The University of Central Florida is extending the availability of in-state tuition rates for another year for Puerto Rican and U.S. Virgin Island students evacuating the islands because of damages from Hurricanes Irma and Maria last September.

The UCF Board of Trustees voted unanimously today to continue to allow students from the islands to qualify for in-state tuition through the Spring 2019 semester. Prior to that vote, the university had offered in-state tuition rates to island evacuees through the current semester.

The board accelerated approval of the extended tuition rate for a full academic year in order to provide students with sufficient time to apply for the summer semester.

“We should view this as an opportunity to serve,” UCF President John Hitt stated in a news release issued by the university.

Approximately 200 Puerto Rican and Virgin Islander students who fled the islands have enrolled at UCF.

“UCF has done great things for the Puerto Rican students, and many students have come, thanks to that help,” Jose Rivera, a junior economics student and president of UCF’s Puerto Rican Student Association, stated in the release. “The extended in-state tuition gives [students] the support they need to actually become productive and successful members of society and get that help they needed.”

UCF also created a website to assist current and prospective students from the islands.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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