The University of Puerto Rico (UPR) was devastated by the impact of Hurricane Maria and—like much of the island—is trying to repair damaged buildings, remove fallen trees, and clean up from the flood waters. “Pretty much they are devastated,” Walter Alomar, president of the University of Puerto Rico’s board of governors, told the Chronicle of Higher Education about the institution’s 11 campuses. While the 60,000 students enrolled at the university may not be able to return to their own hallowed halls soon, some of them can resume classes elsewhere: Brown University.
The Ivy League university in Providence, R.I., will enroll up to 50 students from the UPR, help them travel to the States, and house them on campus, according to a release from Brown. Undergraduate students from UPR must apply for admission to Brown, and those accepted will enroll in courses that will enable them to continue earning credits so Hurricane Maria can’t further disrupt their studies. The best part is that Brown will not charge tuition or fees to the students. Fifteen students have already taken Brown up on the offer, telling WJAR-TV that they are thankful for the opportunity, even though it was difficult to leave their families behind on the storm-ravaged island.
This isn’t the first time that Brown has stepped in to help students in the wake of a natural disaster. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the institution welcomed students displaced by the storm.