Minnesota Financial Aid Programs and Policy
Minnesota state government provides over $180 million annually in postsecondary student financial aid to help students from low- and moderate-income families finance their postsecondary education. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education is responsible for administering these state-funded student financial aid programs.
The largest financial aid program is the Minnesota State Grant Program. However, there are several smaller programs targeted for specific student populations to help support their financial needs.
Data trends on funding and program recipients are available on individual program pages.
The Campus Financial Aid Administrator Resources section explains the criteria for student eligibility, statutes governing the program, and agency rules used to administer each program.
'Free College' in MinnesotaThe Office of Higher Education regularly assesses policies related to state student financial aid programs. Most recently, the agency produced the policy brief "'Free College' in Minnesota" to analyze ways to apply 'free college' programs in Minnesota. Read the full brief.
Preliminary Analysis ― Affordability in Minnesota
As college costs continue to rise faster than family incomes, the state is in danger of pricing its most critical populations out of higher education. While Minnesota has invested in both institutional appropriations and need-based financial aid, families and students still must juggle work and family responsibilities in order to enroll in and complete college. Understanding the complexity of higher education financing and the relative affordability of college for its citizens will allow the state to craft policies seeking to maximize affordability for critical groups, thus ensuring access and completion for students. This preliminary analysis of college affordability in Minnesota outlines a working definition of affordability to guide state higher education policy. Read the full report.
Using Data to Determine Institutional Participation in State Student Aid Programs
The 2013 Minnesota Legislature mandated the Office of Higher Education to collect data and identify criteria that could be used to determine institutional eligibility to participate in state financial aid programs. Two reports were prepared:
- Using Data to Determine Institutional Participation in State Student Aid Programs discusses the goals and priorities needed for this proposal, highlights existing criteria institutions must meet, and lays out a process for developing additional criteria based on institutional performance for participation in state financial aid. Related data tables.
- Using Data to Determine Institutional Participation in State Student Aid Programs Report 2 (January 2015) proposes a framework of metrics for determining institutional participation in state financial aid program, lays out an implementation steps, and serves to highlight issues for consideration in moving forward.
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- Minnesota Financial Aid: Appropriation & Recipient Trends
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