A wave of disbelief and anger swept the world today as exit polls indicated Donald Trump could become the 45th President of the United States of America. During his year-long election campaign, Trump made headlines several times with his revolutionary policy proposals regarding the Mexicans, Muslims, Chinese and women having abortions. However, it is his desire to tighten migration policies that became a point of debate for many Asian students. China and India together contribute to make a major portion of immigrants in US. Despite Trump’s anti-immigration rallies, Indian students seem unaffected by the 2016 US election results.
Indian students applying to US colleges in 2017, are undeterred in their decision to study in US. The major reason for this as pointed out by US 2017 aspirants is that the college application deadlines close in January next year, leaving them with very little time to change their decision to apply to colleges in another country. Arvind Pradhan, a 2017 MS in US aspirant, says, “We have already compiled our GRE and TOEFL scores, recommendation letters and essays according to requirements from specific institutes. College application deadlines in UK and Australia also close in January 2017. It’s very difficult to rebuild our applications to suit college requirements in other countries in just 2 months.”
Another reason why Indian students aren’t worried about Trump’s policies affecting their US admissions is because they aren’t sure how soon or smoothly will the latter’s policies be implemented. Chandrashekhar Reddy, a student from Tuck School of Business, USA, says, “The USA wants the best people in their country to enhance their growth. They want foreign students to study in the US, to increase monetary inflows that supports the economy.” Agreeing with Reddy’s statements, another student from Yale School of Management, Karan Mehta, says, “It may not be very easy for Trump to implement the suggested immigration changes as he would need approval from both the houses and a new treaty would have to be signed between the Indian and US embassy.” In fact some US college aspirants believe that Republicans have always been supportive of the H1B visa. An aspirant Rahul Wij, says, “I do not recall Trump rallying for restricting F-1 or H1B visas.”
Indian students in the US and aspirants to US colleges are expecting a possible reduction in the H1B pool or the OPT period. However, during an election rally held at New Jersey in October this year, Trump said in Hindi “Ab Ki Baar Trump Sarkaar” – adapting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2014 catchphrase as his own. The former also said that he loves Indians and Hindus and that it wouldn’t be in the interest of US, if Indian students were to leave the country and go back to India to start businesses (link). In view of such statements, Indian students have put their worries to rest and considered moving ahead with their decision to apply to US colleges in the coming year.