In-State Tuition Rates Offered To Puerto Rico Hurricane Victims

Ricardo Rosello, Governor of Puerto Rico. (RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP/Getty Images)

WELLESLEY (AP) -- As the Governor of Puerto Rico visited Boston Tuesday, public colleges and universities in Massachusetts announced they are offering in-state tuition rates to victims of Hurricane Maria through spring 2018. 

The state's Board of Higher Education voted Tuesday to provide the lower rate to students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who relocated to Massachusetts after the September hurricane. 

State Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago says it helps ensure "no one's college dreams are derailed by the roar of a hurricane."

Puerto Rico's Gov. Ricardo Rosello thanked Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh for the help Massachusetts and Boston have offered to hurricane victims who sought refuge here.

Rosello said his island still faces monumental challenges as it struggles to recover from the devastation left by Hurricanes Maria and Irma. 

"Puerto Rico has gone through possibly the most devastating, catastrophic natural event in the modern history of the United States right now," he said.

He said there's still much to be done to help the ravaged island, adding that the tax bill in Washington in both House and Senate versions contained no assistance for Puerto Rico.

"So now as we start going away from the emergency phase in Puerto Rico, start reaching normalcy, the next important step is for us to build stronger, better, and smarter than ever before," Gov. Rosello said.

That will cost Puerto Rico a lot more than it can afford alone.

Rosello said the island will need a lot more help from Washington, as well as from Massachusetts and Boston.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Mike Macklin reports

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