June 2023

The final higher education bill included a $38.8 million investment in the State Grant program. Of that funding, $30.1 million is ongoing funding and $8.7 is one-time funding. While meaningful, this funding increase in the State Grant program is only about one-third of the $120 million investment advocates asked legislators for, which would have reduced the student share from 50 to 42 percent — reducing the amount students are expected to pay. The Legislature’s State Grant funding is also significantly lower than Gov. Tim Walz’s request, which was that $95.5 million be invested in the State Grant program.

Additionally, the final higher education bill also created the North Star Promise Program, which will make public institutions tuition-free for those with household incomes up to $80,000, starting in the 2024-25 academic year. This program unfortunately excludes students at private nonprofit colleges, which is a lost opportunity. Many students from low- and middle-income families choose to attend private nonprofit colleges because of the distinctive educational opportunities offered and high-quality outcomes delivered, and they will not be helped by the North Star Promise.

While we didn't see the significant investment in the State Grant program that was hoped for, we can continue making the case. Policymakers will continue to need to hear from advocates like you about the importance of the State Grant program and the crucial need that exists for college students, regardless of whether they attend public or private nonprofit institutions.

Looking ahead

In the upcoming 2024 legislative session, your voice will be needed to continue speaking up for college students and the Minnesota State Grant program. With the momentum you helped build this year, we’ll continue to push for new, increased investment in the State Grant program. Stay tuned for new opportunities to continue advocating for college students and to stay connected with AMSA advocacy.