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Over $900,000 in Emergency Assistance Grants Awarded to Help Minnesota Colleges Better Support Students



The Emergency Assistance for Postsecondary Students (EAPS) grant program allows students to handle an unforeseen financial crisis, which can mean the difference between staying in school and dropping out

St. Paul, Minn. — Today, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) announced recipients of 2024 Emergency Assistance for Postsecondary Students (EAPS) grant funding. Over $900,000 in EAPS funding will help 10 Minnesota tribal and private, nonprofit institutions provide campus-run emergency assistance support to students.

“The cost of attending college is more than tuition and fees,” OHE Commissioner Dennis Olson said. “When students experience unexpected emergency situations, this funding ensures they have the support necessary to stay enrolled in their degree program and focus on their number one priority: learning.”

Many lower-income students lack financial support or family resources to meet unexpected expenses while attending college. Support provided to students through EAPS-supported emergency grant programs is meant to provide “just-in-time funds” to overcome a personal financial crisis, so that students no longer have to choose between paying an unexpectedly large bill and staying in college.

EAPS allows institutions to create or supplement their own institutional emergency grant programs, while taking a holistic and community-based approach to support students. Students can apply to receive up to $1,500 for rent payments, utilities, groceries, transportation or other basic needs.

Since the program's inception in 2017, the number of colleges seeking EAPS funding has grown each year. During the 2023 legislative session, Governor Tim Walz's historic Higher Education Omnibus Bill secured $1 million over the 2024-25 biennium to expand the EAPS program, while increasing the maximum annual award amount to $75,000 per institution.

The increased funding helps to offset the recent expiration of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) federal grant, enacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as inflation and rising housing costs, and is projected to assist an additional 1,400 students at awarded institutions.

In addition to EAPS, $6 million was invested over the next biennium to directly support emergency grant programs at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system schools. 

Awarded institutions include:

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