The college students in Puerto Rico whose studies were affected due to Hurricane Maria can avail free tuition for a semester at the New York University (NYU).

According to the Washington Square News, Andrew Hamilton, President of the University announced Thursday at the University Senate meeting that the university will offer full scholarships to at least 50 Puerto Rican undergraduate students. This scholarship would also include free tuition, housing, meal plans and health insurance through the Spring 2018 semester.

The NYU started accepting applications on Thursday and will remain open until Dec. 15. The university will accept students into its undergraduate programs on a rolling basis.

Though the students will not have to pay the NYU’s tuition, which presently is $25,232 per semester, it is expected that the students pay the tuition to their home colleges or universities so that the local universities are not negatively affected, reported the New York Daily News.

According to the New York Times, Hamilton said, “The situation in Puerto Rico is obviously something that we have all been watching with great concern over the last several weeks. We are pleased to be able to do this.”

Eligibility criteria for the students state that they must be good in English, in good academic standing and must be enrolled as undergraduates at an accredited college or university in Puerto Rico. Students who took a leave during the fall semester because of the hurricane will be eligible to apply for the Hurricane Maria Assistance Program, reported the Washington Square News.

According to the reports in Washington Square News, Hamilton did not mention for how many semesters the scholarship will be offered. He informed that the decisions will be made depending on the time it takes for classes to resume at the affected Puerto Rican universities. He laid emphasis on the fact that the policy is not intended to attract high-achieving Puerto Rican students to transfer to NYU permanently. He mentioned that the Puerto Rico’s recovery process should not encourage students to seek long-term education away from their homeland.

The university is also looking into labor laws that apply to U.S. territories without state status to find out if Puerto Rican students can be encouraged or allowed to find work while they study at the NYU.

Since the U.S. territory is still struggling with the recovery effort even after nearly two months that the hurricane hit the island, the NYU has come forward to help the students.

Earlier, schools like Brown University, Cornell University, and Tulane University had come up similar programs to help students. The NYU following the footsteps of these schools had also accepted students who were affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The State University of New York along with many other local schools across the country will offer in-state tuition rates to students displaced by the Hurricane Maria.

Apart from the schools, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is working towards relocating nearly 3,000 Puerto Ricans still sleeping in emergency shelters to temporary housing on the U.S. mainland by providing them passenger flights.