BRUNSWICK — Bowdoin College is opening its doors and classrooms to students in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands whose education has been disrupted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The islands, including island schools, are still struggling to recover from the catastrophic September storms. The University of Puerto Rico alone, which enrolls almost 60,000 students, has estimated its damages — including to research equipment and facilities — at approximately $118 million.

Bowdoin will invite a limited number of students to enroll in the spring semester, and will cover their tuition, room and board, books, winter clothing costs, and transportation to the Brunswick campus.

Bowdoin is part of a small group of colleges and universities across the United States that are setting up visiting semester programs for students struggling to continue their academic studies in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Students who cannot currently attend their home institution because of storm-related hardships will be considered for admission at Bowdoin. This group includes student evacuees living now on the U.S. mainland, or students still in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin

Islands who cannot attend their home college or university because of transportation, housing, or financial difficulties.

Bowdoin’s admissions office has set up a website and application for students who wish to apply for the guest semester program. The deadline is Monday, Dec. 18.

The announcement follows an earlier move by the college to modify application requirements for students from areas affected by recent natural disasters — including hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes — who are applying for early decision and regular admission to the Class of 2022.



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