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SIU scholarship to go to coal-mining community students

Southern Illinois University has started a new scholarship to help students affected by the upcoming closure of one of the area's biggest coal mines.

The school's Advanced Coal and Energy Research Center is offering a four-year, $5,000 a-year undergraduate Energy Boost scholarship. It will go to up to five students who enroll in the school's mechanical engineering department. 

Recipients must be from high schools south of U.S. 50. Applicants will have to write an essay about how the shrinking coal industry has impacted their lives.

American Coal Company announced layoffs at a pair of Galatia mines last year. In November it said one of the mines would close.

The school will use a private $4.6-million grant to pay for the scholarships.

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