Students, faculty and staff still can sign up for St. Thomas “Day at the Capitol” on Thursday, March 18, and meet with legislators to discuss the importance of the Minnesota State Grant Program.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will include a briefing by Minnesota Private College Council staff members and St. Thomas alumni who are legislators or work at the Capitol. Participants will meet with senators and representatives from their home districts.

A bus will leave the Arches at 9:45 a.m. for the Capitol and will return at 1:15 and 2:15.

People can sign up for Day at the Capitol through Monday, but are encouraged to do so as soon as possible in order to give the MPCC staff members enough time to schedule meetings with legislators. To sign up, go to the Minnesota Private College Council Web site and click on the “Register for Day at the Capitol 2010” link.

This year, the State Grant Program has awarded $5.2 million in need-based financial aid to 1,472 St. Thomas undergraduate students who are Minnesota residents, for an average grant of $3,520. Legislators last year set the state grant budget for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years, but there are concerns the program could face cuts as the state makes up a nearly $1 billion shortfall projected for the two-year period that ends June 30, 2011.

Questions? Call Doug Hennes, University Relations, (651) 962-6402, or David Brand, legislative senator for the Undergraduate Student Government, (262) 613-9121.