Students need better investment to afford college

Three competing proposals under discussion at the legislature would dramatically affect college affordability for students across Minnesota.

Governor Dayton proposed investing $62 million additional dollars into the state grant program that helps Minnesota students pay for college without incurring more debt. The additional investment would help make college more affordable for more than 85,600 students, with an additional 8,829 students qualifying for financial aid.

On the other hand, the Senate’s higher education budget includes only $10.8 million for the state grant program, meaning only 1,192 additional students would be served. The House higher education budget invests $15 million, providing grant funds to 3,262 more Minnesota students.

The average Minnesota student leaves four years of college or career training with $27,000 in student loan debt—this is the fifth highest in the nation. The price of tuition doubled between 2000 and 2012; between 2013 and 2015, Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature reversed the cuts of the previous decade, increasing higher investments by 20%.

CLICK HERE to see how the Governor’s proposed investments in the State Grant Program would benefit students in your communities.