Many college students could see their State Grant awards increase by up to $510 under the proposals that the Minnesota Private College Council is supporting this session. Requiring no new money, just the reinvestment of the program’s balance, the agenda calls for two key changes.
- Increase fairness for students at four-year institutions. There’s a cap on the level of tuition and fees that is used in calculating students’ State Grant awards; it falls $620 below the tuition and fees at the U of M. That means that grants do not reflect full tuition and fees at all public institutions. We need to “fill the gap in the cap.” Raising this cap would allow for a modest increase of $310 for most recipients at private nonprofit colleges as well as at the U of M.
- Improve how State Grant awards address living expenses, helping all students. By adjusting how living expenses are taken into account, the state has made a one-year change that will boost most awards by $200 for the 2014-15 school year. Legislators should make that change permanent.
The agenda is being supported by Gov. Dayton (see “Gov. Dayton leads on financial aid”). Support in the House and Senate will be essential to seeing these changes made this session.