Charleston, WV -- Perhaps as many as 20,000 West Virginia college and university students suffered losses in this year's disastrous floods. Saturday, the West Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators will reach out to the students and help them stay in school.
Representatives of several of the state's colleges and universities will visit Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) to provide financial aid application forms and information to students and families who suffered losses in the floods and mudslides.
The DRCs are operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the West Virginia Office of Emergency Services (WVOES). They are located in Mullens, Northfork, Oceana, Welch and Whitesville.
School officials expressed concern that financial problems caused by flooding may prevent many students from returning to school this year. Students who lost their jobs, computers, clothes or were otherwise adversely affected are urged to contact the financial aid specialists at the DRCs.
"It is essential to West Virginia's future and its social and economic well-being that we have a steady infusion of highly-trained, well-educated human resources," said Nina Morton, director of financial aid at WVU-Tech in Montgomery. "Our association administrators are reaching out to help students achieve their goals."
The association representatives will be at the DRCs, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The centers are open Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Packages of student aid information and applications will be available at the Mobile Disaster Recovery Center sites in Ameagle, Fayetteville and Wharton. Hours at those locations are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Program specialists from FEMA, WVOES, the U. S. Small Business Administration, the American Red Cross and other disaster recovery agencies staff the centers. They can provide answers to questions concerning state and federal disaster assistance programs and check on the status of applications.
To register for assistance, persons in the 24 disaster-declared West Virginia counties should call FEMA's toll-free registration number, 1-800-462-9029. The speech and hearing impaired may call TTY 1-800-462-7585.