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2024 Minnesota legislative session

Minnesota legislators can help low- and middle-income students at nonprofit colleges by investing in a new component to the Minnesota State Grant program to provide financial aid parity by helping those left out of North Star Promise.

The impact of the Minnesota State Grant program is huge.

Almost 70,000 Minnesota students from Minnesota attending college here receive a Minnesota State Grant award each year. These students are earning associate degrees, certificates and bachelor’s degrees, attending as traditional age students and adult learners. They go to both public, private nonprofit and tribal institutions.  

For Minnesota undergrads attending college in Minnesota…

39
%

of all students receive a Minnesota State Grant

54
%

of students of color and Native American students receive a State Grant

66
%

come from a family that earns less than $50,000

To keep college affordable and accessible, it’s best to focus on those with the greatest need. That’s how both the federal Pell Grant and the Minnesota State Grant programs work — focusing on helping students from low- and middle-income families attend the institutions that will best meet their needs. 

Who receives State Grant awards?

Most students who receive a State Grant come from families earning less than $60,000 a year. And without these grants, many wouldn’t be able to earn the certificates and degrees they need to become the welders and nurses, plumbers and teachers that Minnesota needs. 

The Minnesota State Grant program helps many students of color and Native American students. For Minnesota students of color and Native American students going to college here, 54 percent receive a State Grant. And more investment in these grants makes a difference: Research shows that as need-based grants increase, the gaps in college retention and completion between white students and students of color and Native American students narrow. 

The Minnesota State Grant program supports students regardless of where they enroll — whether they attend public, private nonprofit or tribal institutions. That’s been the case for decades. It’s equitable to assist the many low- and middle-income students who find private nonprofit colleges to be the best fit for pursuing their education and career goals. (The grants students attending private nonprofit colleges receive are the same as what they would receive if they were at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities.)  

Students who choose private nonprofit colleges are treated in a balanced way by the State Grant program.  

Meaningful impacts

  • Minnesota State Grants increase college retention, graduation rates, and hold down borrowing. Research shows that need-based grants like the Minnesota State Grant increase retention, decrease the time it takes for students to earn their degree, and reduce students’ reliance on loans.
  • The program also helps close disparities in educational attainment. Research shows that as need-based grants increase, the gaps in college retention and completion between white students and students of color and Native American students narrow. The gaps also narrow between low-income and high-income students as well as first-generation college students and non-first-generation college students as need-based aid increases.
  • And investment in the Minnesota State Grant program matters for our workforce. Students receiving State Grant awards will graduate and enter tomorrow’s workforce ready to succeed. Every Minnesotan who wants to earn a post-high school degree or credential should be able to do so; these degrees and credentials lead to higher incomes and more employment opportunities. 
Augsburg University

State Grant

There were 1,438 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 55 percent of all Augsburg undergraduates.

  • The average State Grant award at Augsburg was $6,421.
  • In total, more than $9.2 million in State Grant awards were made to Augsburg students.

Pell Grant

There were 1,288 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 50 percent of all Augsburg undergraduates.

  • The average Pell Grant award at Augsburg was $5,194.
  • In total, more than $6.6 million in Pell Grant awards were made to Augsburg students.
Buux Pollei Caliyare

The State Grant is a catalyst for change, providing vital support for young Black individuals like me to pursue higher education and break through socioeconomic barriers. Beyond financial assistance, it’s a symbol of belief and opportunity. Your continued support amplifies our voices and propels us towards a future of achievement.”

Buux Pollei Caliyare '25
Augsburg University
Hometown: Burnsville, Minn.
Major: Clinical Psychology

H. Manu Kannare

“As a first-generation Liberian American, the Minnesota State Grant helps me to achieve success in higher education and to show up confident in spaces for young, Black and gifted youths.”

H. Manu Kannare '23
Augsburg University
Hometown: Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Major: Studio Arts

 

Bethany Lutheran College

State Grant

There were 212 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 32 percent of all Bethany Lutheran degree-seeking undergraduates.

  • The average State Grant award at Bethany Lutheran was $6,319.
  • In total, more than $1.3 million in State Grant awards were made to Bethany Lutheran students.

Pell Grant

There were 179 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 27 percent of all Bethany Lutheran students.

