The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is offering admissions and tuition assistance to Puerto Rican students affected by Hurricane Maria.

The offer of help is consistent with UWM’s commitment to being a caring, compassionate campus community and to providing an affordable education for students facing financial challenges.

“We all face unforeseen and difficult circumstances in life. UWM is a campus that cares very much for its students, and we strive to help those who are impacted by challenging situations,” Chancellor Mark Mone said.

Puerto Rican and other out-of-state students affected by recent natural disasters can apply for a tuition reduction through an established process for students facing extenuating circumstances. If granted, the reduction would cover the non-resident portion of their tuition for their first semester at UWM, essentially giving them in-state tuition for the spring 2018 semester.

Students would need to obtain Wisconsin residency for tuition purposes or submit an appeal to determine eligibility for in-state tuition for future semesters.

UWM also is providing admissions help, recognizing that power outages have made routine transactions, such as obtaining high school or college transcripts, difficult or even impossible for students.

UWM will grant application fee waivers to students affected by Maria and other natural disasters. Admissions officers will review students’ online applications and any academic records they can provide. They also will look at previous years’ financial aid records help determine year in school and additional aid eligibility.

If students can’t provide official academic records, admissions officers may consider unofficial transcripts, test scores or other documents. They also may use placement testing and individual interviews to help in admission and registration decisions.

“In times of natural disaster, acquiring basic needs such as food and shelter can be hard enough. Gaining admittance to college or affording it under those circumstances can seem impossible,” said Katie Miota, director of admissions. “It is imperative that we here at UWM do all we can to help our fellow American citizens in Puerto Rico rebuild. It’s part of our mission at UWM and one way we can make our university better by helping others who have already shown incredible fortitude.”

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Lee Matz