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Governor Dayton Takes Action on Higher Education Bill

May 24, 2013

Today, Governor Mark Dayton signed Chapter 99, Senate File 1236, The Omnibus Higher Education Bill, with the exception of a line item veto on Pages 5, line 5.29. The Governor’s letter regarding the line item veto is attached here.

Budget for a Better Minnesota: Higher Education 
Access to Higher Education for a Competitive Workforce

Access to higher education is crucial to ensure that Minnesota has a competitive workforce that is prepared to fill the jobs of the future. That is why the budget enacted by Governor Dayton and the legislature makes a significant investment in college affordability and improving our state colleges and universities. By investing $250 million in higher education, with $46 million going to direct financial aid for students, the budget brings the dream of a higher education within reach for even more Minnesotans.

A $250 Million Investment in Higher Education

  • The Largest Investment in Direct Financial Aid in a Generation. State financial assistance has not kept pace with rising tuition and the other increased costs of post-secondary education. That is why the budget enacted by Governor Dayton invests an additional $46 million in the State Grant program, which will provide more than 100,000 students with financial aid.
  • Helping For More Than 100,000 Students. The budget adjusts the State Grant Program to ensure middle class students have the help they need to afford higher education. This will provide financial assistance to an additional 9,000 Minnesota students.
  • An Average Award of $1,740 Per Student. The budget adjusts the current State Grant Program formula to better reflect all of the costs of a higher education. Between rising tuition and the costs of living associated with going to school, the current system is inadequate. On average, this budget provides each State Grant Program recipient an additional $181 per year. The average total grant through the program is $1,740 per student.
  • Freezing Tuition for College Students. This budget freezes tuition at all MNSCU and University of Minnesota campuses starting for the 2014-2015 school year. This will continue to help put the dream of a college education within reach for Minnesota students.
  • Preparing Students for the Careers of the Future. This budget also provides funding for the MnDRIVE program to invest in research and development in four emerging fields of study – ensuring that University of Minnesota students are prepared for the careers of the future.
  • Increasing Tuition Relief and College Choice for Minnesota Students. The budget invests $15 million in tuition reciprocity programs, ensuring that Minnesota students have a wider range of affordable higher education options.
  • Funding Reform: Greater Accountability for How Schools Spend Taxpayer Dollars. A portion of the funding allocated for the U of M and MnSCU schools will be withheld until the schools meet certain performance standards. This will ensure that Minnesotans are getting the greatest value possible for their taxpayer dollars.