WELLESLEY — Public colleges and universities in Massachusetts are offering in-state tuition rates to victims of Hurricane Maria through spring 2018.

The state's Board of Higher Education voted Tuesday to provide the lower rate to students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who relocated to Massachusetts after the September hurricane.

State Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago, who is from Puerto Rico, says it helps ensure ``no one's college dreams are derailed by the roar of a hurricane.''

He says a ``modest'' number of students are expected to take the offer.

Holyoke Community College says 50 displaced students have already enrolled for spring semester. They will be charged $4,300 instead of the $9,200 price for out-of-state students.

Students must provide documentation of their displacement and meet admission requirements to qualify.