Sixteen per cent of students in New Orleans were forced to leave the city for months—and study elsewhere—after Katrina caused millions of dollars in damage to several campuses. Now, three big universities in the Big Easy say they are attracting a record number of applicants and setting enrolment records.
Tulane, Loyola, and Xavier universities have all exceeded their 2007 enrolment by huge proportions, according to a story in USA Today: Tulane by 226 per ent, Loyola by 222 per cent, and Xavier by 136 per cent. All are now close to surpassing their pre-Katrina enrolment.
And students are coming from out of state in huge numbers. Seventy per cent of Xavier freshmen are not from Louisiana. One reason for the jump given by Tulane vice-president of enrolment Earl Retif is that young people want to help New Orleans rebuild.
“These kids are coming down intent on getting the city back on its feet,” he told USA Today. According to the story, Tulane received 34,100 applications — almost double the 17,572 that were received the year before Katrina struck.
According to a story in a Loyola student newspaper, the Maroon, about 16 per cent of students didn’t plan to return to school by the January after the hurricane.