  • The average Pell Grant award at Bethany Lutheran was $4,532.
  • In total, more than $800,000 in Pell Grant awards were made to Bethany Lutheran students.
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Coming from a family of five where my dad is a medical technician assistant and is the sole breadwinner, the Minnesota State Grant helps me pursue my college goals. At Bethany, I’m able to have my spiritual needs met, and I benefit from being in the unique, small class sizes.”

Dennis Muga '24
Bethany Lutheran College
Hometown: Mankato, Minn.
Major: Exercise science

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The Minnesota State Grant helps make my college education much more affordable and attainable...This grant will continue to mean a lot to me throughout college as I pursue my bachelor’s degree.”

Izayah Harrison '24
Bethany Lutheran College
Hometown: Mankato, Minn.
Major: Undecided

 

Bethel University

State Grant

There were 659 State Grant recipients on campus in the academic year 2022-23 — that’s 29 percent of all Bethel undergraduates.

  • The average State Grant award at Bethel was $5,471.
  • In total, more than $3.6 million in State Grant awards were made to Bethel students.

Pell Grant

There were 549 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 25 percent of all Bethel undergraduates.

  • The average Pell Grant award at Bethel was $4,522.
  • In total, more than $2.4 million in Pell Grant awards were made to Bethel students.
McKensie Clemons

“I cannot express enough how the scholarships and grants I receive will impact my life. Receiving this will help me to educate myself and better the world in return.

McKensie Clemons '25
Bethel University
Hometown: Hastings, Minn.
Major: Music Education, Grades K-12

Dah Dah

“Having the State Grant lessens the burden for my family. Without the State Grant, I would have to go to school part-time.

Dah Dah '19
Bethel University
Hometown: St. Paul, Minn.
Major: Communications and Theater

 

Carleton College

State Grant

There were 109 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23.

  • The average State Grant award at Carleton was $5,917.
  • In total, more than $645,000 in State Grant awards were made to Carleton students.

Pell Grant

There were 289 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 14 percent of all Carleton students.

  • The average Pell Grant award at Carleton was $5,199.
  • In total, more than $1.5 million in Pell Grant awards were made to Carleton students.
Simon Lian

“My parents came to the United States as immigrants, and they always pursued the American Dream. Without this grant and other grants such as the Pell Grant, I would not have been able to be at a school that is so supportive and that has some of the best professors around. I am eternally grateful.”

Simon Lian '24
Carleton College
Hometown: Long Prairie, Minn. 
Major: Economics

Nhan Le

The Minnesota State Grant has lifted a huge financial burden off of my family and me. I am able to attend a very high-ranking institution where I have been challenged academically. This has not only allowed me to grow as an academic student, but also as a person. I've been able to learn and explore Carleton along with other places around the world! The Minnesota State Grant has given me so many memories and experiences that have shaped me as a person, which I will carry with me as I continue after I graduate.”

Nhan Le '21
Carleton College
Hometown: Minnetonka, Minn.
Major: Geology

 

College of Saint Benedict & Saint John's University

State Grant

There were 814 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 27 percent of all Saint Ben's and Saint John's students.

  • The average State Grant award at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s was $6,100.
  • In total, more than $4.9 million in State Grant awards were made to Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s students.

Pell Grant

There were 555 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 27 percent of all Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s students.

  • The average Pell Grant award at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s was $4,943.
  • In total, more than $2.7 million in Pell Grant awards were made to Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s John's students.
Landon Peterson

“As the son of two teachers, finances certainly were a factor in my college search. Once I visited Saint John’s, I knew it was the school for me, and receiving a State Grant made it feasible to attend. These past four years have been transformative, and I have the State Grant program to thank for that.

Landon Peterson '23
Saint John’s University
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.
Major: Political Science

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“I am currently financing my college education with loans and some small payments by way of employment. The grant allows some reassurance that I can pay all of my tuition. I am extremely grateful for the grant.

Young Cardinal '20
Saint John’s University
Hometown: Maplewood, Minn.
Major: Biology

Erin Boggs

"My mom passed away when I was 13 and my dad has had cancer twice and is retired. Without the State Grant I would not be able to go to St. Ben’s and get the education that I’m working for.

Erin Boggs '18
College of Saint Benedict
Hometown: St. Paul, Minn.
Major: Psychology

 

The College of St. Scholastica

State Grant

There were 565 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 24 percent of all St. Scholastica undergraduates.

