Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up for St. Thomas “Day at the Capitol” on Wednesday, April 9, and meet with legislators to discuss the importance of the Minnesota State Grant Program.

The visit will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and participants will join members of a St. Thomas political science class in meetings with senators and representatives from their home districts. St. Thomas will run a bus between the St. Paul campus and the Capitol.

This year, the State Grant Program awarded $5.56 million in need-based financial aid to 1,426 St. Thomas undergraduate students who are Minnesota residents, for an average grant of $3,900. The state program is one of two government-backed grant programs; the federal Pell Grant program awarded $5.1 million to 1,278 St. Thomas students, an average of $3,991.

Last spring, Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature increased two-year funding for the state program by $50 million, and the average grant received by a St. Thomas recipient jumped by $300 this year.

“The governor and lawmakers made a significant investment in the grant program last year,” said Doug Hennes, vice president for university and government relations at St. Thomas. “Our Day at the Capitol visits will provide a good opportunity for students to say thank you and explain how the program helps them pay for their education.”

People can register for Day at the Capitol through April 4 but are encouraged to do so as early as possible in order to give the Minnesota Private College Council enough time to schedule meetings with legislators. Register online.

Questions? Contact Hennes at (651) 962-6402, or Derek Hilgers, legislative senator for the Undergraduate Student Government, at (763) 807-2008.