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HCC to charge in-county rates to pupils displaced by Katrina

September 21, 2005|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

Any student displaced by Hurricane Katrina will receive in-county tuition rates at Hagerstown Community College, according to a policy unanimously approved Tuesday by the HCC Board of Trustees.

The board adopted the measure at its first meeting of the school year. The policy states that all displaced students, regardless of their county ties, will pay in-county tuition rates.

"That means a student who goes to Tulane (University) or Delgado (Community College), someone that's not even from Washington County, will get in-county tuition rates," HCC President Guy Altieri said.

HCC has enrolled two displaced students. The college waited to charge the students tuition because the board had not come up with a policy, Altieri said.

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Several community colleges asked the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to determine whether they were able to offer tuition waivers or charge in-county rates for students from the Gulf Coast region.

The MHEC said schools could give students scholarships but would have to create a formal policy in order to offer them in-county tuition rates, Altieri said.

A few board members voiced concern about whether the policy's scope should be limited to Hurricane Katrina victims. Board chairman Merle Elliott said the policy would be reviewed every two years.

"If we open the door to what might happen," Elliott said, "we don't know what the consequences may be."

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