Utah's Westminster College to Admit College Students Impacted By Hurricane Katrina
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Helen Langan (801) 832-2680
September 2, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY – In response to the devastating impact of hurricane Katrina, Utah’s Westminster College has announced that students from accredited institutions in the stricken areas are eligible to apply for visiting student status for fall semester at Westminster College.
Westminster College President Michael Bassis said, “In the face of such terrible tragedy we felt this was a small but important step we could take to help some of the people impacted by this event.”
Bassis added that details of the plan are still being developed, “While we are waiting on guidance from the Department of Education on how to award federal aid to displaced students who are seeking enrollment at other schools for the fall or even spring term, we want students to have the option of continuing their education uninterrupted, as soon as possible.”
These students will be considered visiting, non-degree seeking students and will be able to transfer credit for coursework back to their home institutions in accordance to their home campus policies. Westminster has a longstanding policy of accepting visiting students and these students will have the same access to resources and the same rights as other such students.
For those in need, Westminster will be as flexible as possible with paperwork, waive all application fees, and is also considering special scholarships and tuition waivers. Westminster College also plans to assist the displaced students with housing needs.
The college anticipates that most of the students who apply will originally be from the Utah area and that the number of students in the area will not be large. Westminster’s faculty, residential life, counseling and academic advising staff are preparing for any incoming students from this tragedy. Students will be provided course registration options, student housing, and as needed, counseling services.
Although classes have already begun, Westminster has not yet passed the drop/add period and even though the college has published deadlines for registration and for dropping and adding courses, they plan to do their utmost to accommodate late-comers.
The hurricane severely damaged many colleges and universities and it’s been reported that more than 100,000 college students were displaced by the disaster. In the New Orleans area alone, intuitions of higher education include: Tulane University, the University of New Orleans, Southern University of New Orleans, Xavier University, Loyola University of New Orleans, Our Lady of Holy Cross College and Dillard University, as well as Louisiana State University's medical school.
Students interested in continuing their education at Westminster may contact:
Director of Admissions
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
In addition to this effort by the administration, the Associated Students of Westminster College have begun organizing a fund-raising effort to coordinate and respond to the outpouring of calls they have received from Westminster students, faculty and staff who wish to help with hurricane relief efforts.