What New York Is Doing for College-Age Maria Victims

Tuition help being offered to displaced students at 64 state universities
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2017 11:27 AM CDT
US Colleges Step Up to Help Hurricane Maria Victims
A man poses with his wife, their three children, and their dog Max, surrounded by what remains of their home destroyed by Hurricane Maria in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Mainland US universities are offering a helping hand to students in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands affected by Hurricane Maria. Some schools are granting students discounted tuition at the rate for in-state residents; others are waiving tuition altogether for a semester, NPR reports. Tuition help is being offered to displaced students at 64 state universities in New York, 17 in Connecticut, and schools in several other states. In Florida, a few public universities have heeded Gov. Rick Scott's call last week to offer the in-state rate to Maria victims. "I may not be able to solve their housing crisis or their food crisis," Marielena DeSanctis, a VP at Broward College, tells the Sun Sentinel. "But hopefully I can give them something they'll keep forever, and that's their education."

In New Jersey, NJ City University is offering a tuition-free semester with the chance to extend to the spring semester with scholarships, per the Jersey Journal. The school in Jersey City is also offering a $2,000 housing grant for each semester to help students "who are in need because of the unimaginable devastation caused by hurricanes," says President Sue Henderson. In New Orleans, Tulane University, which closed for four months after Hurricane Katrina, will waive tuition for the spring semester for a select number of displaced students, though they'll be required to pay tuition to their colleges back home, per Fortune. An 18-year-old Florida International University freshman tells NPR the in-state discount allowed her to send $4,000 in refunded tuition home to her devastated family in Puerto Rico. (Experimental balloons help restore internet service in Puerto Rico.)

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