Thanks to you and nearly 500 other advocates, a total of 1,485 messages were sent to policymakers asking them to support college students by investing in the Minnesota State Grant program. An additional 165 students signed up for our Student Voices campaign and met with 46 legislators over Zoom during the early weeks of the legislative session.
“It’s important to me that our legislators hear how real students’ lives are positively impacted by the Minnesota State Grant program,” said Samantha, a student at Concordia University, St. Paul who was one of this year’s advocates.
Thanks to you and other advocates for making it clear why the State Grant program matters to Minnesota college students.
You helped make the Minnesota State Grant program a priority in the House
Earlier in the session members of the Minnesota House of Representatives responded to your calls for State Grant investment. The House’s Higher Education Omnibus bill contained a new investment of $18.6 million in the Minnesota State Grant program out of the $100 million the House proposed to spend on higher education. The $18.6 million would have lowered the share of costs that students are expected to pay for college from 50 to 48 percent, which would have increased the size of students’ grants. This was an important milestone to reach, to have the House speak up so clearly for Minnesota college students and the State Grant program.
Later in the session, the proposed compromise in higher education legislation between the House and the Senate did not retain this level of funding. And in late May, the Minnesota Legislature adjourned without agreement between the House and the Senate and the governor. Because policymakers did not reach an agreement, legislation in many areas did not move forward. Unfortunately, this included the final higher education bill, which had a small increase in the State Grant program that you helped advocate for. It is unlikely legislators will reconvene for a special session to pass any additional legislation. While this news is deeply disappointing, your advocacy still had a measurable, positive impact.
Looking ahead to 2023
In 2023, 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 to lower the amount students are expected to pay. Stay tuned for additional opportunities to continue making your voice heard in 2023.