Rescinded International Student Rule

Dear Cooper Union Community,

Yesterday afternoon, we received word that the U.S. government has rescinded the July 6 directive barring international students from online-only study at American colleges and universities.  A victory, indeed, for all!

The announcement was made by Judge Allison D. Burroughs during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts yesterday on the suit filed by Harvard and MIT. (See this report from the Associated Press.) The case remains open so that Judge Burroughs can keep jurisdiction should the government propose a new rule related to this matter in the future.  Additional cases that were filed, including one filed on Monday by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, will likely be voluntarily dismissed as moot.

We are grateful that the swift and immediate reactions of hundreds of colleges and universities and the voices of the international student community – all of which came together quickly and with incredible conviction and passion to enumerate the injustice of the proposed directive – were heard.  For Cooper’s part, as I shared on Monday, we filed an amicus brief with a diverse group of education institutions in support of the lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT challenging the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directive.  I also signed onto the American Council on Education (ACE) letter, which was expected to go to Congress this week, requesting that Congress encourage DHS to withdraw the ICE directive.

I couldn’t be more pleased to share this development with you.  The reversal is a testament to the power of what we as a people – no matter where we are from or what our backgrounds are – can accomplish together.


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.