Massachusetts to offer in-state tuition to Puerto Rico evacuees

These students will also still be eligible for federal financial aid

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – An announcement Wednesday that will help students evacuated from Puerto Rico continue their education.

Those students, who had to evacuate from Hurricane Maria, will be allowed reduced in-state tuition rates. That translates into a more than $600 saving per semester at Holyoke Community and Springfield Technical Community College. The savings is more than $3,000 at Westfield State University, and more than $9,000 at UMass Amherst.

Students will need proof they were displaced, and still need to pay fees and other expenses but there is a big difference between in- and out-of-state tuition costs.

Alexandra Santiago, a student from Puerto Rico who is currently staying in Holyoke, told 22News what the help means to her. “It’s been really tough on us to continue our studies back there in Puerto Rico, so it is truly a big opportunity to continue our studies here in Massachusetts in Holyoke Community College.”

These students will also still be eligible for federal financial aid, but will not have immediate access to state aid.

Massachusetts did something similar back in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, and in 2011 after the 9/11 attacks.