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Archive for Thursday, September 1, 2005

KU opens doors to stranded students

September 1, 2005

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Kansas University is joining dozens of other institutions in opening its doors to students whose college plans were toppled by Hurricane Katrina.

"These are students who all of a sudden have lost their opportunity to go to class this fall," said Marlesa Roney, vice provost for Student Success.

More than 20 parents called KU on Wednesday to inquire about admissions, Roney said. The students had planned to attend Gulf Coast colleges.

KU's admissions deadline is passed, but the university will waive this and a late fee for students who meet regular admission requirements. KU faculty also will help students who would be moving to the school after missing the first weeks of classes, Roney said.

They'll be late for the year, but it could be worse.

"We think in a number of cases, this may be better than not being able to attend college at all this fall," Roney said.

KU students also are pitching in with relief efforts.

The Center for Community Involvement, which will coordinate fundraising efforts of student organizations, is making plans, said Anton Bengtson, co-director.

Students have already volunteered. The center is working to find ways the students can help.

"By the end of the week, we should have some more programs for the students to help out with," Bengtson said.

Many Gulf Coast schools ravaged by Katrina face an uncertain future.

Tulane University in New Orleans posted a letter to the public on its Web site.

"There is no contingency plan that could ever be developed to respond to what the area and the university are experiencing," said the message from President Scott Cowan.

Several other universities and colleges are closed.

But many across the south and Midwest regions - including schools in Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, Arkansas and Oklahoma - are welcoming displaced students.

6News reporter Brooke Wehner contributed to this report.

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