  • The average State Grant award at St. Scholastica was $5,897.
  • In total, more than $3.3 million in State Grant awards were made to St. Scholastica students.

Pell Grant

There were 486 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 21 percent of all St. Scholastica students.

  • The average Pell Grant award at St. Scholastica was $4,622.
  • In total, more than $2.2 million in Pell Grant awards were made to St. Scholastica students.
Sophia Braun

“I’m the oldest of four siblings, and the Minnesota State Grant helps me and my family worry less about the financial burden of paying for my education and allows me to focus more on my goal of becoming a nurse.”

Sophia Braun '24
The College of St. Scholastica
Hometown: Buffalo, Minn.
Major: Nursing

Jessica Schatz

Because of Minnesota State Grant, I’ve been able to pursue a degree in multiple areas that wouldn’t have been possible without this additional aid to my educational journey.”

Jessica Schatz '23
The College of St. Scholastica
Hometown: Kettle River, Minn. 
Majors: English and Communication-Media Studies Track 

 

Concordia College, Moorhead

State Grant

There were 564 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 30 percent of all Concordia students.

  • The average State Grant award at Concordia was $5,857.
  • In total, more than $3.3 million in State Grant awards were made to Concordia students.

Pell Grant

There were 368 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 20 percent of all Concordia students.

  • The average Pell Grant award at Concordia was $4,793.
  • In total, more than $1.7 million in Pell Grant awards were made to Concordia students.
Bethany Timm

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to have the Minnesota State Grant, because the grant helps me to achieve my education goals and become successful.”

Bethany Timm '26
Concordia College, Moorhead
Hometown: Elk River, Minn.
Major: Nursing

Sophie Newcomb

"Being a recipient of the Minnesota State Grant has allowed me to attend college with less stress over financial contributions, as well as lessening worries of the financial repayment following completion of my undergrad. I truthfully am not sure how I would have attended college if I had not received the Minnesota State Grant.

Sophie Newcomb '21
Concordia College, Moorhead 
Hometown: Moorhead, Minn.
Major: Communication Studies

 

Concordia University, St. Paul

State Grant

There were 815 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 28 percent of all Concordia St. Paul degree-seeking undergraduates.

  • The average State Grant award at Concordia was $5,329.
  • In total, more than $4.3 million in State Grant awards were made to Concordia students.

Pell Grant

There were 1,214 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 34 percent of all Concordia University undergraduates.

  • The average Pell Grant award at Concordia was $4,344.
  • In total, more than $5.2 million in Pell Grant awards were made to Concordia students.
Arleth Pachecho Ramirez

Receiving the Minnesota State Grant made it possible for me to receive CSP’s full tuition Pell Commitment scholarship, which was truly a blessing and made it possible for me to pursue my degree and future career in psychology!”

Arleth Pachecho Ramirez '27
Concordia University, St. Paul
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.
Major: Psychology

Ahmad Sheikhomar

“During my first year, I ended up taking a heavy course load. The grant helped free up my time, so I could focus on school versus worry about work. I ended up doing well in each of those classes!”

Ahmad Sheikhomar '22
Concordia University, St. Paul
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.
Major: Biology

 

Gustavus Adolphus College

State Grant

There were 643 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 30 percent of all Gustavus students.

  • The average State Grant award at Gustavus was $6,070.
  • In total, more than $3.9 million in State Grant awards were made to Gustavus students.

Pell Grant

There were 453 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 21 percent of all Gustavus students.

  • The average Pell Grant award at Gustavus was $4,636.
  • In total, more than $2 million in Pell Grant awards were made to Gustavus students.
Harriet Anderson

“The Minnesota State Grant has reduced the financial burden of my undergrad degree, opening the doors to future graduate school opportunities. I am grateful that this grant has allowed me to pursue a career option of my choice, and I think that this is something every student deserves.

Harriet Anderson '25
Gustavus Adolphus College
Hometown: Duluth, Minn.
Major: Psychology

Emma Anderson

"I especially value the Minnesota State Grant program because I know it is not only making college more accessible to me but is also opening the doors of higher education to a large and diverse group of students."

