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University Of Virginia To Open Its Doors To State
Students Attending Hurricane-Ravaged Institutions

August 31, 2005 -- The University of Virginia is scrambling to welcome Virginia residents enrolled in institutions in the New Orleans area affected by Hurricane Katrina

Today, University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III asked administrators across Grounds to find ways to accommodate additional incoming students, to be enrolled at U.Va. as visiting students, one week after fall semester classes began.

“This hurricane has caused extensive damage to colleges and universities just as they were opening their doors for the fall semester, and has left thousands of students unable to pursue their studies,” Casteen said. “We are prepared to allow Virginia students whose New Orleans-area colleges will not open this fall because of the hurricane to enroll here as visiting students for the fall semester." 

He said it was U.Va.’s intention also to assist students whose programs were not compatible with the University’s to find them places in Virginia’s Community College System or other state institutions. Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville has been involved in planning this effort. In addition, U.Va. is working with the American Association of Universities in Washington, D.C., and the American Council on Education on other steps that may be taken to assist students while their home colleges are closed.   

U.Va. admissions officials already received more than two dozen inquiries from students who are unable to pursue their studies in storm-ravaged areas of New Orleans. The University is prepared to enroll academically qualified Virginians as visiting, non-degree students for the fall semester, with the aim of continuing their education and transferring credit back to their home institutions when they reopen.

U.Va. can provide housing for about 100 of these students immediately, and can accommodate them in a University meal plan. Arrangements for a special financial-aid fund for need-qualified students are being investigated, pending potential adjustments in federal financial aid rules to provide more conventional financial aid for those who need it.     

To be eligible for visiting-student status, students must be currently enrolled in hurricane-affected colleges and universities in the New Orleans area that determine that they cannot reopen at the start of the current semester. They must have some proof of registration and will be required to have their former high schools provide records, although not prior to enrollment as visiting students.

The University of Virginia is ready to enroll students as early as tomorrow or Friday. Interested students should contact the U.Va. Office of Undergraduate Admission as soon as possible – and no later than Friday at 4 p.m. -- at (434) 982-3200, or via e-mail to undergrad-admission@virginia.edu.

Contact: Carol Wood, (434) 924-6189

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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