MPOWER Supports New Rule Allowing International STEM Students to Apply for Longer Optional Practical Training (OPT) Extension Period

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MPOWER Financing announced its support of a new rule that allows international STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) students to apply for a longer period to work in the U.S. after graduation. The Optional Practical Training (OPT) period is the designated amount of time that international students can legally work in the U.S. to receive hands-on experience in their field of study.

Explains details of the new STEM OPT Extension Rule

STEM OPT Extension

This is a career-defining opportunity for current and upcoming international STEM students in the U.S.

Taking effect on May 10, the new STEM OPT extension rule has three major provisions that allow:
1. International STEM students to continue working in the United States for an additional 24 months;
2. Two lifetime STEM OPT extensions, enabling students the option to extend for both undergraduate and graduate degrees; and
3. An extension for international graduate students who currently are studying a non-STEM field but have previously received a STEM degree.

“This is a career-defining opportunity for current and upcoming international STEM students in the U.S.,” MPOWER Co-Founder Manu Smadja explains. “The extended OPT benefits both students and U.S. companies. Students profit from added time to demonstrate their technical skills, while companies nationwide have an opportunity to draw from a larger talent pool to fuel the science and technology revolution underway.”

Of the almost one million international students currently studying in the U.S., more than 40 percent are pursuing higher education in a STEM field. MPOWER is committed to helping high-potential students by removing financial barriers to higher education. In addition to credit, MPOWER provides students with financial literacy education and career support to help students be successful through their university programs and beyond.

As part of its ongoing support for international students, MPOWER has created a simple infographic that explains the basics of the STEM OPT extension as well as its implications. Universities and other organizations are encouraged to share the infographic with their constituents.

For more on the STEM OPT Extension Rule, visit studyinthestates.dhs.gov. Additional information on MPOWER and its mission to support international students can be found at mpowerfinancing.com.

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About MPOWER Financing
As a Public Benefit Corporation, MPOWER removes financial barriers to higher education in the U.S. by working with investors and universities to lend to high-potential students who are left out by traditional banks. In addition to providing students with access to the financial resources necessary to attend and complete college, MPOWER builds students’ credit histories, provides them with personal finance education, and offers gateway financial products to prepare them for life after college. For more information, visit mpowerfinancing.com, or follow MPOWER on Twitter (@MPOWERfinancing), Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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Colleen Morrison
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