LeadMN Goes To Washington

Earlier this week student leaders from LeadMN travelled to Washington D.C. for the D.C. Student Summit, a partnership between LeadMN and Today’s Student Coalition to bring students from across the country to advocate with their members of Congress. During meetings with members of the Minnesota Congressional delegation LeadMN students shared their stories on issues like college affordability, basic needs, textbook costs, and mental health. Students asked members of Congress to prioritize increasing and Doubling the Pell Grant, making the temporary SNAP changes for college students permanent, investing in OER programs, and creating a permanent federal student emergency grant program.

See the Today’s Student Coalition and LeadMN advocacy handout here.
See LeadMN’s full federal legislative agenda here.


students meet with Tina Smith

Bipartisan Appropriations Bill Passes

Just days after LeadMN returned from Washington D.C., Congress responded to some of the very issues our students raised by finalizing and passing the $1.5 trillion bipartisan Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations Bill. Included in the bill are multiple items which LeadMN students advocated on earlier this week:

  • A $400 increase in the maximum Pell Grant. This will put the maximum Pell Grant at $6,895 for the 2022-23 award year. This is the single largest increase in the Pell Grant since 2009.

  • $11 million for Open Textbook Pilot to expand the use of OER’s. This is a $4 million increase over last year.

  • $8 million for competitive grants to colleges to “support programs that address the basic needs of students and report on best practices.” This is part of the $76 million for the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE).

Also included in the appropriations bill are increases to many federal higher education programs:

  • $20 million increase in the Federal Work Study program.

  • $40 million increase in the TRIO program.

  • $10 million increase in the Gear Up program.

  • $15 million increase in the SEOG program.

  • $25 million increase to HBCU funding.

  • $34 million increase to Hispanic Serving Institutions.

  • $6 million increase for tribally controlled colleges and universities.

Read more about the details of the bill here.