By Sarah Clarke
MSCSA Director of Government Relations
MSCSA is seeking working, part-time students at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) who receive the Minnesota State Grant to share their story.
Last session, in partnership with MnSCU, the Minnesota State University Student Association, the Interfaculty Organization, and the Minnesota State College Faculty, MSCSA worked to pass a pilot program to aid working, part-time students.
While the pilot program was passed in large part because of leadership of Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Chair Senator Terri Bonoff, bill authors Senator Kent Eken and Senator Bobby Joe Champion, as well as the House Higher Education Finance and Policy Chair Representative Gene Pelowski, it was the stories of countless students from across the state that ensured this pilot program was signed into law.
Prior to this change in the Minnesota State Grant Program, part-time students who worked would receive less funding in proportion to both full-time students and part-time students who do not work. Last year, Kelly Charpentier-Berg, a student at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, testified in front of the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee about how she balances her academic coursework, being a parent of three children, and multiple jobs. Matt Rubel, a student at North Hennepin Community College, testified in front of the Committee about attending college part-time because it is the only way he can earn his two-year degree without accruing student loan debt. In addition to testimony at the legislature, students called, emailed, and met with lawmakers to share their stories and advocate for working, part-time students.
While this pilot program is a great first step in serving these hardworking students, we need your help to make this a permanent change. Please contact me to learn about how you can share your story to advocate for Minnesota students. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-203-9458.