August 12, 2020

SIU Carbondale students receive more than $2 million to offset pandemic hardships

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A partnership between Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the state of Illinois will provide about 1,500 students more than $2 million in emergency relief due to financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each of the students will receive about $1,400 through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. SIU Carbondale received more than $2.068 million to provide students a one-time financial award. The funds can be used in helping students pay past-due bursar account balances, technology needs, such as equipment or internet access, or other unexpected costs resulting from the pandemic. Priority for the funds was given to continuing on-campus undergraduate students

“Many of our students lost off-campus jobs, need access to technology, and had unforeseen expenses due to the pandemic,” Chancellor Austin A. Lane said. “We are grateful to Gov. Pritzker and his team for providing funds that will help students stay on track to complete their education.”

Judith Marshall, vice chancellor for administration and finance, said more than 2,400 pre-qualified students were invited to submit applications for funds with about 1,500 responding, and that SIU Carbondale’s fund allotment is exhausted. The university submitted to the Illinois Higher Board of Education that priority was given to continuing on-campus undergraduate students; funds would be used to assist students in paying past-due bursar account balances or for technology needs, and used for the fall semester, where possible. Guidance from the IBHE included that the funds were designed to support retaining students of color, first-generation students and “high-need students who are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and to address digital equity gaps.”