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Petition Regarding the Master of Finance Program OPT Extension

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To: Mr. Ira Solomon and the Faculty of Tulane University A.B. Freeman School of Business

From: Master of Finance Program International Students

Subject: Petition Regarding the Master of Finance Program OPT Extension

Date: December 6, 2016

Dear Tulane Business School Faculty,

This is an open letter written on behalf of a group of international students who would like to initiate our career in the United States and many other students in Class 2015 and 2016 of the Master of Finance program. Recently, we have been unofficially informed that the students in Class 2015 and 2016 would not be eligible to apply for the STEM extension due to the inconsistency of the coursework. We and the undersigned are dismayed at this decision.

Considering such decision will have a profound influence to our career and life planning, we sincerely adjure that Mr. Solomon and all involved faculties can give us an opportunity to express our aggregative opinions and concerns regarding this matter:

  1. Employment Rate. According to the U.S. News 2015 data, the full-time b-school graduates employed at graduation in Tulane is 58.6%. We believe one of the reasons for the low employment rate is that most of the graduates demanding H1b visas sponsorship in less than one-year OPT period if they would like to legally work in the United States without gap period in the upcoming year. STEM extension will give us more time and flexibility to adjust the job hunting strategy, thereby improving the employment rate.
  2. Cap Gap Extension. To develop our argument, we are informed that many students will have to withdraw their H1b applications even granted the sponsorship because they apply it during the Cap Gap period, suggesting they are not allowed to work until October in the same year applying the visa. STEM extension can help them secure the job offers and make all efforts worthwhile.
  3. Alumni Networking. We are greatly honored to be part of Tulane’s alumni family to share the networking resources. However, it seems that we need more alumni with similar background to strengthen the network constituted by international students. STEM extension may ignite the last hope for those who are facing with the OPT expiration while helping these students gain foothold in the United States can improve the alumni network for the classes after 2016.
  4. Occurrence of Similar Events and the Results. We are informed that the Economics program in New York University received the STEM designation in last month while all students who are under OPT period are eligible to apply for STEM extension even with inconsistency in the coursework. It is impertinent to compare two schools’ policies here, but we raise a concern for the flexibility of the decision-making regarding this matter.

We realize that rigorous scholarship and academic quality assurance may account for your decision. Yet, if our opinions mentioned above could probably outweigh your concerns in the decision-making process? We adjure that Mr. Solomon and all evolved faculties can reconsider the previous decision to allow the Class 2015 and 2016 to be eligible for STEM extension. Thank you for being attentive and we are looking forward to your reply soon.


International Students in Master of Finance Program

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