Christian Colleges Offer Free Tuition, Donations to Katrina-Affected Students

Member campuses of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) are helping students displaced by Hurricane Katrina in anyway they can.

Correction appended

Member campuses of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) are helping students displaced by Hurricane Katrina in anyway they can, through extending fall registration dates, collecting donations for affected campuses, offering free fall tuition, and sending volunteer student teams to disaster areas, according to a report released by the Council.

Since the hurricane hit the Gulf Coast on Aug. 31, the United Christian College Fund (UCCF) – the fundraising arm of the CCCU – has been working in collaboration with Christian accrediting agencies including the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) to collect donations toward assisting any institutions and students in need among the hundreds of member campuses of the three associations.

As of Sept. 8, UCCF has donated $10,000 to be distributed among Belhaven College, Mississippi College, Judson College and Louisiana College.

One of the many member campuses offering direct assistance for displaced students is Northwest Christian College in Eugene, Ore., which announced Tuesday that it will offer free tuition, room, board, and books to displaced undergraduate students for the fall 2005 semester.

"Our mission, in part, is to develop ethical leaders for service to the community and world at large,” said President David Wilson in a statement released by Northwest. “Given that, our College as a whole needs to live out our mission and this is one way we can do that. We are a caring community and this is a very important way for us to reach out in service to others who are in need."

Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., is also making an unprecedented offer to all students who were scheduled to begin classes this fall at regionally accredited colleges and universities that have been closed by their governing body as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

It is providing free tuition, books, and shipping for displaced students who enroll in its second fall session, which runs from Oct. 24 to Dec. 18.

"The last thing these students need to face is any more stress," stated Greg Morris, associate dean of administration for Regent Undergrad. “To that end, we have developed a one-page application form to enter the students in our system, and we have waived the application fee.”

Regent has also partnered with Operation Blessing International to raise funds for Katrina victims.

Meanwhile, Dallas Baptist Seminary is accepting transfers from Tulane and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and will be sending workers to help at the North Texas Food Bank in sorting incoming supplies and distributing them to evacuees.

CCCU has also reported that the American Council on Education and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) have created as an information clearinghouse for both institutions and students as recovery from Katrina continues.

The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of more than 170 intentionally Christ-centered institutions around the world with 105 member campuses in North America. In addition, 71 affiliate campuses from 24 countries are part of the CCCU.

Other Christian Colleges, not part of CCCU, have also opened their school doors to displaced students in Katrina's wake.

On East Coast, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., will provide tuition-free enrollment to its Distance Learning programs. And Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif., near Los Angeles, will offer free tuition for all of its education programs including undergraduate, degree completion, master’s, and doctoral.

Checks to faith-based campuses impacted by the hurricane should be sent to UCCF – Disaster Relief, 321 Eighth Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20002. For more information, call (202)546-8713.

An updated daily report of types of assistance being offered by CCCU member campuses can be read here.

Correction: Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005:

An article on Monday, Sept. 12, 2005, about types of services Christian colleges are offering to students displaced by Hurricane Katrina incorrectly identified Regent University as being located in Lynchburg, Va. Regent University is actually located in Virginia Beach, Va.