming days and weeks, but in the meantime, international students can share any questions or struggles with our international student support coordinator at [email protected].
Janine Davidson, Ph.D.