International Students Worried About Indiana Immigration Law

International graduate students attending Indiana colleges and universities are worried the state’s new immigration law will reduce their financial assistance, The Associated Press reports.

Officials at Purdue University and Indiana University told the AP they have not altered their funding practices since the law went into effect on July 1, and they do not believe the law was intended to make it difficult for foreign-born students to attend higher education institutions in the state. But students on F and J visas are worried because the law states only U.S. citizens or qualified aliens are eligible for public higher-education assistance, and F and J visa-holders are not considered qualified aliens.

In addition to waivers allowing them to pay in-state tuition, international graduate students often receive aid in the form of on-campus jobs, such as working as a teacher or research assistant, that provide them with crucial income while in school. Some foreign students’ eligibility for these jobs could be in jeopardy, as the new law requires applicants to provide a Social Security number or international student number as a condition of employment, a Ball State University spokesperson, Joan Todd, told the AP.

The language of the law is worrisome, Indiana University spokesman Mark Land told the AP. But both Land and Todd assured the source their universities have no plans to cut funding for international students.

Since Arizona passed a strict immigration law last year, Indiana, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and Utah have enacted similar legislation.