By: Suzy Rook
May 23, 2017
The Minnesota State Senate on Sunday passed a $3.28 billion higher education budget that provides funding increases for Minnesota’s higher education institutions.
The budget includes a $1.66 million increase for Riverland Community College in Owatonna, and a $1.8 million increase for South Central College in Faribault. In addition, all two-year non-metro colleges will receive additional supplemental funding of at least $100,000, but potentially as much as $300,000.
“Minnesota has long tradition of strong colleges and universities,” said Sen. John Jasinski (R-Faribault). “Riverland and South Central College are an important part of that tradition, and our budget makes sure they’ll have the resources they need to continue that track record of success.”
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 percent to be put before students for a vote.
Suzy Rook is the Regional Managing Editor for the Faribault Daily News, Northfield News, Lonsdale Area News-Review and The Kenyon Leader.