UCF extends in-state tuition rates to Puerto Rican students for another year


The University of Central Florida is extending in-state tuition to evacuees from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for at least another year.

The UCF Board of Trustees voted unanimously to extend the tuition reduction for students displaced by Hurricane Maria until the spring 2019 semester. In-state tuition will also apply to Puerto Rican students who were enrolled at UCF before Maria.

"We should view this as an opportunity to serve," UCF President John C. Hitt said in a statement.

Before the vote, hurricane evacuees who enrolled at UCF were only provided in-state tuition rates through the spring 2018 semester. The UCF Puerto Rican Student Association said in November that it was hard for evacuees to enroll in classes because they didn't know how long the tuition rates would last. The board accelerated approval to give students enough time to enroll in the summer semester, according to a news release.

"I’m very proud of the action that our board took today. This is very meaningful to folks that are in need," said UCF Board of Trustees Chairman Marcos Marchena in a statement. "I know some of these students are struggling to make decisions as they go. I thought giving them this certainty, this early on, was very important for their peace of mind, knowing that they’re going to be treated as in-state students and have that financial burden minimized while they are here for the length of time that they may be here."

The school says about 200 Puerto Rican students have enrolled at UCF since Hurricane Maria tore through the U.S. territory and left the island in deplorable conditions. UCF has also launched a website to help hurricane evacuees who are current or prospective students.

"UCF has done great things for the Puerto Rican students, and many students have come, thanks to that help," said Jose Rivera, president of the Puerto Rican Student Association, in a statement.