Minnesota must reduce economic barriers to educational success for lower- and middle-income Minnesotans. When more students succeed, the state will have a stronger economy and stronger communities.

The Minnesota State Grant program invests in that future by making a strategic investment in our state's future workforce. With targeted investments in the program, higher education institutions across the state — both public and private — can significantly contribute to closing achievement gaps and strengthening our future workforce. In a global economy, creating an educated workforce will be critical to retaining jobs.

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce has said that "Minnesota State Grant Program, the state’s need-based aid program, should be strengthened to help lower- and middle-income students access and afford postsecondary education, or training, beyond a high school diploma at the postsecondary institution of their choice."

A 2018 article from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis put it well: “In the arena of financial aid, assistance to those who need it most will boost the national economy. And need-based aid for college helps achieve the separate social goal of greater equity.”

Benefits

Research has proven that additional financial aid

  • Increases college enrollment among low-income students
  • Increases the number of students who stay in college and earn degrees
  • Increases the share of students who graduate on-time
  • Reduces the time students work while in college
  • Reduces how much students have to borrow

Students will succeed in college and be more likely to graduate on time when they pursue a degree at the college that best fits their academic potential and aspiration. That’s why the State Grant program is such an important public-private partnership; it preserves choice for students when deciding where they will go to college.

The program also helps increase degree completion and close our state’s attainment gaps. Our whole state benefits — not only from increasing equity but by strengthening our workforce, given how our economic vitality depends on more people continuing their educations beyond high school and earning degrees.

Impact at our colleges

There were 14,450 State Grant recipients in academic year 2018-19 — that’s 26% of all students at
private nonprofit institutions.

  • The average State Grant award at private colleges was $4,814.
  • In total, more than $69 million in State Grant awards were made to private college students.

There were 15,047 Pell Grant recipients in Minnesota in academic year 2018-19 — that’s 27% of all
students at private nonprofit institutions

  • The average Pell Grant award at private colleges was $4,178.
  • In total, $63 million in Pell Grant awards were made to private college students.