Houston Universities Open Doors to Katrina Evacuees

Higher education institutions in the area are seeing the influx of Katrina evacuees. Students from universities in Katrina devastated areas are trying to keep their education goals on track.

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Katrina evacuee JoAnn Bruster was pursuing her masters in social work at Southern University of New Orleans and was on track to graduate May next year. When Bruster realized the extent of the Katrina damage, she made her way to Houston with the help of a friend. Now, Bruster is one of more than a thousand Katrina evacuees who have enrolled at the University of Houston.

All of the standard paperwork that goes into enrolling in a university has been waived. UH Interim Assistant Vice President for Undergraduate Studies Agnus DeFranco says much of the admissions are being done in good faith.

Many universities are taking in Katrina students including Rice University with more than 100 students and Texas Southern University with more than 700. TSU Enrollment Services Assistant Vice Preisdent Hasan Jamil says the goal is to keep the students on track.

At this point, there's no way to tell how many of these students will return to their old schools. Others may choose to stay, like UH student Bruster who is close to graduation. She says Katrina has made her re-think what she's going to do after she gets her social work masters.

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