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Saturday, September 20, 2014, 3:21 a.m.
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Students in state's disaster areas get financial aid extension

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published May 6, 2014 at 11:04 a.m.

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education has extended the deadline to apply and accept financial aid for students in five Arkansas counties dealing with tornado or flood damage.

The agency said in a statement that students in Faulkner, Independence, Pulaski, Randolph and White counties will have until July 1 to apply and accept financial aid including the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship. The normal deadline, which still applies to residents in all other counties, is June 1.

“After touring the area last week, we began assessing what we could do to assist those affected by this terrible disaster, and with our normal deadline of June 1 fast approaching, we wanted to be certain to allow more time for families most directly impacted,” Department of Higher Education Director Shane Broadway said in a statement.

All five counties were declared disaster areas by Gov. Mike Beebe. All but Independence County have also been declared federal disaster areas.

Officials with the higher education department will assist students with the application process through Friday "and longer if necessary" at Mayflower and Vilonia high schools, the agency added.

Students who are unable to enroll in college as they had planned because of the disaster can also accept the state's scholarships and put them on hold for up to a year, Broadway said.

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