Posted at: 03/07/2013 4:25 PM
Updated at: 03/07/2013 9:19 PM
Larry Pogemiller, Director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, traveled to the Iron Range Thurdsay to discuss Governor Dayton's budget recommendations for higher education with students.
Dayton is proposing a balanced $240 million investment for postsecondary education, the largest percentage increase for any area of the state budget.
His recommended $80 million for the Minnesota State Grant program is the largest increase in direct student aid in over 25 years, expanding eligibility for over 5,000 additional students and providing a grant increase for nearly 100,000 Minnesota students.
Dayton's budget also helps hold the line on tuition increases, invests in internships and state-of-the art equipment and will help retain high-quality faculty.
Pogemiller met with students from five of the Iron Range colleges at the Mesabi Range campus in Virginia.
They told him that they wished there was more equality when it came to financial aid, especially for part-time and non-traditional students.
Pogemiller said that is a possibility, since so many lawmakers are talking about this issue. But it depends on how much money can be gleaned from the legislature.
Other regional leaders were also part of the discussion.
The students told Pogemiller they appreciate the level of education they can achieve here at home.