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Cloudy campus

The iconic Pullium Hall on the campus of Southern Illinois University is lit by dramatic evening light in April.

The Southern File Photo

Amid financial uncertainty thanks to a budget impasse in Springfield that has dragged into its second fiscal year, Southern Illinois University President Randy Dunn announced Monday the school would cover MAP grants for students in Carbondale and Edwardsville for the spring 2017 semester.

The state’s Monetary Awards Program, or MAP, provides grants based on financial need to Illinois undergraduates who study at approved colleges and universities within the state. SIU covered the MAP grants throughout the 2015-16 academic year, and is doing so for the current semester as well. 

A stopgap budget agreement among state legislatures and the governor did not include funding for the grants for this school year.

At SIU Carbondale, $5.6 million in MAP grants has been paid to 2,917 students for the fall semester.

“We are proud of our legacy of providing access and opportunity,” Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell said. “Many of our students rely on this funding to remain in school, and the lack of a state budget should not drive them away from their education.”

At SIU Edwardsville this fall, $3.4 million in MAP grants has been paid to 2,219 students.

“MAP grants make an SIUE education attainable for hundreds of students annually,” Chancellor Randy Pembrook said. “SIUE’s mission is to provide an accessible, affordable and excellent education, and MAP grants play a large role in offering opportunity for many students who arrive on this campus with the ambition to shape a changing world. SIUE stands as a partner with Illinois in meeting the state’s expressed financial obligations to its citizens.”

— The Southern

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