Access to Excellence Scholarship campaign kicks-off with $50 million goal

ST. PAUL, Minn., June 29, 2016 – Minnesota State has launched a second phase of the Access to Excellence scholarship campaign to raise $50 million for scholarships. This goal represents the most ambitious scholarship drive in the history of Minnesota State – more than double the goal of the previous scholarship drive.

“Everything we do, everything we believe in, is focused on providing an opportunity for all Minnesotans to create a better future for themselves, for their families, and for their communities,” said Steven Rosenstone, chancellor of Minnesota State. “To make good on our commitment to being a place of hope and opportunity, we must keep higher education affordable. That is why scholarships are absolutely critical. They are a key to access, they enable students to focus on their studies, and they are central to student success. Scholarships change lives.”

The announcement of a $50 million goal for Access to Excellence follows a successful two-year campaign ended in June, 2015 that raised $39 million and funded 28,387 scholarships. In that campaign, every college and university foundation in the system exceeded its individual goal.

“As we begin this next Access to Excellence campaign, I have every confidence in our ability to achieve this new goal,” continued Rosenstone. “We have demonstrated our ability to think and act differently, and to maximize our collective strengths, resources, and talents by working together for the benefit of our students. This work will make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of Minnesotans across the state. We can do this – provided we do it together.”

Availability of scholarships is a key factor that contributes to making the colleges and universities of Minnesota State the most affordable, accessible higher education option in the state. Other factors include a tuition decrease this fall at the 30 state colleges, and a tuition freeze this fall at the seven state universities. After changes to the Minnesota State Grant Program take effect this year, all Minnesota State students who benefit from the State Grant will see a decrease in net tuition. After state and Pell grants, the average tuition cost for full-time students (two terms at 15 credits per term) for the academic year 2017 will be as low as $402 at Minnesota State colleges and $775 at Minnesota State universities.

Minnesota State consists of 37 colleges and universities with over 16,000 employees offering nearly 4,000 educational programs to nearly 400,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system in the United States.