Governor's Education Budget Plan Aims to Help Students

By KBJR News 1

March 28, 2013 Updated Mar 28, 2013 at 10:06 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's budget plan calls for investing more than $240 million in higher education.

On Thursday, the state Director of Higher Education, Larry Pogemiller spoke to students from colleges in the Duluth area about the budget proposal.

Gov. Dayton wants to get a better idea of the needs of college students in Minnesota.

The Director listened to student representatives from each college in the area about their experience when it comes to paying for a college education.

"Right now I have grants, the Benedictine scholarship I also have two loans out and the rest I work and pay off the remainder," said Amy Hill who is enrolled in the nursing program at Saint Scholastica.

Hill says Governor Dayton's proposed higher education budget plan would have an impact on the way she pays for college.

"The proposed budget plan would definitely help me and others that are receiving aid, because we are definitely struggling," says Hill.

Dayton's Budget provides 80 million dollars in state grant programs, which is the largest direct student aid increase in more than 25 years.

The goal of the budget is to take financial pressure off of students.

"As far as my out of pocket tuition, it continues to increase every year with the tuition increase so I feel as tuition increase so should grants should also be increased," said Hill.

UMD Chancellor, Lendley Black says that the governor's budget plan would allow them to freeze tuition rates which would have a positive impact on the students.

"More student success, we'll see students graduating probably sooner if we can alleviate some of the strain on students who are having to work too much and being able to modify that with the combination of holding the line on tuition as well as more student aide, we think that will help student success," said Lendley.

Pogemiller says one thing he has learned in talking with students is that they are satisfied with the quality of education they are getting, but the trade off for work and paying for an education is stressful.

The budget increase would make college more affordable for 5,000 students and provide more grant money for another 100,000.

A budget is expected to be put in place by the end of the legislative session.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.