It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different proposals for balancing the state budget. The Senate just started laying out their own proposal, which is similar to the Governor’s but includes some key differences, according to Minnesota Budget Bites.
I immediately noticed the difference in funding reductions for the Minnesota State grant program. As a Macalester student and a MN State Grant recipient, it caught my eye that Gov. Pawlenty has proposed a $2.3 million permanent cut to the program. The Senate does not cut base funding for the State Grant program.
I probably wouldn’t have noticed this at all except that Macalester’s Day at the Capital to advocate for the program was last week. The MN State Grant program helps over 84,000 Minnesota students like myself pay for college.
That’s more than one-third of college students who are residents of Minnesota.
The program benefits students attending all institutions, as you can see by the picture above.
Almost every college student I know cringes when they think of the loans they need to take out in order to pay for their education. This program is so important because it helps students like me minimize their borrowing and future debt, while keeping higher education accessible.
We must avoid Gov. Pawlenty’s proposal to make permanent cuts to this program. We need to make sure the state budget isn’t balanced on the backs of low- and middle-income college students who are trying to pay for their education without becoming financially paralyzed.
To learn more about the MN State Grant Program, check out Minnesota’s Private Colleges.
Photo credit: MN Private Colleges