The Trump administration’s announced intention to force foreign college students to leave the U.S. if they enrolled only in online courses has prompted a legal challenge and efforts by colleges to protect their foreign enrollment.
Example: UA Little Rock. This memo was distributed this week:
Campus Community:Some of you may have already seen the broadcast bulletin and press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) yesterday, which suspend the exemptions due to COVID-19 made in spring 2020 for international students.The Office of International Student Services (OISS) is following this guidance closely and working to ensure all UA Little Rock international students, both current and prospective, receive the most up to date information during this unprecedented time.
According to the latest guidance, international students will be allowed to attend higher education institutions that adopt a face-to-face or hybrid model. UA Little Rock currently has a hybrid model and is utilizing a number of hybrid courses for the fall term. Because hybrid courses have a face-to-face and an online component, hybrid courses count towards the minimum physical presence requirement for international students.Continuing International StudentsContinuing international students (F & J students) who are already in the United States and are not enrolled in fully online courses may remain in active status if he or she makes normal progress in a program of study, or are engaged in approved practical training, either as part of a program of study or following completion of a program of study.New International StudentsNew international students (new F & J students) who will attend UA Little Rock this fall will receive updated immigration documents. These updated immigration documents will certify that the university is not operating entirely online, that the student is not taking a wholly online course load for the fall 2020 semester, and that the student is taking the minimum number of classes required to make normal progress in his or her degree program. OISS will indicate this information in the Form I-20 Remarks field in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).OISS will remain in contact with international students, and appropriate offices in Academic Affairs, Athletics, and Student Affairs to continue sharing information as it becomes available. We appreciate your patience as we navigate and move forward together.If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to OISS at email@example.com or 501-683-7566. Thank you for helping us support our international students.Sincerely,Tugrul PolatDirector of International Student Services
Edie StewartAssistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment