New Rules: Foreign Students Must Leave US if Classes go Online

Students

(AP) – New federal guidelines say international students will be forced to leave the U.S. or transfer to another college if their schools offer classes entirely online this fall.

The guidelines provide additional pressure for campuses to reopen even amid growing concerns about the recent spread of COVID-19 among young adults.

President Donald Trump has insisted that schools and universities return to in-person instruction as soon as possible.

The rules say international students must take at least some of their classes in person. New visas will not be issued to students at schools or programs that are entirely online.

The American Council on Education, which represents university presidents, said the guidelines are “horrifying” and will result in confusion as schools look for ways to reopen safely.

Of particular concern is a stipulation saying students won’t be exempt from the rules even if an outbreak forces their schools online during the fall term. It’s unclear what would happen if a student ended up in that scenario but faced travel restrictions from their home country, said Terry Hartle, the council’s senior vice president.

Dozens of colleges have said they plan to offer at least some classes in person this fall, but some say it’s too risky.

The University of Southern California last week reversed course on a plan to bring students to campus, saying classes will be hosted primarily or exclusively online. Harvard on Monday said it will invite first-year students to live on campus, but classes will stay online.

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