Oct 042005
Authors: Joanna Thomas

After one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, CSU is providing financial aid to New Orleans students who choose to make CSU their temporary home.

Carl Einhaus, associate director of admissions , said there are 12 students from New Orleans universities currently enrolled at CSU.

Einhaus said CSU waved the application fee and has provided financial relief for these students

"If they are an out-of-state student, (CSU) offered them a stipend that makes up for the difference in tuition providing them with the equivalent of in-state tuition," Einhaus said.

The stipend is only for the fall 2005 and spring 2006 academic year, he said. Administration is working on what to do if students choose to stay beyond that time.

Einhaus said Tulane University is one exception to the stipend. Instead, students from Tulane have their tuition waved.

"A lot of colleges throughout nation have been working with Tulane specifically," Einhaus said.

Because classes at Tulane started earlier then other schools in New Orleans, like the University of New Orleans or Loyola University, the financial aid had already been dispersed and tuition had already been paid, Einhaus said.

"Tulane couldn't really reimburse the students in that situation," Einhaus said.

Sam Ksiazkiewicz is one of two students from Tulane University now at CSU.

Ksiazkiewicz, a junior finance major, said he and his roommate evacuated the day before the hurricane. He said they both evacuated last year before another hurricane hit, so he wasn't too concerned.

"Last year we came back the next day," Ksiazkiewicz said. "I didn't take it as seriously and only packed 3 to 4 pairs of clothes."

Ksiazkiewicz said he chose to come to CSU because his older brother is a senior here, despite the fact that all of his friends chose schools mostly down South or on the East Coast. His roommate is currently at the University of Mississippi.

CSU initially offered in-state tuition to all students from New Orleans schools, but Tulane is requiring students to still pay tuition, he said

Tulane University is a private 4 -year institution and charges $32,946 for tuition.

According to the Tulane University Web site, students' "tuition should be paid to Tulane because (they) are a Tulane University student regardless of where (they) are attending classes this fall."

In a letter written to the student body on Sept. 8, President of Tulane University Scott Cowen said "despite our many financial resources, tuition remains a key source of revenue for the long-term financial health of Tulane. Without fall '05 tuition revenue, we would find it difficult, if not impossible, to reopen Tulane on schedule -retaining our key faculty and staff."

Ksiazkiewicz, however, said he doesn't understand why he is still paying tuition for Tulane.

"Our president is a real shady guy," Ksiazkiewicz said.

He said CSU has responded by waving tuition for Tulane students temporarily attending the university.

For what Ksiazkiewicz has heard, damage to the university has been minimal.

"I'm pretty sure our campus faired pretty well," he said.

Ksiazkiewicz said Tulane probably sustained side damage, broken trees and some burnt buildings since it is located uptown.

"What you see on TV is the ninth ward and closer to the river. (Tulane) got about 4 feet of water," Ksiazkiewicz said.

Along with tuition, Ksiazkiewicz said CSU has been really helpful in providing other items that students need.

"The school somehow set up a deal with Dell. I'm picking up my computer today," Ksiazkiewicz said.

Additionally, the CSU bookstore offered a discount on textbooks.

"They gave me a discount, but it was still the most I've ever spent on books," Ksiazkiewicz said.

The university has also provided housing options, but Ksiazkiewicz has sought shelter with his older brother.

"I'm living with my brother off campus, unbeknownst to the landlord," Ksiazkiewicz said.

Jeannie Ortega, director of Off-Campus Student Services/Resources for Adult Learners , helped coordinate efforts of students and community members who were willing to provide housing.

"We were just a clearing house for them so if they had any particular needs we were able to match them," Ortega said.

Ortega said she helped one student, who she preferred not to name, by discussing different options she had for housing arrangements.

"Obviously she didn't have any items. They were lost in the residence halls because she had to leave so quickly," Ortega said.

Ortega said she was able to accommodate this particular student and meet her needs and desires for housing. Ortega wasn't sure if the location the student chose gave her free housing or not.

She said several other students from New Orleans used the office resources available on the Internet.

"We're here and ready, but it seemed like most used our services through the Internet or friends and family in the area to find a place," Ortega said.

The office of Off-Campus Student Services/Resources for Adult Learners was also a part of a reception held to welcome students

"We're really trying to let them know they're welcome for as long as they're here," Ortega said.

But for Ksiazkiewicz and other New Orleans students, CSU is just a temporary home until he can return to Tulane next semester.

"I will, for sure, go back next semester," Ksiazkiewicz said.

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