Higher Education Commissioner Larry Pogemiller presented the governor’s $29.6 million proposal to the House Higher Education and Career Readiness Policy and Finance Committee at an informational hearing Tuesday.
The largest investments would be $10 million in Fiscal Year 2019 to freeze tuition for University of Minnesota resident undergraduate students. Similarly, $10 million would be appropriated to Minnesota State to offset inflationary operations and maintenance cost increases.
The governor’s proposal also includes $8.5 million in Fiscal Year 2019 to upgrade Minnesota State’s Integrated Statewide Record System. The base for this appropriation would be $12.5 million for Fiscal Years 2020 through 2023.
The remaining $1.1 million in appropriations would be used to support the Minnesota DREAM Act. It provides Pell Grants to non-citizen students who attended at least three years of high school in Minnesota and either received a diploma or a GED.
During the 2016-17 school year, Pogemiller said that the office provided grants to 485 students at about $3,600 per student. Because of their citizenship status they’re not eligible for federal Pell Grant dollars.
“These are students who are not citizens, but who grew up in Minnesota, went to Minnesota high schools, graduated from Minnesota high schools and they’re just trying to get a college degree,” he said.
Pogemiller estimates that with the additional funding they’ll be able to provide larger grant amounts to approximately 568 students.
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