Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Indian Students Think Twice About Attending U.S. Universities

They worry about anti-Indian violence and getting a U.S. job after graduating.
A peace vigil in Bellevue, Wash., for Srinivas Kuchibhotla (pictured), the Indian engineer killed in Olathe, Kan.

A peace vigil in Bellevue, Wash., for Srinivas Kuchibhotla (pictured), the Indian engineer killed in Olathe, Kan.

Photographer: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

Rahul Lachhani, a technology analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG in Mumbai, is on the verge of realizing his dream of pursuing a graduate degree in the U.S. The University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering has accepted him into its computer science graduate program. But the Trump administration’s strident anti-immigration stance has him worried. “After so many years of hard work, my friends and I are now questioning—are we right in investing in a U.S. degree at this time?” he says.

For decades, the U.S. has lured thousands of foreign students who’ve earned graduate degrees in engineering or mathematics and been quickly hired by the likes of Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Now the Trump administration is trying to slash immigrant visas, while Republican and Democrat lawmakers are introducing bills to curb the number of work visas. Recent violent attacks against Indians—several fatal—have raised the specter of physical danger among Indians who have fantasies of a life in the U.S.