Government aid available to student victims of hurricanes

Students from the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast region who came to TCU may qualify for a portion of a $50,000 grant awarded to the School of Education.The grant, which was provided by the United States Department of Education, will be used by the Student Support Services of the TRIO program to provide tutoring, academic advising, counseling and other services to eligible students, said Steve Hodnett, director of the TRIO program.

“We look at students on an individual basis and try to make the transition as easy as possible for them,” Hodnett said.

Kimberly Waiters, one of 42 students who transferred to TCU from the Gulf Coast region, applied for the TRIO program after evacuating Dillard University in New Orleans in the fall.

“The TRIO program has been beneficial to me because they have offered services like counseling and tutoring,” the senior communications major said. “If I ever received a grant from the TRIO program, I would use it for an internship and tuition so my parents wouldn’t have to pay it off.”

Cherell Barrett, a sophomore biology major who also transferred from Dillard, said she would use the grant to pay for books and health care.

Although Waiters and Barrett returned to Dillard this semester, they are still eligible to receive aid from the program.

Edmond O’Neal III, TRIO program adviser for Student Support Services, said many students don’t know the TRIO program is available to students affected by natural disasters.