Mercyhurst offers ‘academic hospitality' to area students affected by hurricane

Mercyhurst College has offered free tuition and room and board to students from the tri-state area enrolled in one of the colleges or universities closed by Hurricane Katrina.

So far, three students that had been enrolled at colleges from the New Orleans area have enrolled at Mercyhurst.

Dr. Thomas Gamble, vice president for academic affairs, explained that Mercyhurst is making the offer to students who would be able to take courses at Mercyhurst and transfer the credits to their own course areas at the college or university where they are enrolled.

“We want to follow the Mercy Mission Statement and do what we can to help these students,” said Dr. Heidi Hosey, associate vice president and dean of The School of the Arts and Humanities. “These students could come to Mercyhurst to take transferable, credit-bearing courses tuition-free. 

“We see this as an academic rescue. No one has seen a disaster of this magnitude and we need to do what we can to help.”

With nearly two dozen colleges and universities in the New Orleans area currently shut down and an undetermined amount of time ahead before they re-open, students enrolled in them will be without the education they had planned for, Hosey and Gamble said.

“We know that time is running out, so we want to get the word out right away,” Hosey said.

Determining who would qualify for the college’s hospitality, Hosey said, would be made on a case-by-case basis.

While most classes are full and most residence space is taken at Mercyhurst, Hosey said she is confident professors would make room in their classes and students occupying apartment with spare rooms would open them up to those in need.

“That is the Mercy spirit,” she said.

Students from the tri-state area enrolled in closed colleges from the hurricane devastation area can contact the Mercyhurst College admissions office at 824-2202 or 1-800-825-1926 for more information.

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