Emma Anderson '23
Gustavus Adolphus College
Hometown: Duluth, Minn.
Major: Environmental Science and Psychology

 

Hamline University

State Grant

There were 880 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 46 percent of all Hamline undergraduates.

  • The average State Grant award at Hamline was $6,331.
  • In total, more than $5.5 million in State Grant awards were made to Hamline students.

Pell Grant

There were 760 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 40 percent of all Hamline undergraduates.

  • The average Pell Grant award at Hamline was $4,916.
  • In total, more than $3.7 million in Pell Grant awards were made to Hamline students.
Jaime Hernandez

"During my time at Hamline, I have achieved significant personal and professional growth to a level I never thought possible. As the first person in my family to attend college, the financial support the State Grant program provides brings me closer to becoming the person I want to be and builds a future that fills me with pride"

Jaime Hernandez '24
Hamline University
Hometown: Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
Major: International Business and Marketing

Aaisha Abdullahi

"The Minnesota State Grant program has allowed me to select a school that was the best fit for me. The grant has enabled me to be successful in my academics while participating in different extracurricular activities on campus. I have seen it make an impact on my family as I attend a private college while two of my brothers are attending a public university."

Aaisha Abdullahi '20
Hamline University
Hometown: St. Paul, Minn.
Major: Exercise Science and Psychology

 

Macalester College

State Grant

There were 130 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23.

  • The average State Grant award at Macalester was $6,125.
  • In total, more than $796,000 in State Grant awards were made to Macalester students.

Pell Grant

There were 381 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 17 percent of all Macalester students.

  • The average Pell Grant award at Macalester was $5,122.
  • In total, more than $1.9 million in Pell Grant awards were made to Macalester students.
Paul Nguyen

The Minnesota State Grant has impacted me significantly because it has helped me continue my education at Macalester while immersing myself in the community. This grant helped me continue working with my community while also still being able to focus on my education.”

Paul Nguyen '26
Macalester College
Hometown: Saint Paul, Minn.
Major: Political Science

Audrey Kellar

“Macalester was my dream school from the moment I first visited campus. The Minnesota State Grant allowed me to continue my education at a college that made me feel at home from day one.”

Audrey Kellar '22
Macalester College
Hometown: Proctor, Minn.
Major: Neuroscience

 

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

State Grant

There were 243 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 33 percent of all MCAD undergraduates.

  • The average State Grant award at MCAD was $6,110.
  • In total, more than $1.4 million in State Grant awards were made to MCAD students.

Pell Grant

There were 295 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 40 percent of all MCAD undergraduates.

  • The average Pell Grant award at MCAD was $4,763.
  • In total, more than $1.4 million in Pell Grant awards were made to MCAD students.
Celeste Gonzalez

“Going to a public high school in the Cities, I felt discouraged from going to a private college that is perceived to be expensive, even one located right in my hometown. But the State Grant is really giving me the opportunity I need in order to pursue my bachelor’s degree in something that I am truly confident in.

Celeste Gonzalez '25
Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.
Major: Comic Arts

Andy Pan

“I’m able to pursue my goal of expanding our appreciation for nature and the environment through my work. This wouldn’t be possible without receiving the State Grant, which has helped financially. I can focus more on schoolwork than having to worry about making ends meet.”

Andy Pan '20
Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Hometown: Byron, Minn.
Major: Graphic Design

 

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

State Grant

There were 233 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 13 percent of all Saint Mary's undergraduates.

  • The average State Grant award at Saint Mary's was $5,251.
  • In total, more than $1.2 million in State Grant awards were made to Saint Mary's students.

Pell Grant

There were 272 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 16 percent of all Saint Mary's undergraduates.

  • The average Pell Grant award at Saint Mary's was $4,427.
  • In total, more than $1.2 million in Pell Grant awards were made to Saint Mary's students.
Kennedy Kraus

“I was very grateful to have received the Minnesota State Grant. With the assistance of this grant, I am greatly supported in order to set my life up for success while simultaneously putting less of a financial burden on myself.

Kennedy Kraus '24
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Hometown: Kasson, Minn.
Major: Management

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“The Minnesota State Grant means that I get a chance at success. I am provided with the opportunity to thrive not only in higher education, but also in life afterwards. In easing the financial burden of schooling, the Minnesota State Grant provides me with the ability to focus on learning and improving the world around us.

