FIU to assist those affected by hurricanes Irma, Maria in Caribbean

The message below was sent Oct. 5, 2017, to the university community regarding disaster response and recovery following hurricanes Irma and Maria:

At FIU we are looking for ways to assist our friends and neighbors in the Caribbean who have been impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

We have determined that we can help by supporting our students from the region and opening the doors of our institution to students currently enrolled in universities damaged by the storms. We intend to host these students as visiting students until their home institutions are operational again.

Here are some specific ways we are helping:

  • Current FIU students from affected islands in the Caribbean may be offered a refund for the out-of-state portion of their fall tuition payment. These students will also receive the waiver for the spring semester.
  • FIU is offering waivers for the out-of-state portion of the tuition for students who are currently enrolled at universities in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • We are looking to assist students from other impacted islands in the region.

Please consult the FIUstrong web page for more information, including the visiting student application. Also, we have established a phone line to help answer questions and guide students: 305-348-3481. Students may also email

Hundreds of calls and emails have already come in this week, which tells us there is significant need and interest.

To help accommodate visiting students, we also have expanded offerings for the two mini-semesters this fall. The October session begins October 16, 2017 and the fall mini term begins December 15, 2017.

FIU has created a Disaster Response and Recovery Fund to raise funds to help members of the community who may be experiencing financial hardships because of the storms:

  • Current FIU students from affected islands
  • Students who come to FIU from affected universities
  • FIU faculty and staff whose families have been impacted

Many groups throughout the university have expressed interest in collecting goods to send to our neighbors in the Caribbean. Please note that FIU is not a drop-off point for donations. We recognize our community wants to be able to help. However, disaster experts agree that the best way to help is to donate money. Donated goods and supplies are expensive to transport and distribute. Many times, the donations do not get to the intended recipients in a timely manner.

In addition to the FIU Disaster Response and Recovery Fund, financial donations can be made to the American Red Cross, the United Way and other reputable organizations.