Undergraduate students, faculty and staff can sign up for St. Thomas “Day at the Capitol,” which will take place Tuesday, March 7. This is an opportunity to meet with legislators to discuss the importance of the Minnesota State Grant Program.
The visit will be from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., and participants will join members of St. Thomas political science classes 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 has awarded $6.2 million in need-based financial aid to 1,260 St. Thomas students who are Minnesota residents, for an average grant of $4,900. The state program is one of two government-backed grant programs; 1,040 St. Thomas students receive federal Pell Grants totaling $4.2 million this year, an average of $4,081.
Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a 17 percent increase in the state program for the next two academic years. If approved by the Legislature, the additional funds would result in an increase of more than $700 for many state grant recipients.
“The governor believes in the value of the grant program and wants to continue to invest additional money to help students,” said Doug Hennes, vice president for government relations and special projects at St. Thomas. “Our Day at the Capitol visit will provide a great opportunity for students to thank legislators for their past support and encourage them to support the governor’s proposal.”
People can sign up for Day at the Capitol through March 3 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. To sign up, go to http://www.mnprivatecolleges.org/day-capitol-registration.