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It's not totally clear how many undocumented immigrants are impacted by House Enrolled Act 1402.
That's the law overwhelmingly approved by Indiana lawmakers last spring that mandates that undocumented immigrants here pay higher non-resident tuition rates at public colleges and universities instead of the lower in-state rates.
But the numbers appear to be small.
In the Indiana University system, which includes IU-Bloomington, Indiana University South Bend/IU-Elkhart, IU-Purdue University Indianapolis and five other schools, just 146 students indicated they were undocumented in answering the new school registration questions implemented per HEA 1402. That represents 0.1 percent of the total student body of 103,000.
Of the 146, 52 were from IUSB, 49 were from IUPUI and 26 were from IU-Bloomington, according to Mark Land, spokesman for the IU system. Ninety of the 146 were still enrolled in the IU system, Land said, while he had no way of knowing what became of the other 56.
In the Ivy Tech Community College system, which has 120,000 students, fewer than 200 indicated they were undocumented, according to Jeff Fanter, Ivy Tech's vice president of communications and marketing.
At Purdue University in West Lafayette, “less than a handful” are undocumented, suspects Maricela Alvarado, director of the Latino Cultural Center there.
Big tuition difference
Though the number of impacted students may be small, the effect on them is big, in dollar terms:
Ÿ At IU-Bloomington, the resident tuition rate for a full-time student is $8,432.60 for the full 2011-12 school year. The non-resident rate, which undocumented immigrants now have to pay, is $28,449.10.
Ÿ At Purdue, the full-time resident rate for 2011-12, including fees, is $9,478 and the non-resident figure is $28,646, also including fees.
Ÿ At IUSB, the resident rate for 2011-12 for a full-time student is $4,790.88 and the non-resident number is $13,225.44. Those figures account for a student taking 12 credit hours worth of classes each semester, the minimum to be considered a full-time student.
Ÿ At Ivy Tech, the resident rate for 2011-12 for a full-time student is $2,587.20 while the non-resident rate is $5,524.80. Those figures account for a student taking 12 credit hours worth of classes each semester, the minimum to be considered a full-time student.
Indiana bucks trend
In passing HEA 1402, Indiana lawmakers bucked a national trend. The Senate approved the measure 38-12 while the House passed it 75-14.
According to the National Immigration Law Center, only Indiana, Alabama and Wisconsin have passed laws this year making it tougher for undocumented immigrants to attend college. An initiative approved by Montana lawmakers will go to voters in the state next year.
Meanwhile, proposals in 17 other states that would make it tougher for college-bound undocumented immigrants either died, stalled or have not yet faced final consideration, according to the NILC.
Lawmakers in Connecticut, Maryland, California and Illinois approved laws making it easier to go to college for undocumented immigrants.
The tuition issue has emerged in the Republican presidential primary. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, one of the GOP hopefuls, has come under fire by some opponents for backing a measure in his state that lets certain illegal immigrants pay lower resident tuition rates at public colleges and universities in Texas.