They claim to have been ‘lured’ to Herguan University by seniors

Senior students from the State are to be blamed for the predicament of hundreds of Telugu students who now face loss of academic year and lakhs of rupees spent for admission into the Herguan University in Sunnyvale, California, which is charged with visa fraud.

Students who joined the university recently said that they were lured to the university by senior students hailing from the State as they get paid about $ 1,200 for every referred student. In fact, most students were not even aware of the existence of such an university until they were referred by the senior students, whom they knew in India.

Future of about 450 students, mostly from the State, hangs in balance after the US authorities charged the University CEO Jerry Wang with visa fraud.

“Most of these students are in the engineering programme while some are in the management stream,” said Ashok Kolla, TANA NRI Students Relations Committee chairman.

Hema Rao Nandipati, TANA West vice-president, along with Mr. Ashok and representatives of Murthy Law Firm are trying to help the students in dealing with the issue. The team members spoke to the Indian Embassy officials in Washington, and Mr. Ashok said they responded positively. “A clear picture is likely to emerge by Monday.”

The only option left with the students is either they have to transfer their admission to other university or go back to India. Even if they transfer to other colleges, their credits will not be transferred, and it means they have to start afresh losing the money and time spent so far. Some of them are about to complete the course.

Another risk is that if these students apply for work visa their Masters status will not be considered and they have to depend in the general quota for work visa. They are also worried about the Optional Practical Training (OPT) status, which students get after the completion of the course for taking up paid internships.

TANA executive vice-president, Mohan Nannapaneni, said on Tuesday itself that they completed the process of relocating all the Telugu students affected in the Tri-Valley University, and this incident involving Telugu students has come to light now.

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