One Minnesota Bill Includes Historic Investments in Higher Education
On May 24, 2023, Governor Tim Walz signed the One Minnesota Budget into law, which includes an historic investment of an additional $650 million for higher education in the next biennium. The staff at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education have begun working through the process of implementation for new programs. We will update our website as soon as updates on implementation are available.
Click here to read the Higher Education 2023 Legislative Fact Sheet.
A note for all Minnesota students currently attending, or planning to attend, a Minnesota college or university: In order to access any of the State's existing or new financial aid programs, you must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or MN Dream Act application.
The Higher Education portion of the One Minnesota Bill includes:
- North Star Promise Program. This new financial aid program will cover the cost of tuition and fees for Minnesota families earning less than $80,000 AGI a year. Students must meet all state financial aid eligibility and attend a public higher education institution or tribal college. This investment will break down financial barriers for an estimated 15,000-20,000 Minnesota students.
- Minnesota State Grant. The One Minnesota Budget increases State Grant support to students by increasing eligibility for the Living Miscellaneous Expense (LME) from 109% to 115% of the federal poverty limit. In addition, students will now be eligible for Minnesota State Grants up to 180 credits, which aligns with the federal Pell Grant. An estimated 1,600 additional students will be eligible for State Grants thanks to this investment. In addition, the current 67,000 students who receive State Grants will receive increases in their grants.
- Minnesota American Indian Scholars Program. This program will provide a first dollar tuition and fee-free pathway for any Minnesota resident who is an enrolled member or citizen of a federally recognized tribe or Canadian First Nation to attend a Minnesota State institution or the University of Minnesota. Any non-resident student who is an enrolled member or citizen of a Minnesota Tribal Nation is also eligible for the program. An estimated 2,000 students will benefit from this investment.
- Funding for Tribal Colleges. The One Minnesota Budget provides tribal colleges in the state with support for general operations and maintenance expenses. By providing this funding to Minnesota tribal colleges, they will have a greater ability to support their students in the completion of their degree programs.
- Next Generation Nursing Assistant Initiative. Continued investment in this program ensures more Minnesotans have access to free nursing assistant training. To date, this initiative has trained over 3,000 Minnesotans and is playing a vital role in helping hospitals, nursing homes, and veterans homes find qualified candidates for hard-to-fill positions.
- Minnesota State Tuition Freeze. Minnesota State college and university students will see a tuition frozen for the next two academic years, saving students around $150-$300 each year.
- Student Parent Support Initiative. This investment will benefit students who are parents or soon-to-be parents by establishing a new competitive grant program. Colleges and universities will use grant funds to implement programs that support the unique needs of parenting students such as affordable and quality childcare, early education programs, mental health support, and stable housing support.
- Dual Training Grants. An increased investment in this grant will support more Minnesota businesses to implement work-based learning programs. In addition, eligible industries have been expanded to include Transportation and Early Childhood/Childcare.
Additional items include:
- Additional funding for the State's Emergency Assistance for Postsecondary Students (EAPS) Grant Program to ensure students who experience a short-term emergency while attending college have the support necessary to stay enrolled and complete their program.
- Increased investment for Underrepresented Student Teacher Grant, Student Teachers in Shortage Areas Grant, and the Teacher Shortage Loan Repayment Program to help bolster our educator workforce pipeline.
- Funding to maintain and expand Minnesota's Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System (ECLDS) and Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System (SLEDS). This nationally recognized database uses student data from pre-kindergarten through completion of postsecondary education and into the workforce to inform policy making decisions and for research purposes.
- A Tribal Relations Director at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.
- Scholarship funding for individuals pursuing a career as a paramedic.
- Funding for fellowships in addiction medicine.
- Increases funding for loan repayment for lawyers supporting low-income clients.
Funding for Minnesota State and the University of Minnesota:
- The University of Minnesota received an additional investment of $4 million for the Natural Resources Research Institute, and $10 million for safety and security, $10 million to support their CentraCare partnership, and $100 million to support ongoing operations and maintenance.
- In addition to funding for a tuition freeze, the Minnesota State system saw an investment of $50 million in one-time campus supports, $6.3 million for programs to support student mental health and basic needs, and $13.5 million for workforce equipment and learning environments.
To learn more about the One Minnesota Budget and read about all higher education investments included in the bill, click here to visit Governor Walz's website.