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State Data

Higher education in the U.S. benefits from the participation of immigrant and international students. First and second-generation individuals comprise 31% of all students enrolled in higher education, a growing figure that underscores the importance of immigrant-origin students in the classroom and our workforce.

All Students in Higher Education in Indiana318,000
First-Generation Immigrant Students11,000
Second-Generation Immigrant Students27,000
International Students26,739

Note: First-generation immigrants were born abroad and immigrated to the U.S. Second-generation immigrants are U.S.-born individuals with at least one immigrant parent. First-generation immigrants include undocumented immigrants. First-generation immigrants do not include international students on a visa.

The U.S. is home to more than 408,000 undocumented students enrolled in higher education. In their pursuit of higher education, undocumented students actively ready themselves to fill critical skill shortages and become better positioned to support their families, communities, and the U.S. economy.

Undocumented Students in Higher Education4,809
DACA-Eligible Students in Higher Education1,645
Undocumented Students Graduating High School Each Year2,000

Note: Undocumented students are a sub-group of first-generation students.

International students comprise only 4 percent of all students in higher education, but provide significant economic, academic and cultural contributions that enrich learning, enrollment and funding opportunities for American students.

International Students in Higher Education26,739
Economic Contributions of International Students in the State$890.2 million
Jobs Supported by International Students in the State8,297
Optional Practical Training (OPT) Participants2,308

Note: Optional Practical Training participants are a subgroup of international students.

Immigrant residents, including undocumented immigrants and DACA-eligible residents, play an important role in the state's economy, contributing spending power and paying federal, state, and local taxes.

All Immigrant Residents in Indiana378,953
Immigrant Share of Total Population5.6%
Undocumented Immigrants in State85,364
DACA-Eligible Residents in State8,550
Spending Power of DACA-Eligible Residents$205.7 million
DACA-Eligible Residents Federal Tax Contributions$28.3 million
DACA-Eligible Residents State and Local Tax Contributions$29.6 million

Note: DACA-eligible residents are a sub-group of undocumented immigrant residents.

Higher education helps prepare all students, including immigrant and international students, to fill critical career and skills needs.

State Immigrant Workers Fill Critical Skills Needs
Share of STEM Workers Who Are First-Generation Immigrants12.4%
First-Generation Immigrant Faculty and Staff in Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools19,587
Share of First-Generation Immigrants With a Postsecondary Credential53%

Note: First-generation immigrants were born abroad and immigrated to the U.S.

You can find additional state data, including by congressional district, in the following resources by immigrant population (AIC) and international students (NAFSA).

State Policies

Evaluating Access for Undocumented & Refugee Students

State policies in four key areas – in state tuition, state financial aid, professional and occupational licensure, and driver licenses – play an important role in expanding access to higher education and workforce development for undocumented students. The section below on in-state tuition also includes policies related to refugee students.

  • In-State Tuition & State Financial Aid Access and Affordability

    Restrictive: Policies actively bar access to in-state tuition or state financial aid for the state's undocumented students, including DACA recipients.

  • Professional & Occupational Licensure Workforce Entry & Eligibility

    Limited: Policies allow individuals with work authorization, such as DACA recipients, to obtain occupational licensure in one or more professions that require licensure.

  • Driver Licenses & Identification Mobility

    Restrictive: Policies do not provide the state's undocumented residents with access to driver licenses and state identification, but DACA recipients can still obtain a driver's license or state identification card.

Enacted Policies

Indiana does not provide undocumented residents with access to in-state tuition, state financial aid, or driver licenses and state identification.

However, some public colleges and universities in Indiana may determine DACA recipients qualify for in-state tuition. The state extends occupational and professional licensure to eligible DACA recipients in more than 70 professions.

In-State Tuition

Indiana House Bill (H.B.) 1402, signed into law on May 10, 2011, prohibits undocumented students living in Indiana who are “not lawfully present” from accessing in-state tuition. Indiana Senate Bill (S.B.) 207, signed into law on May 7, 2013, does not require state educational institutions from verifying the legal status of students if the students:

  1. Enrolled at an Indiana state college or university prior to July 1, 2011;
  2. Are eligible to pay the in-state tuition rate of the state educational institution; and,
  3. Are not applying for any state, local, or federal public benefit other than the in-state tuition rate.

Undocumented students enrolling in Indiana public colleges and universities after July 1, 2011 are considered out-of-state for tuition purposes.

Some public colleges and universities in Indiana may determine DACA recipients qualify for in-state tuition if they meet the state’s standard residency requirements, because DACA recipients maintain lawful presence in the U.S.

Refugee In-State Tuition: Indiana does not appear to have state policies that expand access to in-state tuition to the state’s refugee students. Policies may vary by institution.

State Financial Aid

Indiana does not appear to have policies regarding access to state financial aid for undocumented students.

Additional Financial Aid

TheDream.US is a national organization that offers scholarships to DACA and undocumented students attending eligible postsecondary institutions across the country. In Indiana, undocumented and DACA students may be eligible for an out-of-state scholarship to attend the following institutions:

  • Christian Brothers University
  • Delaware State University
  • Eastern Connecticut State University
  • Trinity Washington University (Women’s College)
  • Dominican University
Professional & Occupational Licensure

Indiana Senate Bill (S.B.) 419, signed into law on March 21, 2018, allows DACA recipients with valid work authorization to obtain occupational and professional licenses managed by the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency. This includes more than 70 professions, such as nursing, architecture, and cosmetology.

Indiana Professional Licensure Requirements & Business Registration

To learn more about professional/occupational licensure requirements, review TheDream.US & Immigrant Finance Resource guide here

To learn more about state business and tax registration requirements, review TheDream.US & Immigrant Finance Resource guide here. 

The information in these guides is based on outreach to the state’s specific licensing boards and each state’s business and tax agencies from April to July 2023 and is subject to change. To get up to date information on requirements, individuals should verify with the appropriate state agency. 

Driver Licenses

Undocumented immigrants in Indiana do not have access to a driver license or state identification card.

DACA recipients in Indiana are allowed to obtain a driver license or state identification card.

Effective Practices and State Resources

Spotlight on effective practices and policy, research, or community-based state resources.

  • Research

    Immigrant-Origin Students in U.S. Higher Education (Updated August 2023)

    The report’s findings reveal the growing proportion of first and second generation immigrant students in postsecondary education, the diversity of these students, and their importance for future U.S. labor growth.

    Continue Reading
  • Research

    Undocumented Students in Higher Education

    The new estimates show there are more than 408, 000 undocumented students enrolled in postsecondary education, representing about 1.9 percent of all postsecondary students. This estimate represents a decrease of 4.2 percent from 2019, when 427,000 undocumented students were enrolled.

    Continue Reading
  • Research

    Report: The Post-DACA Generation is Here

    A new report finds that an estimated 120,000 undocumented students will graduate from high school in 2023, with most of them not eligible for DACA. The new FWD.us report, published in May 2023, The Post-DACA Generation is Here, explains how DACA’s unavailability impacts undocumented youth in the U.S.

    Continue Reading