WEST BEND ― In a strong display of humanitarian support, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents unanimously voted Friday to provide nonresident tuition remissions for the Fall 2005 semester for college students who sustained losses as a result of Hurricane Katrina and may now attend UW System campuses.

“We fully recognize the impact this disaster has had on the lives of university students on the Gulf Coast,” said UW System President Kevin P. Reilly. “Allowing those victims to continue their education with little or no tuition cost is a way we can truly help.”

On Sept. 2, Reilly announced the UW System’s intention to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina by welcoming Gulf Coast college students to several UW campuses. In most cases, these students will enroll for the Fall 2005 semester as a class of students designated by the Board as “Hurricane Katrina Victims.”

Students who qualify for this tuition assistance are those who were enrolled at, or had been actively attending, a higher education institution located in areas in Mississippi and Louisiana now designated as federal disaster areas. Many colleges and universities in these areas have been closed for a semester or longer ― some indefinitely.

The Board directed Reilly and Regent President David G. Walsh to consult with legislative leadership and the Governor as soon as possible regarding options to reduce, not charge, or otherwise provide financial aid support for these students for the Fall 2005 semester. A special meeting of the Board could be held after these consultations to establish a tuition rate for the “Hurricane Katrina Victims.” The Board’s actions will not affect enrollment or financial aid already established for current UW students.

“Our hearts are open to these resilient students, and so must be our doors,” Walsh said. “Serving students has always been our No. 1 priority, and we cannot think of a better way to help these students in need.”

Read the Hurricane Katrina Victims resolution pdf

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Doug Bradley UW System 608-265-0548