The SUNY Board of Trustees unanimously approved in-state tuition for students from Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands displaced by the hurricanes on Friday.
This decision to offer in-state tuition this semester to students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands came after Governor Andrew Cuomo’s directive earlier this week.
“The Governor said when times are tough and when things are at their worst, New Yorkers are at their best,” Dr. Kristina Johnson, SUNY Chancellor, said.
SUNY Trustees gathered and were joined by members from SUNY Buffalo State College and the University of Rochester via video conference call. The Student Assembly President, Mark Cohen, also a trustee and represents all 600,000 students in the SUNY system, says an overwhelming number of students approached him eager to find more ways to help those devastated by the hurricanes.
“Alright we’re doing this but what more can we do, why aren’t we doing more. So it’s sort of we gave an inch and they want a mile which is great it’s that sort of support that we’re seeing from across the system,” Cohen said.
SUNY has opened its doors to out of state students before in the wake of a disaster, specifically after the earthquake in Haiti and Hurricane Katrina.
A total of 214 Students in the SUNY system will benefit from the in state tuition this semester and possibly even for the next few semesters once the logistics have been worked out.
“To make this affordable so that people can continue their lives with some semblance of order is really really important,” Dr. Johnson said.
South Florida Colleges are also offering in-state tuition to students affected by the hurricanes and regents in Conneticut are set to vote on the same decision next week.