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Helping Part-Time College Students Succeed

8/27/2014 10:14:43 AM

Part-time students gain from State Grant

We all know that education is critical to a bright future. In fact, by 2018 an estimated 70 percent of Minnesota jobs will require some education beyond high school. And right now, only 40 percent of Minnesotans hold post secondary degrees. Closing this higher education gap is critical to helping all Minnesotans get great jobs in the future and growing our economy.

However, the rising cost of higher education is putting college out of reach for many. Currently, Minnesota has the third highest student debt rate in the United States with the average graduate leaving school with $29,800 in debt. This year, Governor Mark Dayton and the DFL legislature expanded Minnesota's State Grant Program to an additional 15,000 students so that more students could get an affordable education.

Previously, part-time college student who also work received a smaller grant than they would have otherwise. Under the new requirements, part-time students taking three or more credits will be eligible for the State Grant Program. This improvement is particularly beneficial for non-traditional college students who are more likely to be older, have a family, or other responsibilities that keep them from attending school full-time. Students in the State Grant program will receive $1,825 on average.

In addition to reforming the State Grant Program, the Governor and the legislature invested $46 million more into direct financial aid. This will significantly increase support for all college students during the next two years. In all, these new investments and reforms should Minnesota students get a more affordable education as they return to campus.

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