LONDON — Oliver Philcox was nearing the end of his first year of graduate studies in astrophysics at Princeton University when the coronavirus outbreak began. Classes were halted in March, and then moved online. By May, he had decided to travel home to Britain.
“In the long run, that was a terrible idea,” said Philcox, 24. “But I had assumed I would be able to go back in September.”
Now, the return to an American institution has been thrown into question for Philcox and countless other international students after a directive by the Trump administration that students whose classes were moving entirely online for the fall would be stripped of their visas and required to leave the United States.
Many universities see the