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Technology for Tracking Foreign Students in U.S.

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, September 12, 2002

Using technology to track foreign college students. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The Immigration and Naturalization Service says there are about 200 thousand foreign students in the U.S... ..who are unaccounted for. And beginning next January... .colleges and universities are being required to report the status of students to the INS. The legislation was actually passed several years ago, but September 11th brought new urgency to its enforcement. One enterprise software company working on a solution... to connect school computers systems directly to the INS is PeopleSoft... where VP Doug Merritt tells us...

"There should be fewer getting lost and ideally with the implementation of this, some of those people that are unaccounted for might surface as colleges are going through the mandated rigor of quantifying who they have here on student visas and cross correlating that information with things like class participation activity, address changes, utility billings and other aspects that would identify someone as actually here."

Merritt says with the software being released at the end of next month... the January deadline may not be very realistic...

"They are going to have a tough time hitting that compliance date. We will try aggressively to get our entire installed base compliant by that date. But colleges, like everybody else are going through budget cutbacks right now."

PeopleSoft isn't charging its current customers for the new capability... so the effort will cost the company money... but will, it hopes, earn it loyalty and new customers in the long term. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.