Displaced Students in the Hurricane


With recovery efforts finally taking place in the Gulf Coast many students from this area are wondering what to do with their lost semester of school.  

Angel Mooney was due to start school at Tulane University in Louisiana two weeks ago.  “After the initial shock of everything, I thought ‘Oh my god what about school?'” said Mooney in a text message, the only way she can communicate.

“I keep hearing that schools are taking in students, but right now I have no clothes, food, or money.  I can’t think about attending classes.  It’s all just too overwhelming,” she said.

Tulane will be closed during the fall semester, according to their website, Scott Cowen, the school’s president, suggests that students find other universities to attend.

The America Council on Education (ACE) announced guidelines for universities taking in displaced students.  These students should be enrolled as visitors instead of transfer students.  The Gulf area universities are hoping students will return after a semester since the potential loss of revenues could be crippling.

The ACE asked the universities, that are absorbing these students, to not charge them tuition if they have already paid.  For those students who have not paid, the schools should charge the same tuition as the students’ home school and send the money to the affected schools.  

Not all schools are shutting down for the semester. The University of New Orleans is making plans to have Internet classes ready by October and satellite campuses open as soon as possible.  

“Honestly I wasn’t thinking about going to school this semester,” said Jessica Taylor junior English major at XavierUniversity, “but then my cousin who goes to Howard called and said they are taking students.  My mom said there is no use in staying here so now I’m going to try to go there.” 

Even if students like Mooney and Taylor transfer to other universities, there are other variables to worry about. 

“I don’t think people understand that this has been truly devastating,” said Taylor, “It’s like yeah it’s important to go to school but questions keep popping up.  How am I going to pay for it?  How am I going to get there?  Where am I going to stay?  What about clothes and books?  No one has the answers.”