The program provides financial assistance to students enrolled in qualifying career and technical programs at MnSCU two-year colleges so that students can complete the program within two years or less and find employment in a high-demand occupation. It was created by the 2015 Minnesota Legislature and will be implemented for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years as a pilot program.
Click here to see a list of qualifying occupational programs offered by each MnSCU two-year college. Because this program listing is subject to change, students should check with the college to make sure the program is still offered. In order for the student to participate in the pilot program, the student must be admitted into and start the occupational program during fall term 2016.
The grant will cover any remaining tuition and general fee charges after the student's Federal Pell Grant and MN State Grant have been applied to the student's account. Program-specific fees and equipment are not covered. The grant is available for up to 72 semester credits, including any required developmental courses taken after admission to the occupational program.
To qualify for the grant, the student must:
To apply for the initial grant for the 2016-2017 academic year, students must complete the 2016-2017 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available in January 2016. Undocumented students should apply using the 2016-2017 MN Dream Act state financial aid application. Due to limited funding, students are advised to apply as early as possible, since applicants will be ranked by application date.
A student must receive this grant during the fall term of 2016 in order to take part in the pilot program. The grant will be available for each term of the 2016-2017 academic year, including summer term 2017, provided the student has tuition and fee charges not covered by federal and state grants. The amount of this grant can change each term depending on the student's enrollment level, tuition and fees and the amount of the student's federal and state grants.
A student in a program requiring more than 30 semester credits (including any required developmental courses) must complete at least 30 credits during the 2016-2017 academic year to meet the conditions for grant renewal during the 2017-2018 academic year. Students enrolled in shorter programs must complete their programs during the 2016-2017 academic year.
The grant can be renewed for the 2017-2018 academic year if the student meets the following conditions:
To support students throughout their academic programs, this pilot program requires recipients to participate in free mentoring services including, but not limited to:
The Minnesota Office of Higher Education has partnered with InsideTrack to provide one-on-one mentoring to the recipients of the Minnesota Occupational Grant. Our goal is to ensure that students make a successful transition to college and maintain eligibility for the grant.
What is InsideTrack?
InsideTrack works with colleges and universities to improve student and institutional success. Since 2001, they've mentored over one million students, empowering them to take ownership of their academic experiences, utilize campus resources, and target growth in specific skill-sets needed to enhance motivation, performance, and persistence.
What are the benefits of having an InsideTrack mentor?
Occupational Grant Mentors work with students on the educational experience as well as the bigger life picture and long-term goals, making sure that school and other priorities are balanced and students are set up to create success for themselves. Through regular interactions, the mentoring program is able to directly enhance academics and personal effectiveness by working on skills such as setting goals, managing time and priorities, navigating finances, and improving study habits.
How can I reach my mentor?
Mentors will begin contacting new students upon disbursement of the Occupational Grant (beginning as early as August 29th). Students can reach their assigned mentors by phone, e-mail, text messaging, and other media; mentors will provide contact information to students in the first phone meeting.
Who are the InsideTrack Mentors?
If you have questions about the MnSCU Two-Year Occupational Grant Pilot Program, please contact the Office of Higher Education or the financial aid director at your college. If you have questions about a particular occupational program, please contact the occupational program's director at your college.