Examining the Impact of Indiana’s Restriction on Resident Tuition Rates for Undocumented Immigrants

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Leadership for Organizations


Department of Educational Administration


Elizabeth Essex


In Indiana, higher education and postsecondary degrees are not accessible to all. Indiana is one of eight states with legislation specifically prohibiting offering in-state tuition rates and state financial aid to immigrant students not legally residing in the country. (U.S. 2023). This makes college unaffordable for thousands of undocumented people in Indiana (USA Facts, 2020). The Indiana Latino Institute (ILI) is a nonprofit organization actively working to address the negative impact of Indiana’s 2011 House Bill 1402 which explicitly prohibits public colleges from offering in-state tuition rates for all undocumented immigrants. This dissertation in practice examines the impact of Indiana’s 2011 House Bill 1402 on individuals through qualitative interviews and provides a plan of action for community leaders, stakeholders, and higher education institutions who are receiving triple the amount of tuition payments from undocumented students (Indiana Colleges, 2023). Four themes were evident after conducting and analyzing the nine interviews with individuals who indicated that they have been personally impacted by the 2011 Indiana House Bill 1402. The themes presented are as follows: impact on mental health and self-worth, financial impact, personal immigration story and Indiana’s perspective on immigrants and, lastly, the positive value of education for each participant. This study starts by declaring that in Indiana, college and postsecondary degrees are not accessible to all. This statement is supported throughout this study as undocumented, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students have not had the same opportunity to pursue higher education. An interview participant questioned why Indiana would keep someone who wanted to pursue an education from doing so, and this is a valid question that Indiana legislators and leaders need to ask themselves to enter the 2024 legislative session.


Undocumented Students In-state Tuition Indiana Indiana House Bill 1402 Latino Latinx Immigrants Law Public Policy

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