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News from the U.S.
Roshna Mohan

Roshna Mohan is a Content Writer at Hotcourses India - an IDP company. A post-graduate in Biotechnology, she chose content writing as her career out of sheer interest. Reading and cooking are her stress-busters. Talk about these to take the introvert out of the ambivert. Her all-time favourite authors are Paulo Coelho, Yuval Noah Harari and Robin Cook.

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05 Jun 2020 71 Book icon 4 mins Share

News from the U.S.

Institutions in the U.S. are analysing the coronavirus pandemic situation and planning their future semesters. Find out more with our in depth analysis.

05 Jun 2020 71 Book icon 4 mins Share
News from the U.S.

The U.S. is one of the most popular study abroad destinations for international students from India, with student numbers rising every year. Universities in the U.S. are coming up with plans and measures to ensure that the academic programme is not disrupted, and student admissions and enrolments continue, in spite of the coronavirus pandemic.

What are universities in the USA doing?

The majority of the U.S. institutions have developed more flexible admission processes for the 2020 – 2021 academic year. You may be wondering what happens if you have already accepted an offer for admission, but cannot make it to the U.S.? The SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Programme) does not propose cancelling admissions for new students and you do have an option to defer the program to a later date. The Study in the States website has more information on the programme and process.

Institutions are offering delayed programme start dates and issuing a new Form I-20 if students are currently outside of the United States. You can also opt for the online classes in cases where institutions are offering programmes virtually first and transferring to on-campus instruction later. However, make sure that it is possible for you to undertake, considering the difference in the time zone and technical requirements. Keep in mind that you will have to get hold of an F-1 student visa, as soon as the conditions are favourable for travel.

Students who have returned to their homeland and have an expired visa, or a visa that will expire before they can come to the U.S., should contact the Department of State to decide the next steps. Check out the COVID-19 – Visa Services and Restrictions page for up to date information from the U.S. government. The Frequently Asked Questions COVID-19 resource for SEVP Stakeholders is a comprehensive document that non-immigrant students can refer to. The International Student Services website is also one of the best places to look out for updates for F1 students. It is advised that all students stay in touch with their college or university as the information continues to change regularly.

What are their plans for autumn 2020?

Though there has not been any official announcement from the federal government, university presidents are circulating their plans for the future semesters. The majority of universities intend to resume face-to-face classes for the autumn semester. A few institutions are still assessing the situation and waiting for further developments, while a few others have decided that online is the best mode to deliver classes during the coronavirus pandemic. Shorter semesters are also being considered keeping everybody’s health interest in mind and to prepare for the predicted second wave of COVID-19.

Planning for a face-to-face fall semester

Adelphi University is hopeful about resuming on-campus classes by autumn 2020. However, this will depend on the regulations given by the federal government. Non-immigrant students can continue their studies from outside of the U.S. and attend on-campus programmes once conditions are favourable. The current semester at Adelphi is taking place online.

Missouri University of Science and Technology is planning to start face to face classes by August/ September.

New York University is hoping to cautiously begin face-to-face classes for autumn 2020. The summer semester at the university will be delivered completely online. The university has indicated that they will be adhering to the government rules when it comes to instituting any changes. The university may relax their application requirements and deadlines to assist students. 

Pace University also intends to resume face-to-face classes across their campuses for autumn 2020 after a virtual summer semester. Pace would like the newly admitted students to engage with the university through their webcasts in the meantime.

Mississippi Public Universities, Texas A&M University, Bates College and Arizona State University are among some the other universities who intend to resume face to face learning by autumn.

Shorter Semesters and no first semester break

Several institutions are planning to have shortened semesters without the usual breaks and to conclude the autumn semester by November.

The University of South Carolina has announced that there will be no semester break and that face-to-face instruction will be concluded at the November term break. The university reopened with restrictions starting 1st June 2020.

Creighton University has also joined the league and will be concluding on-campus learning for the autumn semester by 25th November 2020. There will not be any semester break. 

Which universities are exclusively online for the autumn semester?

Some universities have announced exclusively online learning programmes for autumn, but there are not that many. California State University, Santa Rosa Junior College and Sierra College will be conducting the autumn term online. California State University has agreed to a minimal number of campus activities, with provisions made for safety. Chaffey College has also announced that the majority of the fall classes will be conducted online.

The universities who are still deliberating

Columbia University is still working on their plans for the future semesters and hopes to have an update by 1st July 2020. Their summer semesters are happening online. The International Students and Scholars Office, ISSO, will continue to issue I-20s even though they don’t have clarity on when the visa restrictions will be lifted. You can contact your institution to find out about the options available for attending classes at a later time.

At Indiana University autumn classes will be conducted either online or in-person till November 2020 and post that, classes will be conducted exclusively online. Most of the spring semester is also likely to happen online. A concrete decision will be taken at a later stage based on government advice and regulations.

The University of Cincinnati is yet to decide the mode of course delivery for autumn 2020. The summer session at the university will be happening virtually. They are offering test-optional admission to students for fall 2021. The application deadlines and regulations are relaxed. 
American University will also be updating their students later regarding their autumn semester.

The situation might seem gloomy now, but what is certain is that the universities are making their best efforts to ensure a seamless academic experience for international students. Don’t forget that you can check for the latest updates using our dedicated student updates page.

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