Morris College awarded $1.6M grant

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Morris College, a historically black college in Sumter, was recently awarded an educational assistance grant of $1,679,210 by the United States Department of Education.

The money will be dispersed over a five-year period at $335,842 each year beginning Sept. 1.

Morris College President Leroy Staggers said in a news release, “These funds will be most helpful in assisting many Morris College students to enrich their academic experiences while in college, as well as help them to realize their career goals.”

The Student Support Services Program grant is funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act. These funds were awarded to the college to provide opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements and to motivate students toward the successful completion of their post-secondary education. In some cases, grant aid in the form of cash payments may be awarded to participating students.

Services provided through the Student Support Services Program, directed by Joseph Jones, include academic tutoring, advising and assistance in course selection, financial literacy, assistance in completing financial aid applications, group and individualized counseling for personal, career and academic matters, along with exposure to cultural events and academic programs not usually available to disadvantaged students.

The awarding of this grant will enable Morris College to continue providing academic and other support services to low-income, first-generation and students with disabilities to increase students’ retention and graduation rates.

In July, Morris College was among eight HBSUs included in a $2.4 million award from Gov. Henry McMaster’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, distributed through the federal CARES Act. Funding must be used to boost technology for distance learning.

About $740,000 in CARES Act funding was distributed directly to Morris students for financial assistance in May.

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