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 SRU Offers Tuition Waiver to PA Students Affected by Hurricane Katrina; Student Body Contributes 



Sept. 2, 2005
Contact: Gordon Ovenshine 274-738-4854;


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University will open its doors to students from Pennsylvania who were enrolled this semester in colleges or universities in the New Orleans area that have been forced to close in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Students from the affected region can attend SRU tuition free during the fall semester. The 13 other Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities waived tuition as well in a policy approved Friday by the state system's board of governors.

SRU will also supply free housing to Pennsylvania residents who enroll. Students do not have to meet SRU's normal enrollment guidelines.

"We want to reach out to students and families whose lives have been disrupted by Hurricane Katrina," SRU President Robert M. Smith said. "Our hearts go out to all of those who have been affected. In keeping with the philosophy of this institution, Slippery Rock University is responding with compassion and benevolence. We want to make sure young people can continue their education and can continue their lives."

Thirteen public and private colleges and universities in New Orleans with a combined enrollment of more than 75,000 students are shut down as a result of the storm and its continuing effects. At least some of the schools might not be able to reopen at all this semester because of damage caused by high winds and water. Nearly 20,000 students enrolled at the 13 colleges and universities live outside of Louisiana. It is not certain how many are from Pennsylvania.

Students from the affected area who wish to take classes at SRU should contact the Office of Admissions as soon as possible at (800) 929-4778.

Caring nature

A number of SRU students are on their way to the hurricane-stricken region or already have arrived there to assist in relief and recovery efforts. Sixteen students either volunteered for or are members of National Guard or Reserve units that have been called to active duty.

Earlier this week, SRU's Office of Student Life launched a fund-raising drive. By Friday, students had contributed $5,000 for distribution to the American Red Cross.

In addition, any university employee wishing to request civil leave with pay to assist in the flood relief will be permitted if the request is reasonable.

#PN, PR, PgN

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