On July 15, 2013 the University of Northern Virginia (UNVA) was shut down by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV). Although the decision of the school is perfectly clear, what is to become of its students? Without any direction, UNVA students are investigating their various options.
UNVA was started in 1998 in the state of Virginia and became fully accredited by the ACICS in 2003. However, by January 2007, the school was audited by SCHEV due to various violations. These audits led to the loss of UNVA’s accreditation by 2008. Although SCHEV provided ample extensions in order for the school to regain accreditation, UNVA’s license was effectively revoked on July 15, 2013.
The closure of UNVA was a result of actions taken by the state of Virginia. As this is the case, ICE has not taken any action in terminating UNVA student records nor has it provided any direction to the numerous students affected. More than likely, ICE will terminate all UNVA SEVIS records.
SCHEV has ordered UNVA to transfer student records to Schev or set up transfer of records to another institution of higher education. It is unclear whether this transfer has occurred or not. Because of this ambiguity and uncertainty, students in F-1 status should take immediate action to remain in valid status.
There are several options for the UNVA students who have been affected. A student in F-1 status could transfer schools, request a change of status, exit and re-enter the united states as an initial transfer student at a separate university or even exiting the US and re-entering in a different nonimmigrant status. It is truly advised that students consult with a qualified attorney as their situations could differ in complexity.