Jordan Malikowski '21
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Hometown: Royalton, Minn.
Major: Accounting

 

St. Catherine University

State Grant

There were 904 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 31 percent of all St. Catherine's undergraduates.

  • The average State Grant award at St. Catherine's was $5,186.
  • In total, more than $4.6 million in State Grant awards were made to St. Catherine's students.

Pell Grant

There were 1,005 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 35 percent of all St. Catherine undergraduates.

  • The average Pell Grant award at St. Catherine was $4,508.
  • In total, more than $4.5 million in Pell Grant awards were made to St. Catherine students.
Jaycee Rhodes

The Minnesota State Grant program has impacted my ability to attend St. Kate’s, because it helped take off the stress of me searching for ways to pay for school and instead spend that time on my academics.”

Jaycee Rhodes '24
St. Catherine University
Hometown: St. Paul, Minn.
Major: Business Administration

Angel Xiong

“Minnesota is my home. Thanks to The Minnesota State Grant I have the confidence to finish my dual degree at the university where I feel I really belong. The grant program is helping me achieve my academic goals.”

Angel Xiong '21
St. Catherine University
Hometown: Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Major: Marketing

 

St. Olaf College

State Grant

There were 523 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 17 percent of all St. Olaf undergraduates.

  • The average State Grant award at St. Olaf was $6,316.
  • In total, more than $3.3 million in State Grant awards were made to St. Olaf students.

Pell Grant

There were 623 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 20 percent of all St. Olaf students.

  • The average Pell Grant award at St. Olaf was $5,200.
  • In total, more than $3.2 million in Pell Grant awards were made to St. Olaf students.
Cora Harpel

“One of my main concerns when applying to colleges was that I would not be able to afford my school of choice. The Minnesota State Grant made it possible for me to attend St. Olaf and achieve the education I have always dreamed of.”

Cora Harpel '26
St. Olaf College
Hometown: Ellendale, Minn.
Major: English and Creative Writing

Kholood Mo’allim

“One of the biggest reasons I wanted to go to college was to study abroad. This didn’t seem possible because I came from a lower income background. The Minnesota State Grant made that dream possible and provided for me an academic and life experience that I’ll cherish forever.

Kholood Mo’allim '22
St. Olaf College
Hometown: Eden Prairie, Minn.
Major: French and Philosophy

 

University of Northwestern – St. Paul

State Grant

There were 628 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 39 percent of all Northwestern degree-seeking undergraduates.

  • The average State Grant award at Northwestern was $5,710.
  • In total, more than $3.5 million in State Grant awards were made to Northwestern students.

Pell Grant

There were 517 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 32 percent of all Northwestern degree-seeking undergraduates.

  • The average Pell Grant award at Northwestern was $4,407.
  • In total, more than $2.2 million in Pell Grant awards were made to Northwestern students.
Ruth Martinez-Martinez

The State Grant has helped me access education at a Minnesota university of my choosing. I am thankful to be seeking education not just to better equip myself but to represent and help my community.”

Ruth Martinez-Martinez '25
University of Northwestern, St. Paul
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.
Major: Nonprofit Leadership

 

University of St. Thomas

State Grant

There were 1,589 State Grant recipients on campus in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 25 percent of all St. Thomas undergraduates.

  • The average State Grant award at St. Thomas was $5,696.
  • In total, more than $9 million in State Grant awards were made to St. Thomas students.

Pell Grant

There were 1,194 Pell Grant recipients in academic year 2022-23 — that’s 19 percent of all St. Thomas undergraduates.

  • The average Pell Grant award at St. Thomas was $4,898.
  • In total, more than $5.8 million in Pell Grant awards were made to St. Thomas students.
Alia Muellerlile

The Minnesota State Grant has given me the opportunity to attend college and pursue my degree. I’m able to attend my classes, enjoy my extracurriculars, and focus on my life with less worry about paying for school.”

Alia Muellerlile '25
University of St. Thomas
Hometown: Hutchinson, Minn.
Majors: Elementary Education

Adali Flores Mendoza

"As a first-generation senior graduating soon, the State Grant has allowed me to study without the stress of money...which is a huge relief to my family and me."

Adalí Flores-Mendoza '23
University of St. Thomas
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.
Majors: Communication Studies, English-Professional Writing and Spanish