On Sunday, the Minnesota legislature passed a higher education budget that could increase tuition by 1% at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges in the first year and then freezes tuition in the second year. Students can celebrate that tuition will be frozen over the last six years, regardless of whether the Minnesota State Board of Trustees decides to raise tuition.
Throughout the legislative session students advocated to make college more affordable and the legislature heard us loud and clear. Legislators from both sides of the aisle talked about the need to invest in higher education.
Now the Governor is expected to sign the legislation sometime this week, even though they are moving to a special session. This will mean that Minnesota State will receive $106 million in new funding for the next two years.
Key Victories in the Bill:
- Developmental Education Reform – the Legislature has mandated that Minnesota State develop a plan to reform the Developmental Education process to reduce the expense and time that it takes for students to complete these classes.
- Student Life fees are protected – the legislature removed language that would have prohibited mandatory student life fees. Instead they mandated that any student life fee increase above 2% be approved in a student referendum.
- ISRS partially funded – the legislature approved $8 million to support the launch of the new online system for student records that will help improve advising and allow for mobile access to students records.
- New Workforce Development Scholarship – the legislature created a new scholarship that will support students that enroll in programs that are in high demand career fields in Minnesota. These grants will primarily benefit students attending community and technical colleges.
Our efforts were successful this year because of the work of the MSCSA Groots team and the students from all over the state that made sure their voice was heard at the capitol by sending 5,000 letters to the legislature and governor.