Indiana University Northwest has joined universities and colleges nationwide that are assisting New Orleans students whose fall semesters were suspended by Hurricane Katrina. Admissions officials have received a number calls this week from New Orleans-area college students whose studies have been disrupted and are unable to return to school due to the severe flooding. IU Northwest will allow students enrolled in colleges located in the areas hardest hit by the hurricane to register for fall classes, even though normal admissions have closed.
IU Northwest has opened its campus to two displaced Xavier University of Louisiana students from New Orleans (one a freshman and one an upperclassman) who have contacted IU Northwest to enroll for the fall semester. The freshman, a Merrillville resident is currently in the area and the other student who has not yet reached northwest Indiana, is expected to arrive in the near future.
“We are pleased to accommodate these New Orleans’ students and welcome them to our campus. We will also waive the application and late registration fees for these students, due to the special circumstances,” said Joe Pellicciotti, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management. “We will do everything we can for these students to help them with this transition.”
According to Xavier’s emergency management website, thousands of college students in southern Louisiana have been affected by this tragedy. The Louisiana National Guard visited Xavier's campus earlier this week and determined that because the students were safe and had adequate food and water they could remain on campus. However, as of today efforts are underway via the National Guard to move all students from campus and relocate them to the Southern University campus in Baton Rouge so that they can make arrangements to leave the Baton Rouge area.
"Given the number of calls, there could be several more," said IU Northwest spokesperson Michelle Searer. “We are prepared to accommodate all students affected who may come to IU Northwest and are honored to welcome them into the IU family. The university will waive application and late registration fees, but the students will be responsible for tuition costs."
IU Bloomington and IUPUI have also opened their campuses to accommodate approximately 12 Tulane University students this week. And elsewhere, the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma enrolled up to nine students on Tuesday.