The interests of college students in Minnesota’s need-based aid have been coming up at the Capitol, including at a hearing of the Senate higher education committee on Jan. 19 when legislators heard from Brandon Williams, a sophomore at Augsburg College. A State Grant recipient, he shared the importance of this support in his life.
“The State Grant is more than just a dollar amount, it's more of how my government and my community support me,” Williams said. “The program gives everyone the sense that there is a possibility to progress.”
Presidents from the University of St. Thomas, Saint John’s University, Bethel University and Concordia University, St. Paul spoke to both the House and Senate higher education committees in January. They addressed the unique role their institutions play, as well as the importance to their students of receiving State Grant awards.
Support for the program has also been voiced at the Capitol recently by representatives from the Minnesota State student organization, Students United. Speaking to the House Higher Education and Career Readiness Policy and Finance Committee on Jan. 31, that group asked for an increase in State Grant funds. U of M student Will Dammann spoke to the committee as well that day, sharing his own story. “I am a full Pell Grant and Minnesota State Grant recipient,” he said. “And that is one of the only reasons I am able to attend the University of Minnesota.”
Legislators have been hearing from students by mail too. Events were held in January at Macalester College and Carleton College where State Grant recipients came together to write notes thanking policymakers for sustaining the program.
Thank you note writing at Carleton College