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.)

With this grant, I was able to afford to live on campus, which is huge and has allowed me to experience campus fully and focus on my studies. It also helps relieve the financial burden on my father, who is a single parent.”

Arielle Skalisky
Hometown:
Hermantown
School:
College of St. Scholastica
Class of
2016
Major:
Nursing
Minor:
Psychology (or double major)
Extra-curriculars:
Two work-study positions and also works off-campus as a Certified Nursing Assistant at a retirement community. Serves on the Student Senate, is the advertisement officer for United for Africa; member of the Asian Culture Club and the International Club.

“When I was chose St. Thomas, it was on the edge of what we could afford, but we worked it out. The State Grant definitely helped. It was an important factor in making my choice."

Tom Asp
Hometown:
Maplewood
School:
University of St. Thomas
Class of
2013
Major:
Communications and Journalism
Extra-curriculars:
Managed the undergraduate Admissions tour guide program as a Tommie Ambassador in fall 2013, previously was a member of the Advertising Federation and the Ski and Snowboard Club

“I come from a large family that owns a dairy farm. For my siblings and me, college was only if we could find the funding to do it. Without the State Grant, I wouldn’t have been able to go to a school with a great environmental program and it would have been a few years before I could go at all.

Peter Borash
Hometown:
Royalton
School:
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Class of
2013
Major:
Environmental Biology
Extra-curriculars:
Participates in the Honors program, runs NCAA cross country, works as a resident advisor, volunteers with Buddies (a program for the mentally and physically disabled) and belongs to the Biology Club.

The State Grant is important to me because I need money to go to school; it decreases the amount of financial stress I have. I’m trying to do all of this on my own, so grants also reduce the amount of worry my family has that I’ll end up with a huge amount of debt when I graduate.”

Maikang Xiong
Hometown:
St. Paul
School:
St. Catherine University
Class of
2013
Major:
Accounting and Financial Economics
Minor:
Sociology
Extra-curriculars:
Student worker at the Center for Community Work and Learning, Americorps volunteer, volunteer with VITA to prepare taxes for low-income families, member of the Asian Women Association and Hmong Daughters.

The State Grant allows me to not have that additional worry of acquiring finances each semester. It gives me the security to pursue my academic goals.”

Abass Noor
Hometown:
New Hope
School:
Macalester College
Class of
2013
Major:
Biology with a biochemistry focus
Extra-curriculars:
Participates in Mac Slam (a Slam Poetry organization), edits the newsletter for Afrika! (a student organization), co-chairs the Muslim Student Organization and belongs to Minnesota’s Future Doctors at the University of Minnesota.

"I'm the oldest child in a family of six kids, so going to college was like jumping in the deep end for our family. Because of the State Grant, I could look at all different types of colleges and choose the one for me. I couldn't have done that without the assistance of grants and scholarships."

Ben Honda
Hometown:
Oakdale
School:
Hamline University
Class of
2013
Major:
International Business, Spanish
Minor:
Linguistics
Extra-curriculars:
Student worker in Undergraduate Admissions office, new student mentor/orientation leader, member of Hamline Dance Ensemble and participant in a theater production.

The State Grant actually makes it affordable for me to attend college. It’s nice to have some extra support, in addition to my loans. I chose to go to a private college for the low student-to-teacher ratio and for the quality of education I’d receive; I probably wouldn’t have been able to attend if not for grants.”

Amal Younis
Hometown:
Blaine
School:
Concordia University, St. Paul
Class of
2015
Major:
English with a journalism emphasis
Minor:
Political Science
Extra-curriculars:
A member of United Minds of Joint Action and Concordia Sisterhood Empowerment at Concordia. Has a work-study job in the financial aid office.

“We’re not financially well-off and I’ve always known that I’d have to work hard to get what I want. I don’t think I’d be at a private college or maybe even college without the State Grant. I’m so grateful that I can be here. I believe that what I’m getting is a quality education and I love everything about Concordia.”

Kylie Windecker
Hometown:
Moorhead
School:
Concordia College, Moorhead
Class of
2016
Major:
Social Studies Education
Extra-curriculars:
Hall council president of her dorm, participates in the Campus Service Commission, working with New American services in an elementary ELL classroom, member of the Remedy, a Christian group that meets on campus. Works at Payless Shoes part-time.

My college attendance is based on the financial aid that I get. I have a stepbrother in college, so my stepdad has to pay for that. I chose Saint Ben’s because it was a Minnesota college and I knew I needed the State Grant to help pay for tuition.

Eliora Yokanan
Hometown:
St. Paul
School:
College of Saint Benedict / Saint John’s University
Class of
2016
Major:
Global Business
Extra-curriculars:
On the Parliamentary Debate Team and serves as special events assistant with the 5C Club, a group that helps Chinese international students plan events on campus. Has a work study job at the Duplicating and Mailing Center on campus.

"Because my dad has ALS and is on disability retirement, our family income is cut in half. It was relief to get the State Grant so I don't have to worry about loans as much. My experience at Bethel would be more stressful and I'd have to work more without it."

Emily Young
Hometown:
Coon Rapids
School:
Bethel University
Class of
2015
Major:
Business with an emphasis in Human Resource Management
Extra-curriculars:
Intramural volleyball player, student worker in the financial aid office and an ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease) fundraising volunteer.

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