Stories

Read stories from students and families who have benefited from the State Grant program. Use the search box above to find stories about specific people or institutions.
 
Use our Submit a story form to share your story. (Please note that all stories will be reviewed by our staff before they show up in the list below.)

"Without the Minnesota State Grant I would not be able afford more than one class a semester. Because of this grant I am able to attend the private university that has the major I want and a program that is tailored for a working adult. I still work full time and apply for scholarships to make my educational goals possible. I grew up in a lower middle class home without financial support for college. This grant really supports the 'American Dream' and helps to narrow the income gap by allowing students like me access to higher paying jobs through education."

Rebecca Blum
Hometown:
La Crescent
School:
College of St. Scholastica
Class of
2015
Major:
Organizational Behavior
Minor:
Psychology

"If I didn't receive the State Grant, I probably wouldn't be in college right now. I am the first in my family to go to college and I thought the only option, if your family doesn't have any money, was to join the military."

Bobby Rogers
Hometown:
Minneapolis
School:
Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Class of
2014
Major:
Illustration - Graphic Design emphasis
Extra-curriculars:
Volleyball team, works for MCAD public safety, former assistant to chair of the Liberal Arts Department, designer for local magazine, Student Union design department representative

“I cannot imagine having to work more than I already do. I can focus more on my studies and worry less about money. My dad was in a bad car accident and it really took a toll on our family financially. Instead of choosing whatever school was the cheapest one, the State Grant opened up my opportunities."

Mariah Schultz
Hometown:
Fairmont
School:
Bethany Lutheran College
Class of
2015
Major:
Business Administration
Extra-curriculars:
Scholastic Leadership Society, works part-time at Hy-Vee, teaching assistant for business professor, works as a receptionist in the college’s business office

“I am a first-generation college student so it's been difficult because there was no college fund. Without the State Grant, I would not have had the finances to attend a school like Concordia University — it has helped me financially to reach my goal.

Taherah Shamsul-Bahri
Hometown:
Minneapolis
School:
Concordia University, St. Paul
Class of
2014
Major:
Psychology
Minor:
Family Studies
Extra-curriculars:
Student Alumni Council, United Minds of Joint Action, volunteer at the Minnesota Office of Higher Ed, internship at St. Paul Public Schools, assistant for social psychology professor

I chose St. Scholastica because I wanted to attend a really great school; the State Grant makes it possible for me to go here. I am not eligible to take student loans and I work 60 hours a week to pay for school.”

Brandon Torres
Hometown:
Howard Lake
School:
College of St. Scholastica
Class of
2014
Major:
Psychology
Minor:
Biology
Extra-curriculars:
Student body vice president, resident assistant at student apartment, blogger for marketing department, manager at student wellness center, member of Queer Straight Alliance

The biggest thing the Minnesota State Grant did was really widen my range of possibility. Cost was a huge factor in picking a school but I did not want to miss out on quality. My choices would have been significantly reduced."

Eura Chang
Hometown:
Rochester
School:
Macalester College
Class of
2015
Major:
Political Science and Educational Studies
Minor:
French and Francophone Studies
Extra-curriculars:
Bonner Community Scholar, Bonner Congress Representative, work study at the Minnesota Literacy Council, chapter co-leader of Students for Education Reform, Habitat for Humanity leadership team, African Music Ensemble

“I always imagined myself going to a private liberal arts college — small class sizes are really important to me —  but without the State Grants I could not have attended Concordia College. I hope to be a teacher and will not be making a large amount of money. I feel very fortunate to be able to attend a great school like Concordia College and I am grateful to my State Grant that made it a reality for me."

Matthew Dymoke
Hometown:
Bloomington
School:
Concordia College, Moorhead
Class of
2014
Major:
Social Studies Education
Minor:
Communication Studies
Extra-curriculars:
Student government vice president, resident assistant, member of Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society, Cobber Ambassador, Phonathon manager, front desk worker at a residence hall, Homecoming chair

“I am very grateful for the State Grant. Both my brothers attend community college and I am extremely fortunate to have the State Grant to attend private college at Saint Mary’s. It has made it much more affordable for my family.”

Sara Schoenthaler
Hometown:
White Bear Lake
School:
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Class of
2015
Major:
Marketing and Management
Minor:
Public Relations
Extra-curriculars:
Guard for the women’s basketball team, works for the Athletic Department, supervises intramurals

“I wanted to go to a good college without putting a huge burden on my family, since my sister will also be in college soon. Without the State Grant, I would be more worried that we couldn’t keep up with payments. That added burden would mean I wouldn’t be able to focus as much on my studies.

Carlos Rivera
Hometown:
St. Paul
School:
St. Olaf College
Class of
2015
Major:
Chemistry and Math
Extra-curriculars:
Works as an office assistant in the TRiO office, belongs to the Sci-Fi Club and the Problem Solving Club.

"Coming from a very small town limited the types of people I was exposed to, and I never seemed to find friends with whom I could connect. Receiving need-based financial aid has allowed me to attend a college that has exposed me to a variety of individuals, and I have had the opportunity to develop a community of friends I know I will retain for the rest of my life. Without the aid I received from the state, I would never have grown to be the person I am today, as I would never have met the friends I know now."

Sonja Smerud
Hometown:
Finland
School:
St. Olaf College
Class of
2014
Major:
Biology, Political Science
Minor:
Environmental Studies
Extra-curriculars:
Environmental Student Organizations, Model United Nations, Student Government

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