August 18, 2010

Refund checks give boost to region’s economy

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois economy is getting a boost as thousands of students receive their financial aid refunds from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The University this week is sending checks totaling more than $19.28 million to 5,936 students. The money represents what is left over from grants, loans and scholarships after tuition, fees and campus housing bills. Students typically spend the money locally for textbooks and other items.

The University is also refunding money from PLUS loans, typically taken by students’ parents as additional support. Linda Joy Clemons, director of the Office of Financial Aid, said 73 refunds were processed, totaling approximately $145,805. Much of that money is also often spent locally for books, supplies, transportation, personal and miscellaneous expenses, Clemons said.

“SIUC strives to provide an affordable education for our students,” she said. “This includes the guaranteed tuition rate for four years. In addition, financial assistance is awarded, to those who qualify, to bridge the gap between cost and the family’s ability to contribute.”

There will be other batches of refunds issued in the coming weeks, though typically in smaller numbers.

The fall semester begins Monday, Aug. 23.