Colleges make a range of offers for displaced students seeking fall enrollment





Colleges and universities across the United States are offering admission for the fall semester to undergraduates and graduate students whose hurricane-battered campuses will remain closed for months. And a handful of institutions -- including Cornell University, Vermont's Green Mountain College, and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History -- say they will offer temporary positions to faculty members from the affected colleges.

At the very least, the offers for undergraduates include waivers of late fees, help with financial-aid arrangements, and extra instructional support. Several states -- including Texas, to which many Louisiana residents fled -- say they will allow out-of-state students displaced by the hurricane to enroll at in-state rates. Law schools and other graduate programs are extending offers as well.

Some undergraduate colleges -- among them Franklin Pierce College, in New Hampshire, and John Brown University, in Arkansas -- are offering displaced students full tuition, room, and board. Great Basin College, a community college in Elko, Nev., says it can fly in 30 to 50 students on a chartered flight, enroll them in classes, put them up in the community, and set up a meal plan for them. Harvard University says it will admit 25 displaced students as visiting undergraduates free of charge, and will offer housing on a space-available basis. "Priority will be given to students rendered homeless by the storm," the university's announcement says.

Other institutions that are accepting displaced students -- such as the University of Miami, which has already received more than 400 inquiries -- are trying to keep in mind both the needs of the students and the well-being of the universities that found themselves in the Katrina's way. These institutions say they will collect tuition from the displaced students but hold it in escrow for the colleges the students normally attend.



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