A state-administered college-scholarship program for low-income students in Indiana that barred children of undocumented immigrants from receiving money has dropped its rule in the face of a federal lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed in March of last year by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union on behalf of an Elkhart County high school senior who is a U.S. citizen but was denied the scholarship because her parents are illegal immigrants. Lawyers argued that discriminating against U.S. citizens because of the actions of their parents violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal-protection clause.
According to the settlement, filed last month in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana has agreed to allow the 73 students who so far have been rejected for the scholarships because they didn’t provide Social Security numbers for their parents to file a new application that won’t use parents’ citizenship as a factor.
The settlement is subject to the court’s approval; a hearing is set for March 2.
A version of this article appeared in the January 17, 2007 edition of Education Week