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House DFLers unveil higher education budget, support tuition freeze

The Minnesota House Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee Thursday, April 4, announced a new budget the committee stated that puts students first by making college more affordable, reducing debt, and improving health and safety on campus.

The Minnesota House Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee Thursday, April 4, announced a new budget the committee stated that puts students first by making college more affordable, reducing debt, and improving health and safety on campus.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are 775,000 Minnesotans with student debt totaling $27.1 billion.

"Minnesotans from all backgrounds deserve a fair shot at earning a quality post-secondary education," stated DFL state Rep. Connie Bernardy, chair of the committee, in a news release. "The House DFL Higher Education budget eases the financial burden on working families and students, expands eligibility for grants, and will fill gaps in Minnesota's workforce shortage."

The budget freezes tuition for Minnesota students at all of the state's two- and four-year public colleges and universities, and increases financial support for working families by investing an additional $35.4 million in the state grant program. As a result, full-time students who benefit from the state grant program will receive on average more than $400 per year more in financial assistance, and 1,900 more Minnesotans will become eligible for the first time.

House DFLers are prioritizing access to mental health services and legal advocacy support for sexual assault survivors. Additionally, the budget creates hunger-free campuses with the aim to end food insecurity among students.

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The Minnesota House is expected to vote on the budget by the end of the month. It received a public hearing Wednesday.

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