The state college and university board is expected to give the go-ahead today to ask the 2019 legislature for a 246-million-dollar funding increase. Chancellor Devinder Malhotra says it’s the largest request in recent memory. “The way I look at it is, we are an imperative for the state of Minnesota, to meet the workforce challenges and to meet… higher education needs of all Minnesotans,” Malhotra says.
The state college and university system’s expected request comes as Governor-elect Tim Walz is preparing to assemble his proposed state budget for 2020 and ’21. Walz during his campaign stressed investments in Minnesota, but the Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate will try to rein-in spending.
And low-income students could attend community or technical college for two years in Minnesota and pay *no* out-of-pocket tuition, under a plan the Minnesota State Board votes on today. Chancellor Malhotra says, “We’re asking the legislature that, once the student has all the state grants and financial and federal grants — once the student has those grants, whatever the gap between the tuition and those grants is, we will use these resources to make up for that.” And Malhotra says if any person (regardless of income) starts at a community or technical college and transfers to a four-year state university, they would have *no* out-of-pocket tuition expense for year three of their schooling. It’s expected the state college and university system will ask the legislature for the 25 million dollars as part of its larger request for an increase in funding.