‘Critically Important’: Ole Miss commits to international students following Trump policy change

Published 10:59 am Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Trump administration has abandoned its policy that would have stripped international students of their visas if their coursework was entirely online, allowing more than 800 international students at Ole Miss to breathe a sigh of relief.

The policy would have required international students to take classes that only met in person for the fall semester.

The University of Mississippi released a statement on July 14, which stated that the University has implemented a hybrid model, which allows for a mixture of in-person and online classes this fall. 

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By falling under this model, the UM allows students to have a temporary exemption for the fall semester. This means that students can take more than one three-credit online or remote course unless they are in a pathway program or a language training program.

Graduate students with thesis or dissertation hours also fall into this guideline. Thesis and dissertation hours count as in-person hours. Students are encouraged to have a schedule that meets these guidelines.

“Our goal would be to make changes to the delivery format of courses on an individual basis, and we have worked to create a course or course schedule for international students that will enable international students to be certified as having a hybrid schedule for the fall semester,” the University’s statement read. “If you are not enrolled in thesis or dissertation hours, then we will be in contact with you about the course. You, your status and your ability to remain here to complete your degrees are critically important to us.”

For any questions in regards to the University’s procedure going forward, click here for more information.

On July 6, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that international students that stayed in the United States while taking online-only classes would face the consequences of being deported back to their home country.

The rules also applied to students whose course loads change mid-semester.

Students who change course selections or are required to switch to online-only learning would have to notify ICE with 10 days after the change.

The administration agreed to reinstate a policy that was implemented in March amid the pandemic, which gave international students the flexibility to take all their classes online and remain legally in the country with student visas.