There’s been a bipartisan commitment at the Capitol to invest in the State Grant program and directly support students. But too many students and families cannot afford to pay what is expected of them. Financial challenges are a major hurdle to college completion. And State Grant awards have not kept up with the reality of the costs students face.
This session we ask policymakers to invest $30 million in college students through the State Grant program by reducing the student share — the costs that students are expected to pay. This would:
- increase the size of students’ State Grant awards, and
- increase the number of Minnesota families receiving the awards.
An investment this session would help students this fall. And it would move us closer to truly meeting the financial needs of Minnesota college students and their families.
A new long-term goal
It’s time for Minnesota to make a bold, new commitment to college students. We propose a long-term goal of ensuring that the State Grant program helps all low- and middle-income students from Minnesota who have financial need. The State would:
- Award grants based on realistic expectations for students and families — better recognizing their financial situations and increasing grants for current recipients
- Restore the reach of the program — serving all students from middle-class families who have financial need.
Students and families should be expected to pay — by working, saving and even borrowing. And when families have costs they can’t afford, the State Grant program should be there to help address their need.
The impact would be significant. Not only would low-income students receive more help, all middle-income students with financial need would receive grants as well.
Now is the time to act: policymakers can take the first step toward this goal during the 2018 session.