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The Minnesota House is expected to propose a state budget that has very little new money for the State Grant program, which helps one out of four college students with need-based financial aid. Instead, almost all new spending on higher education would go to the public system appropriations.
I am hoping you will consider this issue and weigh whether you would be interested in speaking up about it with your state representative. One option for you is to use the link below that is provided by the Minnesota Private College Council, which advocates for our institution and 16 other nonprofit private colleges. More background information is there, along with a draft message for your Minnesota representative. You can easily change that message to reflect your thoughts and concerns about the issue before you hit send.
For decades the State Grant program has been an important way Minnesota supports low- and middle-income college students, whether they attend public universities or private nonprofit institutions, whether they’re earning two- or four-year degrees.
As a staff member at Augsburg University, you are likely aware of the impact the program has on our students too. We see 42 percent of our students receiving these grants and the grants average $5,139 per student.
While Gov. Tim Walz proposes a significant $43 million in increase in State Grant funding, the House is considering a dramatically different budget for higher education, one that would insufficiently invest in the State Grant program. That would be a lost opportunity, given how new funding would increase grants and make more students eligible, which in turn keeps college affordable.
If you are concerned, consider helping members of the Minnesota House realize the importance of supporting college students through the State Grant program.
Thank you for considering this matter.