The Minnesota State University Senate has brought a new resolution for discussion regarding international students and the changes being implemented on their health insurance policy payment change.
The International Student Insurance Policy Resolution was presented and advocates the continuation of the Split Payment Plan, which was implemented in the 2020-21 academic year to accommodate those experiencing financial hardship during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In May, the university moved from a split payment plan to the mandatory upfront one-year payment plan that all international students must pay not only to have health insurance, but also to enroll in classes.
The student government and the Association of International Students were not consulted before this decision was made.
Senator Darlington Sehgbean surveyed 123 international students and said the majority supported keeping the split payment policy. “This is a student struggle and we can’t let the university continue to make policies that will make it harder for students to graduate,” Sehgbean said. “This resolution puts the university’s policy on diversity, equity and inclusion to the test.”
If an international student cannot afford to make this payment, their courses would be cancelled, which would impact their visa status. The one-year payment plan could also impact retention rates, as those who cannot pay may have to transfer or drop out.
Senator Koshangi Jha, who is also an international student, said: “If we don’t pay, we can’t enroll, we have only two options: find that amount or get out of status.
The Senate will vote on this resolution this week. If it passes, it will be sent to President Inch, but they are not bound to honor the resolution. Payments are due November 1.
Students in Canada have also fought against extra healthcare costs.