The Minnesota State Senate delivered on its commitment to strong higher education institutions with a $3.28 billion budget (Senate File 943) that boosts funding for the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State campuses.
“The strength of Minnesota’s economy hinges on strong higher education,” said Senate Higher Education Committee Vice-Chairman Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake). “This cuts across party lines – Republicans, Democrats, and the governor’s office came together to make this bill the best it could be for students and universities across Minnesota.“
“I’m particularly happy my bill to forgive loans for large animal veterinarians was included in the final agreement,” added Sen. Draheim. “These vets are crucial to Greater Minnesota communities, and we need to recruit as many of them as possible.”
In addition to significant funding increases for the University of Minnesota and Minnesota state campuses, the higher education budget bill increases funding by $210 million over forecasted spending for a number of critical programs, such as:
- $36 million for the state grant program for financial aid
- $8 million to advance cancer research
- $5 million for Spinal Cord and Traumatic Brain Injury Research
- $1 million for Workforce Development Scholarships
- $750,000 for Large Animal Veterinarian Loan Forgiveness
- $400,000 to help students with intellectual or developmental disabilities
- $350,000 for students facing homelessness
The bill also includes a modified tuition freeze for Minnesota State campuses, and a provision requiring student fee increases of more than 2% to be put before students for a vote.