Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season

Daytona State College is now offering students from Puerto Rico, whose families are recovering from Hurricane Maria, in-state tuition for the academic year. This initiative is in response to Gov. Rick Scott’s call for Florida’s colleges and universities to provide tuition assistance to the students.

“Many Volusia and Flagler County residents know well the devastation wrought by hurricanes,” says DSC President Tom LoBasso. “While we, too, are still recovering from the effects of hurricanes Matthew and Irma, we are fortunate that our area did not receive the kind of direct hit from these storms that Puerto Rico did with Maria and the absolute destruction it left in its wake. We hope that adjusting the tuition for students from Puerto Rico will help mitigate their losses and inconvenience, and allow them to pursue or continue their programs of study.”

As an institution that serves primarily local and in-state students, DSC records show only a handful who list their permanent residence in Puerto Rico, said Dick Pastor, vice president of enrollment services.

The college also is assisting Florida students affected by Hurricane Irma.

Over two dozen in-state students sustained damage or were displaced from their homes due to the storm, according to Vice President of Student Development Keith Kennedy. “We’ve been reaching out to these students as well,” he said. “Faculty are offering them grace periods for turning in assignments and referring the students to us.”

Additionally, the Center for Women and Men is providing books, uniforms, vouchers for laundry services, everything that can be done for each student based on his or her individual needs or circumstances.”

For assistance with the in-state tuition offer, DSC students and future students whose permanent residence is in Puerto Rico should contact Isabel Candelas at 506-3062 or Isabel.Candelas@DaytonaState.edu.

Local students impacted by Irma can contact Kennedy at 506-3562 or Keith.Kennedy@DaytonaState.edu.