In the wake of recent hurricanes devastating the Caribbean, President Andrew Hamilton announced at today’s University Senate meeting that the university will offer full scholarships to at least 50 Puerto Rican undergraduate students. The scholarship includes free tuition, housing, meal plans and health insurance through the Spring 2018 semester. Hamilton acknowledged the Student Senators Council in advocating for these efforts.
A statement from the university specified the credentials needed for students to be qualified for the scholarship.
“Eligible students must be enrolled as undergraduates, and be in good standing, at an accredited college or university in Puerto Rico,” the statement read. “Students who took leave in the fall semester following Hurricane Maria are permitted to apply for the Hurricane Maria Assistance Program. NYU classes are conducted in English, and English proficiency is expected of all students.”
Despite the full scholarship, students and their families will still be expected to pay their regular spring tuition to their universities in Puerto Rico to ensure that the local universities are not negatively affected, according to the application.
When the floor was opened for questions, one Student Senator asked Hamilton if the policy will include offers to affected students of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hamilton responded that this policy is specifically focused on Puerto Rican students and that no contact has been made yet with the U.S. Virgin Islands. A number of other attendees publicly expressed support and thanks to Hamilton for enacting the initiative.
Hamilton did not specify how many semesters the scholarship will be offered for, explaining that such decisions will be made depending on the speed of recovery and the time it takes for classes to resume at affected Puerto Rican universities. He emphasized that this policy is not intended to attract high-achieving Puerto Rican students to transfer to NYU permanently, saying that Puerto Rico’s recovery process should not encourage students to seek long-term education away from the island.
The university is looking into labor laws that apply to U.S. territories without state status to determine whether Puerto Rican students will be encouraged or allowed to find work while at NYU.
Applications opened today and will remain open through Dec. 15.
Email Alex Domb and Miranda Levingston at [email protected]