The First $23 Million in Federal Hurricane Recovery Aid To Be Distributed Among Louisiana Colleges

BATON ROUGE, La.

      The first $23 million in federal hurricane recovery aid for Louisiana’s colleges will be distributed to about two dozen schools throughout the state, including three private beauty schools.

      The assistance will be used to pay colleges that took in displaced students and to support programs on recovering campuses damaged by a hurricane, said Theresa Hay, assistant commissioner for planning and research with the state Board of Regents.

      “No institution got more than it should have,” Higher Education Commissioner Joseph Savoie said last week at the regents meeting. “But some institutions didn’t receive as much as they could have.”

      The $23 million is just the first installment of federal aid slated for Louisiana. Another $95 million is expected soon, and plans are under way on how the state will disburse it.

      Hay said she also expects the U.S. Department of Education to forgive any loans or grants taken by students from storm-swamped schools. The colleges would not have to repay the federal government for the financial aid either, she said.

      Several regents board members were surprised by some of the schools that made the aid list.

      Stevenson’s Academy of Hair Design in New Orleans will get $16,000. John Jay Kenner Academy, a beauty school in Kenner, gets $30,000. A few other for-profit schools that provide technical training, such as travel management or to become a legal secretary, were also included.

      Hay said these schools meet all of the criteria necessary to get aid: They are accredited, some of their students qualify for types of financial aid, and they either took in the displaced or were damaged in one of the hurricanes.

      The bulk of the money went to more traditional colleges. Loyola University, McNeese State University, Southern University in New Orleans, Delgado Community College, Dillard University, Tulane University, the University of New Orleans and Xavier University are each slated to receive $2 million.

—Associated Press



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