Contact: Sandy Connolly, Director of Communications
Office of Higher Education
St. Paul, MN--Larry Pogemiller, Director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE), is in Rochester today, April 24, to discuss Governor Mark Dayton's budget recommendations for higher education with students.
Funding for postsecondary education is a key component of the Governor's budget proposal, including the largest increase in direct aid to students in over 25 years, funding that will make college more affordable for over 100,000 Minnesotans.
"Today is my eleventh meeting with students in the past ten weeks," said Pogemiller. "No matter what part of the state or what postsecondary institution they attend, the message is the same: college is more important than ever, but the high cost is a heavy burden.
The students I've met with are encouraged that Governor Dayton has made higher education a priority in his budget, and believe his increased investment will help lower the cost of college and improve quality and learning opportunities."
Dayton is proposing a balanced $240 million investment for postsecondary education, the largest percentage increase for any area of the state budget. His recommended $80 million for the Minnesota State Grant program expands eligibility for over 5,000 additional students, including over 2,000 in the middle-income range. Every state grant recipient will receive an increase in the size of their award.
His budget also helps hold the line on tuition increases, invests in internships and state-of-the art equipment and will help retain high-quality faculty.
"Over the past decade, tuition and fees have increased by more than three times the rate of inflation and family income and we have the third-highest student debt rate in the country for a bachelor's degree," said Pogemiller. "This is a trend that must be addressed."
For more information, contact Sandy Connolly at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, 651-259-3902, cell phone 651-341-6617 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.