Minnesota State Colleges and Universities “Access to Excellence” Scholarship Campaign Ahead of Target

Posted: October 23, 2013

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@MinnState.edu, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Access to Excellence scholarship campaign exceeded its goal for the three month period ending September 30 raising $3.6 million in new scholarships against a goal of $2.5 million. The 2-year, $20 million scholarship campaign, the first of its kind for MnSCU, is a collaborative effort of the 42 foundations affiliated with MnSCU campuses.

“Scholarships are key to enabling many students of modest financial means to attend college and complete their degrees,” said Steven Rosenstone, MnSCU chancellor. “This scholarship campaign is vital for the success of students across Minnesota. These scholarships will help ensure access to an extraordinary education for all Minnesotans and will help students complete their certificates and degrees in a timely fashion. We deeply appreciate the generosity of our donors and their commitment to ensuring that our colleges and universities remain a place of hope and opportunity.”

“Of the challenges that college students face today, financial challenges are among the most difficult to resolve,” said Alexandra Griffin, chair of the Minnesota State University Student Association (MSUSA). “This scholarship drive will provide essential help for MnSCU students and a powerful tool for attracting new students to MnSCU universities.”

“For many students, scholarships can make the difference between completing and not completing a college education,” said Kelly Charpentier-Berg, president of the Minnesota State College Student Association (MSCSA). “This scholarship program is providing critical financial support for many students.”

The Access to Excellence campaign, the most ambitious scholarship goal in MnSCU history, is one element of MnSCU’s ongoing commitment to remain the state’s highest value, most affordable higher education option. Additional elements include a commitment to generate $44 million in efficiencies and cost control over the next two years, tuition rates that are substantially lower than the state’s other higher education options, and a tuition freeze for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years. As a result of these and other initiatives, more students graduate from the colleges and universities of MnSCU with little or no debt than is true of the state’s other colleges and universities.

The 31 colleges and universities of MnSCU educate 58% of all Minnesota undergraduates, serve more students of color than any other provider of higher education in Minnesota, provide educational services to nearly 11,000 veterans, and serve more low income students than all of the state’s other higher education providers combined.