On Friday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued its most recent guidance regarding international students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities for the Fall 2020 semester. Most notably, it clarifies that new foreign students will not be allowed to enter the country if their school is operating entirely online, with the recently-announced flexibility for international students only applying to those who were actively enrolled on March 9.
In light of this guidance that disrupts the academic plans of so many individuals both regionally and nationally, Marymount University has confirmed its ability to welcome additional international students during the upcoming fall semester and beyond. As stated in its “Saints Reunite” Guide to 2020-21 Reopening, Marymount continues to prepare for a complete re-entry of students, faculty and staff, and a return to on-site learning and living with new protocols that safeguard the health and safety of its campus community. This plan was approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) last week.
At other higher education institutions which have planned for a fully-online fall semester or a hybrid model that leans more towards virtual learning, international students who will be starting their college careers this academic year will not have an in-person, physical experience available to them. Marymount administrators are encouraging these affected institutions, especially in the greater Washington region and the Commonwealth of Virginia, to explore the possibility of having their new foreign student population begin their studies at Marymount’s campus.
“We have the available capacity for the fall semester, both in our classes and in our residence halls, to accommodate students affected by this recent guidance from ICE. We’re also able to incorporate any necessary measures to ensure smooth transitions to the students’ institutions of choice once these federal guidelines are no longer applicable to them,” said Dr. Irma Becerra, President of Marymount University. “Research shows that students who ‘stop-out’ have a greater possibility of dropping out, and we want to do our part to ensure that international students’ progress towards graduation is not stymied by this ruling.”
To help international students continue to make progress towards their degrees and maintain their F-1 status, Marymount has generous merit-based scholarships available at time of admission for both first-year and transfer students, and the University has also eliminated its application deadlines to offer a more streamlined process. International students, especially those who will be in their first year of higher education, can contact Ana David, Senior Associate Director of International Admissions, to learn more about how they can begin their collegiate studies at Marymount this fall.