August 2021

Action is needed on both the state and federal levels to help college students. Minnesota’s grants for low- and middle-income students, known as the State Grant program, need new investments as well. Governor Tim Walz and the Legislature made modest changes to the State Grant program during the last legislative session that prevented State Grants from decreasing.

Though $29 million was used to expand grants, most of these funds were a reinvestment of the current State Grant program surplus. Only a modest amount of new funds was provided for the program during the legislative session that ended this spring — just $5.2 million.

Many policymakers were interested in trying to significantly increase funding for the State Grant program, but their efforts didn’t survive the intense competition for limited state funds for a host of issues.

“Students remain so grateful for this program, and any increase in grants is certainly appreciated. But students need our state leaders to do more,” said Paul Cerkvenik, president of the Minnesota Private College Council.

“A huge gap remains between what the State Grant program expects lower- and middle-income students to contribute and what they can actually afford to pay.  With a significant state budget surplus projected for next year, there is a big opportunity for legislators to make a major investment in college students through the State Grant.”

For more details about the State Grant program and what changes were made to the program and its funding, contact the Council’s Alison Groebner at [email protected].