University offers in-state tuition to hurricane victims

By News Editor Ciera Golliver

Although the initial relief efforts to help hurricane victims are over, UNA is not through extending aide to those Hurricanes Harvey and Irma affected.

The university is waiving the application fee and offering in-state tuition to current high school seniors living in these areas, said Julie Taylor, director of University Admissions.

“UNA cares about students who are impacted in such a terrible way,” Taylor said. “This is just our way of trying to help.”

Taylor said the university wanted to help students who are currently living in these disaster areas.

The university is extending this offer to students who would begin UNA in fall 2018. This offer will only last one year, Taylor said.

Any area the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency deemed a federal disaster area is eligible. This offer is not open to students who live in these areas and are currently enrolled at UNA.

Taylor said Kim Mauldin, former director of university admissions, came up with the idea to offer in-state tuition to those natural disasters affect.

Taylor said the university liked this idea as a way of showing support for those the hurricanes affected. The next step will be to inform high schools in federal disaster areas about UNA’s offer for in-state tuition.

She said the university wanted to give the area time to recover from the hurricanes since students’ initial worry would not be attending college. Now that some time has passed, the university will look into ways to best contact these areas to inform the schools of the university’s offer.

Sophomore Chuck Davis said the university offering in-state tuition to hurricane victims is admirable, but he believes the university does not have the resources to accommodate a large increase in students.

“ That’s awesome that they’re doing that, but that being said there are a lot of areas affected. If a lot of students take advantage of that offer, it could potentially hurt the university,” Davis said. “We don’t have the parking or faculty for that.”

Taylor said she does not know if the university will continue to extend this offer to other areas natural disasters affect in the future.

“I hope students will know we care about them and the things going on in their lives,” Taylor said. “UNA is a community, and we are all in this together.”

Sophomore Hayden Suddith said he is glad the university is trying to help, but they need to remember high school seniors are not the only ones who will suffer from money shortage because of the hurricanes.

“Something is better than nothing, but the university should look into extending the offer to include those entering fall 2019 as well,” Suddith said.

Students interested in learning more about this offer can contact UNA Admissions.