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Hurricane delay: Students affected by Florence get extended deadlines at some schools

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Prospective ECU students and their families gather at the Trustees Fountain before a tour of campus during a fall open house in 2015. Hurricane Florence prompted ECU to cancel its Sept. 22 fall open house, which has been rescheduled for Oct. 27.


By Kim Grizzard
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

College application season can be a tense time for high school students, one that has been made more stressful for some students because of this year’s hurricane season.

But some colleges are offering relief in the form of extended deadlines and application fee waivers for students who qualify. In addition, the College Board is allowing students in FEMA-designated areas, including Pitt County, to take the SAT for free next month.

In the wake of Hurricanes Florence and Michael, several schools within the University of North Carolina system are giving students more time to submit their applications. N.C. State University, along with UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC-Wilmington all have announced deadline extensions due to the storm.

“We understand these events delay your application, your transcripts and your ability to pay your application fee,” N.C. State University Admissions said in a statement. “We are committed to doing what we can to be of assistance throughout your application process as you and your family focus on recovering.”

NCSU extended its early action deadline from Oct. 15 to Nov. 1 due to the storm and also extended deadlines for applications for Park and Goodnight scholarships. UNC-Chapel Hill is giving applicants until Friday to meet its early action deadline, which promises students a decision from the university by the end of January. The original application deadline was Oct. 15.

UNC-Wilmington, which was closed for weeks following Hurricane Florence, extended its early action deadline from Nov. 1 to Nov. 15. Duke University extended its early decision deadline to Nov. 12, and is offering fee waivers to students in North and South Carolina who were affected by Florence and subsequent flooding.

East Carolina University has extended the deadline for Honors College applications from Nov. 1 to Nov. 11.

“A lot of students became concerned with the Honors College deadline (after Hurricane Florence),” said Tarrick Cox, senior associate director for outreach for ECU's office of undergraduate admissions.

“East Carolina is very mindful of the students who have been affected by the recent hurricanes,” he said. “We are willing to assist them.”

ECU does not offer an early decision deadline for admissions, so application deadlines remain unchanged. The final deadline for freshman applicants for the 2019 fall semester is March 1.

Hurricane Florence prompted ECU to cancel its Sept. 22 fall open house, which has been rescheduled for Oct. 27.

“(We) hope that students will now be back in their schools and ready to continue their exploration of colleges,” Cox said.

Throughout the state, some schools have remained closed since before Florence made landfall on Sept. 14. Students at nearly a dozen schools in Craven County are just returning to class this week.

To accommodate such students, the College Foundation of North Carolina is extending its annual College Application Week until Nov. 16. Students in 31 disaster-affected counties, including Pitt, can apply free to any of the state's community colleges and to about 40 other colleges and universities.

Most four-year schools offering free applications are private colleges and universities, although a half dozen UNC-system schools are on the list: Elizabeth City State University, N.C. A&T, N.C. Central, UNC-Pembroke, Fayetteville Sate University and Winston-Salem State University.

In addition, the College Board is offering a free November SAT registration fee waiver to students in 28 North Carolina counties. Students should register for the November SAT and then call 866-756-7346 to receive a refund.The deadline to apply online and to request a refund is on Oct. 24.

For more information about ECU admissions, visit www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/admissions/ or call 328-6640. For information about College Application Week, visit https://nccountdowntocollege.org/hurricane/.