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EWU authorizes aid for students affected by fire

Eastern Washington University students affected by the largest wildfire in state history could get some financial relief this fall.

The school has authorized $250,000 in aid and begun fundraising efforts for current and future EWU students affected by the Carlton Complex fire, which scorched as many as 300 homes and nearly 400 square miles in Okanogan County.

“We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do,” EWU spokesman Dave Meany said. “The university wants to make sure the students are taken care of.”

The school has identified nearly 100 students so far (63 current students and 34 incoming) who live in the affected areas, but the number likely will be much greater, said Stacey Foster, vice president for student affairs.

Financial aid counselors will visit the area the week of Aug. 11 and meet with students to re-evaluate their financial situation.

Students who are able to show hardship from the wildfire could be eligible for assistance with tuition and housing. Students do not have to live in Okanogan County to be eligible.

EWU has traditionally made financial aid available on a case-by-case basis for students involved in a disaster, Foster said. “The scope of this particular situation is so large, and we have so many students from that area (that) we decided to announce a public campaign,” Foster said.

Counselors are taking appointments and determining a schedule of meetings for August.

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