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Recent High School Graduates Urged to Apply for New State Scholarship




Contact: Sandy Connolly, Director of Communications
Office of Higher Education
(651) 259-3902

Students attending college in Minnesota this fall may be eligible to receive $1,200 Achieve Scholarship if they took rigorous high school courses.

With the remnants of the graduation sheet cake now tucked into the freezer, high school graduates are urged to apply now for a new state scholarship of up to $1,200 if they can demonstrate they took college preparation courses in high school. The Achieve Scholarship was established and funded in 2007 by the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Tim Pawlenty and is designed to encourage students to make the most of their high school opportunities by challenging themselves with rigorous high school courses. Scholarships are awarded to students on top of any federal or state grants, or college scholarships and a separate application is required.

The online application and eligibility details are available at

To be eligible, students must:

  • Have graduated from a Minnesota public or private high school after January 1, 2008
  • Attend a public or private college in Minnesota
  • Be a Minnesota resident and a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be from a family with an adjusted gross income of less than $75,000
  • Meet the academic requirements of the scholarship in any of four ways defined.

Students must apply for the Achieve Scholarship within 30 days of the start of the term. Applications may be submitted online or by mail and must be accompanied by an official high school transcript.

Contact the Minnesota Office of Higher Education with questions at 651-642-0567. Detailed information on state and federal financial aid programs is available from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education at

Rigorous Programs of Study

To be eligible the student must have completed, unless otherwise stated, with a grade 'C' Or above in each course, one of the following four rigorous programs of study while in high school or a home-school setting:

  • A set of courses similar to the State Scholars Initiative. This program of study requires passing grades in the following:
    • Four years of English;
    • Three years of math (including Algebra I and a higher level course such as Algebra II, geometry, or data analysis and statistics);
    • Three years of science, including one year each of at least two of the following courses: biology, chemistry, and physics;
    • Three years of social studies; and
    • One year of a language other than English.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses and test scores. This program requires a minimum of two Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses in high school and a minimum passing score on the exams for those classes. Students must score 3 or higher on AP exams and 4 or higher on IB exams.

  • Minnesota Coursework Requirements. This program requires:
    • Four years of language arts;
    • Three years of math, including one year each of geometry and two years of algebra, one of which is intermediate or advanced algebra;
    • Three years of science including one year each of a biological and physical science;
    • Three years of social studies; and
    • Two years of a single foreign language.
  • Minnesota Dual Credit Program. With a passing grade of 'B' Or better: High School students taking BOTH a math course (Algebra 2 level or higher) AND a science course (biology, chemistry, or physics) under the Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program worth a total of at least 6 college credits shall meet the rigorous course of study requirement for the Academic Competitiveness Grant.

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