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Kentucky colleges are leaders in admitting students from abroad

Immigration Services

Many may say the current immigration system in the United States is dysfunctional with overburdened courts, an overly complicated application process and unreasonably long wait times. However, at least two colleges in Kentucky have taken steps to help many immigrant students lawfully stay in the country.

In Kentucky, the University of the Cumberlands and Cambellsville University along with other colleges in the commonwealth have taken steps to admit many students coming from other nations. This is despite the fact that enrollment of students from other nations overall is falling across the United States. In fact, from March 2017 to March 2018, 32 states in the U.S. saw a decrease in the number of international students in their colleges and universities. However, Kentucky saw a growth of the number of international students enrolled in their colleges and universities of over 70 percent. Currently, if an immigrant holds a student visa, he or she can work off-campus when they begin their studies at a college or university that has made working off-campus an "integral part of the established curriculum."

Enrolling international students on student visas not only benefit the students who can both work while pursuing a higher education, but the schools benefit from a surge in enrollment of students who want to work in the United States. Students coming to Kentucky on student visas are not only seeking a bachelor's degree, but some are pursuing higher degrees, such as master's degrees. This is especially relevant to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In Kentucky, these fields saw a growth of approximately 95 percent of students from other countries from 2017 to 2018.

This may be good news to international students wishing to work in the U.S. while going to school. However, there are other qualifications that must be met in order to do so that go beyond the scope of this post. In the end, when colleges and universities admit students from other nations, it benefits the students, the college or university and the nation's workforce as a whole. Once these students lose their student visas, they may find it hard to obtain a work visa. This means they may face deportation and removal if they chose to remain in the country. Therefore, any program that allows them to lawfully stay in the U.S. is a benefit.

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