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Public Meetings Scheduled on Higher Education




Sandy Connolly
Minnesota Office of Higher Education
(651) 259-3902

Public meetings to gather ideas, opinions and information on financial aid and other higher education issues will be held in Hibbing, St. Paul, Albert Lea, St. Cloud and Moorhead in November, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education announced today.

The public meeting schedule:

  • Hibbing, Wednesday, November 8, 2006: 4 to 6 p.m., Hibbing Community College, 1515 East 25th Street, Hibbing
  • St. Paul, Thursday, November 16, 2006: 4 to 6:30 p.m. Hamline University, Law Grad Building 1492 Hewitt (near corner of Hewitt and Pascal.)
  • Albert Lea, Monday, November 27: 1-3 p.m., Riverland Community College, 2200 Riverland Drive, Albert Lea
  • St. Cloud, Tuesday, November 28, 2006: 10 to 11:30 a.m. St. Cloud State University, Atwood Memorial Center, 6th Street, Voyageurs Room North, St. Cloud. (Parking: go to campus public safety building on the corner of 6th Street and 4th Avenue to pick up a parking permit and directions.)
  • Moorhead, November 28, 2006: 4 to 6 p.m. p.m. Minnesota State University Moorhead, Comstock Memorial Union, 614 14th St. South, Moorhead. (Parking: lots A-1 or A-2.)

The Office of Higher Education provides students with financial aid programs and information to help them gain access to postsecondary education. The agency administers a large need-based grant program, a student loan program, a child care grant program, Minnesota's 529 college savings plan and provides consumer protection to students through the licensing and registration of non-public institutions. In addition, the agency collects and reports statewide data on postsecondary enrollment, financial aid and trends. A Textbook Advisory Task Force was recently convened by the agency to explore options to bring down the cost of textbooks for Minnesota students.

"To be effective in our work, we need to be out listening to the people we serve and learning how changes in policy impact students and institutions," said Susan Heegaard, Director for the Office of Higher Education. "We look forward to these listening sessions."

The Office of Higher Education invites comments on a range of topics including state financial aid programs, state funding for higher education, student concerns and development of a state's higher education accountability report. Comments are invited specifically on the following topics:

  • 2006 State Grant Review: A recently-completed written review of the Minnesota State Grant program. The State Grant program is a need-based grant program providing about $124 million in assistance to 73,000 Minnesota students annually.
  • Governor Tim Pawlenty's ACHIEVE scholarship program: A proposal to provide two years of free tuition to any Minnesota high school graduate attending a public Minnesota college or university who graduates in the top 25 percent of their high school class. Students pursue degrees in mathematics, engineering, science or technology at a Minnesota public university would be eligible for free tuition for an additional two years.
  • Higher Education Accountability Report: A project currently underway at the Office of Higher Education to develop a public report on the higher education sector's progress in meeting five state goals. The framework includes 32 indicators, and is based on input from education and business stakeholders.

Written comments are also welcome. Please direct written comments to the Office of Higher Education Communications, 1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55108-5227, or faxed to 651-642-0675, or via e-mail to

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