Worcester Polytechnic Institute Responds to Students Displaced by Katrina

Contact: WPI Media Relations, +1-508-831-5609

Worcester, Mass. -- Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), a four-year, private technological university offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in engineering, science, management and the liberal arts, has established a special admissions process for students currently enrolled at colleges and universities that have temporarily suspended operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The process will allow students to enroll at WPI on a visiting or provisional basis.

According to WPI President Dennis D. Berkey, WPI will follow the guidelines of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and admit affected students tuition free if they have already paid tuition to the institutions in which they originally enrolled. For students who have not yet paid tuition for the fall, WPI will charge the originating institutions' rate of tuition and remit that amount to those colleges and universities.

"With more than 10,000 college students displaced from some 30 colleges and universities along the Gulf Coast," Berkey said, "our first priority must be to do all we can to help these students continue their studies, uninterrupted and as free of worry as possible, and to help their home institutions recover and get back to the important business of education."

"We will be as accommodating as possible by responding to the needs of these students," said Kristin Tichenor, associate vice president for enrollment management. Noting that WPI operates on a quarter system, with four seven-week terms instead of two semesters, Tichenor said the university will alter its rules so displaced students may enroll starting in B Term, which begins Oct. 25. (Normally, undergraduates are admitted only in A-Term and C-Term, which starts in January).

Tichenor also announced that the Admissions Office has designated two of its counselors to work closely with affected students who wish to explore options at WPI. In addition, the university will work with students to help them explore both on- and off-campus housing options, if needed.

A number of the students who have contacted WPI over the past few days are interested in taking individual classes, rather than enrolling full-time, and Tichenor said the university is planning to accommodate those requests as well.

Students interested in exploring options for enrolling under the special admissions process or in taking individual courses should contact the Admissions office at admissions@wpi.edu or 508-831-5286.