Guiding Principles and Timeline
The extended closure of US consulates and disruption to international travel has raised concerns that newly admitted international students may not be able to arrive on campus in time for the start of the fall term. This webpage provides recommendations and guidance to programs for options about admission deferral or remote fall term enrollment for international graduate students who have accepted admission offers with graduate assistantship or fellowship appointments. Changes to immigration policy could also impact the matriculation of some students and additional guidance will be provided when available.
The Graduate College recommends that programs communicate information about deferral or fall term enrollment to their matriculating international students as soon as possible, following the timeline outlined in this document.
Guiding Principles for Programs Wishing to Enroll International Graduate Students:
Maximize the possibility for all admitted graduate students to participate in the Fall 2020 semester. Programs should strive to provide equitable treatment to all graduate students, both domestic and international. In the interest of equity, programs should not extend an offer of online enrollment to some but not to others. Ideally, programs should prepare instructional plans to accommodate simultaneous remote, hybrid, and in-person participation by students throughout the fall term. At their discretion, graduate programs may provide the option to defer admission to the Spring 2021 or Fall 2021 terms or, alternatively, may offer students the option of starting the fall term remotely in their home countries by taking classes, with graduate assistantship or fellowship apppointments, if available. The restrictions of external grant sponsors may not allow extending appointments to some students working remotely, and programs may need to defer enrollment for these students if alternative funding support is not available. Students also may ask the program for a deferral because of limitations to online access or other reasons and we request that programs accommodate such deferral requests.
Provide access to funding for graduate students. International graduate students who enroll from their home country to start classes and to perform work associated with their appointments should be fully funded with tuition, stipend, and benefits as outlined in their admission offer. Under federal law, wages must be paid within 30 days of being earned and payment cannot be deferred until the student arrives on campus. However, making a fellowship payment in a single lump-sum or holding fellowships until the student arrives on campus is allowable. The university is currently exploring with external vendors options to allow students to provide their international banking information to facilitate payments. Additional information will follow in the near future.
For students who were offered an assistantship and/or fellowship and are unable to hold this appointment while enrolled remotely, graduate programs have the option to offer them a stand-alone tuition waiver. These students can be enrolled in absentia and will only be responsible for the $298 general fee.
Commit to supporting student success. Programs that decide to matriculate students remotely for the fall term must commit to providing orientation, mentoring, and advising resources that are responsive to the unique conditions that these students will face as they study and work from their home countries. This commitment will help students start their program successfully with a sense of belonging in their academic community, and allow them to move quickly onto an equal footing with others in their cohort when they arrive on campus. Programs that are unable to commit this focused support should defer admission.
Timeline for Programs Considering Temporary International Graduate Student Funding:
● Mid to late July: As soon as possible, graduate programs should send a letter to their admitted international graduate students that explains the program’s fall term enrollment options and provides more information about the instructional outlook for the Fall 2020 term. (A template for this communication is available.)
● Friday, August 14: This is the deadline for programs to provide the Graduate College with the names and UINs of graduate students who will enroll and/or hold an appointment remotely for the fall term. A list of all admitted FA20 international students will be sent to graduate programs and programs will be able to indicate the students’ enrollment and funding decisions (remote or on-campus enrollment, deferring admission, remote or on-campus assistantship/fellowship/stand-alone waiver, or no funding given).