Arizona universities are joining a nationwide effort to welcome college students displaced by Hurricane Katrina and the storm surge that followed.
The big three — Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona — said Wednesday that they would help enroll students who were supposed to attend colleges ruined by the disaster, such as Tulane University in New Orleans.
"We have an unprecedented opportunity to reach out to those whose lives have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina," ASU President Michael Crow said. "We can give students whose lives have been thrown into turmoil both a place to live and the opportunity to continue their education. I have asked the entire ASU community to make them welcome and to assist them in every way possible."
Many schools nationwide are making similar invitations, federal officials said during a teleconference Wednesday.
Ray Simon, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, said the federal government will try to ease the transfer of college students from the stricken areas to ensure that financial aid restrictions and other federal requirements do not prevent them from continuing their studies elsewhere.