Yes, You Will Be Able to Study at a US University in Fall 2020

The US government got rid of the policy that international students had to transfer schools or leave the country, if their classes were entirely online.
John W. Weeks Bridge - Harvard - Harvard University

So, we thought that the US wasn’t going to let international students into the country to study in the Fall 2020 semester. We thought that they were going to require international students to transfer schools or leave the country, even if their classes were entirely online.

But as things have turned out, that’s not the case anymore. This is largely due to a series of lawsuits (and on really big one) brought against the US government by just about every major institution of higher education in the US. In fact, the two heavy-hitters in that list (Harvard and MIT) filed a joint lawsuit together against the US government, which was backed by hundreds of other universities.

Then, something incredible happened: the US government got rid of the policy.

At this point, you might be wondering what this has to do with you.

In a nutshell, it means that the rules were that you couldn’t study at a US university this Fall at all. It meant that for a week. But now you most definitely can.

There were a lot of moving parts in these lawsuits. There were more than 59 institutions of higher education that signed court briefs against the US government.

There were more than 200 that backed lawsuits brought against the US government for the rules.

The rules only stayed in-place for about a week before being completely dismantled by universities across the US in court.

This is very good news for anyone who was looking to study abroad in the US this Fall, but it’s even better for students wanting to either continue or start their studies online at a US university. This is because we still don’t know whether or not US borders will be open to foreign nationals by the time the Fall semester starts. However, there are few borders online where you can still earn your degree from an esteemed institution even though you had to do a semester online.

In other words, if you’re an international student at a US university, you don’t have to pause your studies. You don’t have to wait another semester to graduate. And you don’t have to find somewhere else to go (probably).

Here’s what Harvard’s President, Lawrence Bacow, had to say about the victory in an official address:

“This show of support is heartening. We all recognize the value that international students bring to our campuses, to this nation, and to the world. We recognize, too, that colleges and universities must pursue their educational missions while carefully protecting the health and safety of their students, faculty, and staff. At a time when this pandemic continues to rage, we must continue to act with vigilance, informed by the best available science and with a commitment both to carrying forward the vital enterprise of learning and to safeguarding public health. The ICE directive sought to force each of us to choose between the health of our communities and the education of our international students—a false and dangerous choice which we rejected. In the end, the public overwhelmingly agreed with us, and the government, in response, withdrew its order,” Bacow said.

And it is a large victory, not only for US universities, but also for international students and aspiring international students that want to come to the US and get their education.

But, that’s it for us today. Until next time, good luck from your friends here at Study-Abroad.org figuring out which US institution you’ll be going to!

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