Following last week’s destruction of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria, South Florida State College is offering in-state tuition to college students who are residents of the island.

“As a gesture of goodwill and compassion for our friends and neighbors in Puerto Rico, the governor has reached out and asked those of us in the Florida College System and Florida University System to lend a helping hand,” said Dr. Sidney Valentine, vice president for Academic and Student Services. “We’re most pleased to open our doors to those students who, under the circumstances, would otherwise not be able to continue their studies.”

In a Sept. 26 letter to the presidents of colleges and universities across Florida, Governor Rick Scott requested that they allow any student who has been displaced from their home in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria to be eligible for in-state tuition.

“Access to in-state tuition will ease the burden for students and families during this difficult time and allow them to focus on their education,” Governor Scott said.

At SFSC, tuition for a full-time, in-state student in a college transfer program would be $1,567.80 for 15 credit hours. For an out-of-state student, that cost would be $5,911.50.

Open registration for spring term at SFSC begins Monday, Oct. 16, and classes begin Jan. 3, 2018.

To apply to SFSC, prospective students should complete an application that can be found on the SFSC website at http://www.southflorida.edu/future-students/apply. They will receive letters of acceptance that provide information about signing up for orientation and list any additional information needed to complete admission to SFSC.

Prospective students may also visit the SFSC Advising and Counseling Center, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, or 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Fridays. Students can call the center at 863-784-7131. The center is located in Building B of the SFSC Highlands Campus in Avon Park. Or, visit the Hardee Campus in Bowling Green, the Lake Placid Center in Lake Placid, or the DeSoto Campus in Arcadia.