Undocumented Students Foot a Higher Tuition Bill in Indiana

As Indiana college students return to campuses for the fall semester, some of them face increased costs due to changes in state immigration law.

To comply with a tough immigration package passed during the last legislative session, some Indiana state schools have had to increase tuition charges for illegal immigrant students. Indiana University and Ivy Tech Community College no longer allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition, which has more than tripled the bill for some Hoosier undergrads, the Indiana Star reports.

One of the affected students, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis sophomore Sayra Perez, told the Star she has lived in the country since she was 5 years old. This year she reduced her class load and is still paying more than last year.

Indiana University students are being asked to verify their citizenship status through an electronic affidavit in their student account. IU-Bloomington spokesman Mark Land told the paper about 100 of the system’s 100,000 students have identified themselves as undocumented.

Despite the new financial burdens placed on them, undocumented Indiana students are still in a better position than those in Georgia. A recently passed state law prohibits illegal immigrants from enrolling at the five most competitive Georgia public colleges. So far, only one student, at Georgia State University, has been barred from registering for classes based on immigration status.