HBCU helps Bahamas students impacted by Dorian with offer of free semester

Hampton University Ogden Hall. Credit: WIkimedia Commons

After the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian on the Bahamas, Hampton University has decided to step in and aid students in the Caribbean nation affected by the storm by offering them a tuition-free semester.

On Thursday, the HBCU’s administrators announced that they would be partnering up with the University of the Bahamas, in order to allow students displaced and disadvantaged by the storm, to spend a fall semester on their campus free of charge.

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University of the Bahamas president, Dr. Rodney Smith, and Hampton University president, Dr. William R. Harvey, came to the agreement to extend the assistance and aid to the affected students. Many residents of the island were impacted by the two-day Category 5 storm which caused at least 30 deaths and a reported $7 billion in damage. It is the strongest recorded storm ever to have hit the island nation.

“I think this agreement is something that can be helpful to a great number of students and families, and is part of something I’ve tried to do my entire career — helping people to achieve and meet their goals,”  Harvey said in an official statement on the Hampton University website.

According to details disclosed in the release, students from University of the Bahamas will be able to attend classes at Hampton for the upcoming fall 2019 semester, and will also receive room and board. After the fall semester, students will have the option to either return to the Bahamas, or stay at Hampton once the semester is over, at regular rates for tuition and fees.

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Meanwhile, a massive rescue effort is underway in the Bahamas. Thousands remain stranded and left without food or water because of the devastation caused by the storm. The Red Cross says almost half the homes on the Abaco and Grand Bahama islands suffered damage or were destroyed, according to CBS News.