This session we encourage lawmakers to make a significant new investment in the State Grant program and to support two strategic changes to it. Legislation has been introduced to do just that —House File 1430 and Senate File 1303.
With a significant new investment, the improvements suggested below would allow the program to reach more families and give more students the choice to attend the colleges that maximize their potential. These investments would help students reduce reliance on debt and allow more families access to more choices in higher education.
The Minnesota Private College Council encourages the 2017 Legislature to:
- Make new investments in the Minnesota State Grant program a top priority by investing new higher education funding directly in students through the State Grant program.
- Use new investments in the State Grant program to increase awards for students by:
- Reducing the “student share” in the financial aid formula. The financial aid formula requires that students pay 50% of their total college costs. Students do this through work and borrowing. However, the 50% of costs assigned to students is too high — it can require a student to borrow or work too much. A lower student share would reduce the need to borrow and increase the odds of on-time graduation.
- Reducing the “family share” in the financial aid formula. The financial aid formula for State Grant awards is based on the federal FAFSA determination of an expected family contribution (EFC). As college costs have risen, the EFC has become unrealistic for lower- and middle-income families. Lowering the share of costs assigned to families would make college more affordable for students, while also reducing the need to borrow.
Review the State Grant fact sheet and watch the video, The Minnesota State Grant: Why it matters.