Student News

Colleges Help in the Aftermath of Hurricane Florence

Kathryn Knight Randolph

September 27, 2018

Colleges Help in the Aftermath of Hurricane Florence
Students step up, college deadlines extended and application fees waived.
Hurricane Florence was pegged to be one of the biggest storms to ever hit the country; and while she has left much damage in her wake, she isn’t quite finished yet. Even today, South Carolina residents are being asked to evacuate their homes due to rising floodwaters, according to Newsweek. Over a million residents were asked to evacuate their homes earlier this month in preparation; and currently, thousands are still living in shelters, unable to return to their homes. With that, some colleges are stepping up to help those who have been displaced by the storm. Many colleges closed ahead of the storm and have slowly been reopening. Schools like UNC Wilmington have yet to open their doors but plan to next week. Other colleges, like Davidson, have asked students to get involved in campus clean-up. But whatever college campuses may look like, Carolina students have been ready and willing to serve their communities since before the storm arrived.
North Carolina Central University has been donating items and time to disaster victims. Just this past weekend, students were asked to bring hygiene, cleaning and school items and create care packages for those affected by the hurricane. The school is also offering faculty and staff two paid days leave in order to help with relief efforts around the state. But it’s not just Carolina colleges and universities donating necessary items and time. Schools from all across the country are stepping up to send Hurricane Florence victims necessary items. Additionally, as was the case with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, colleges are already granting leniency for application deadlines. Duke University announced that it will waive all application fees as well as extend the Early Decision Deadline to November 12, 2018 to all students living in affected areas. Students applying to Duke are also exempt from providing SAT Subject Test scores and can self-report their standardized test scores. They will only have to provide official scores from a testing agency if they enroll at Duke.
The College Board, an organization that administers the SAT as well as other college-readiness programming, announced that it would waive test fees for those in FEMA-designated areas who plan to take the SAT in November. Students in affected areas must register and pay for the test; however, they can request a full refund if in an eligible area by calling Customer Service. Finally, on October 2, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it would provide federal grants to affected areas totaling $2.8 million, according to a press release. The grants will first go to students that are already considered financially needy, and then the rest of the funds will be distributed to students that qualify for Pell Grants. The U.S. Department of Education has included a list of grant amounts by location in their press release. As the Carolinas and parts of Virginia continue to suffer under the effects of Hurricane Florence, institutions of higher learning are at the forefront of relief and assistance. If you have been impacted by the Hurricane and are in the process of applying for college, contact the admissions offices of the schools to which you plan to apply. While they may not have released a statement regarding hurricane victims and college application deadlines, chances are that they will exercise leniency on a case-by-case basis.

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