CSCU introduces proposal to accept students from Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

Men walk damaged trees after the passage of Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 20, 2017. Maria slammed into Puerto Rico on, cutting power on most of the US territory as terrified residents hunkered down in the face of the island's worst storm in living memory. After leaving a deadly trail of destruction on a string of smaller Caribbean islands, Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico's southeast coast around daybreak, packing winds of around 150mph (240kph). (Photo credit: HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)

HARTFORD — Mark Ojakian, the President of the Connecticut State Colleges and universities (CSCU) submitted a proposal today that would allow students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands impacted by Hurricane Maria to continue their studies at CSCU.

CSCU says beginning as soon as possible, displaced full-time and part-time students from the University of Puerto Rico and the University of the Virgin Islands can attend one of the four CSCU universities or twelve community colleges. They will pay in-state tuition rates and can stay until their school of origin is back up and running.

In addition to paying in-state tuition rates, displaced students will receive additional support services to help with the transition.

President Ojakain said in a statement:

“Hurricane Maria has affected the lives of so many of our students and staff at CSCU. Everyone is working extremely hard to help their family and friends in the Caribbean through this crisis. As a public higher education institution, we don’t want to witness students having their education indefinitely interrupted through no fault of their own. This is an extremely difficult moment and as the state and country coalesce to offer help, we want to do our part to support our extended community while they repair and rebuild.”

Board of Regents Chairman Matt Fleury also issued a statement:

“Many of us are moved by the crisis in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and we are seeking the best ways to help. Things are moving quickly and so must we. So this proposal is intended to help facilitate a response as needs become clearer regarding educational continuity for the hurricane victims. The committee will doubtless offer valuable advice on this matter and we look forward to their recommendations.”

The proposal is set to be discussed during the finance committee on October 11th.

If passed, a resolution will go to the full Board of Regents for a vote on October 19th.