Posted: December 18, 2003
Contact: Doug Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-201-1426
Board of Trustees adopts resolution to keep tuition affordable for all students
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees on Wednesday called for changes in the state financial aid program to provide more help for lower-income and part-time students while keeping tuition affordable for all Minnesotans.
"The best approach to providing access to higher education for low-income students is maintaining affordable tuition," Board of Trustees Chair Jim A. Luoma said. "We think proposals for a high tuition-high aid model for financial aid could do a great deal of harm by deterring or preventing low-income students from pursuing a college education."
The board recommended revisions in the state's formula for awarding state grants, a form of financial aid that students do not need to repay. The current formula used to calculate eligibility often excludes part-time and independent students from receiving state grants. The board supports changes to reduce the financial burden on these students and to better target scarce funds toward the lowest income students.
In adopting its resolution, the board noted that students at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities make up 52 percent of the state grant recipients but receive only 31 percent of the state grant dollars. By contrast, private college students constituted 33 percent of grant recipients but receive 50 percent of the state grant money. University of Minnesota students account for the balance.
The resolution stated that the Board of Trustees believes the system's primary legislative objective is to preserve the base level of legislative appropriations to the system, secure additional funding and promote the proposed changes in the state grant formula to increase access to higher education for lower-income, independent and part-time students.
Minnesota's 31 state community and technical colleges, and universities serve more than 430,000 students across the state.