By Eleanor Yang, San Diego Union-Tribune
Three San Diego universities are the latest to join dozens of colleges offering last-minute admission to students whose Gulf Coast schools were hit by Hurricane Katrina.
San Diego State University, the University of California San Diego and the University of San Diego say they will be able to accommodate dozens of students. Some of the schools are trying to expedite the application process for the fall term, where classes began this week.
San Diego State, the largest of the three, will accept at least 20 undergraduate and graduate students whose colleges in Mississippi and Louisiana have been impacted by the hurricane.
SDSU, which has received inquiries from displaced students, says it plans to accommodate as many as possible. Students who are residents of the hurricane-affected states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama will be exempt from paying nonresident tuition. In-state annual fees for undergraduates are about $3,100.
Seven additional Cal State campuses will be conditionally accepting students for the fall term and waiving some out-of-state fees.
UCSD will admit students from San Diego and Imperial counties who had applied and been accepted to UCSD, but opted to enroll in the Gulf Coast colleges now damaged by the hurricane. The students will be expected to pay regular fees, which come to $7,300 this academic year.
Hurricane-affected students from the San Diego region who did not originally apply to UCSD can enroll in the university's extension program, which is geared toward adult students.
The University of San Diego will conditionally accept San Diego and Imperial County students who had planned to attend three Catholic New Orleans colleges that have been severely impacted by the hurricane. The schools are Tulane University, Xavier University of Louisiana and Loyola University New Orleans.
The tentative plan, officials said, is to temporarily enroll up to three dozen "visiting students" and charge them what they would have paid their New Orleans universities. Once the students return to their New Orleans schools, USD will transfer the tuition money to those campuses.
"We're looking to continue students' education, but not take from the universities funds they will need desperately to get back into operation," said USD spokeswoman Pamela Gray Payton.
As for high school curriculum, La Jolla-based National University plans to enroll an unspecified number of students in its Internet-based virtual high school program. Though it typically charges about $350 per course, the university will allow those living in the Gulf Coast region and affected by the hurricane to enroll for free. The university is seeking corporate sponsors to provide laptops for the students.
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