Access to Excellence Scholarship Campaign Raises $39.5 Million -- Double its Goal

Posted: October 21, 2015

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct. 21, 2015 – Initially launched in 2013 as the most ambitious coordinated scholarship drive in the history of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the two-year Access to Excellence statewide fund raising campaign concluded with a total of $39.5 million raised for new scholarships, nearly double the original goal of $20 million. The campaign has funded more than 28,000 scholarships, 75 percent more than the original goal of 16,000.

“A unified campaign across all our colleges and universities had never been launched before, but we took on this challenge because we knew how absolutely critical scholarships are to ensuring that our campuses continue to be a place of hope and opportunity for all Minnesotans,” said Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. “A scholarship is often the most important factor in whether someone can go to college, focus on classwork, and make it to the finish line. As a result of these scholarships, thousands of students are now closer to realizing their dreams of a brighter future.”

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities serve nearly 100,000 low income students, more than all other higher education providers in Minnesota combined. The campaign wraps up at a time when affordability is more critical than ever for students and their families.

  • This academic year, 69 percent of all MnSCU students are seeing no increase in tuition, and for academic year 2016-2017, 31 percent of MnSCU students will see no increase in tuition, and 69 percent of MnSCU students will see a one percent decrease in tuition.
  • The average annual cost of tuition and fees for full-time students (before scholarships and grants) at Minnesota State colleges is $5,399, one-third the cost of private colleges.
  • At Minnesota State universities, this cost is $7,999, about half (57 percent) the cost of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and 25 percent of the cost of private colleges and universities.

“We owe this fabulous success to the truly extraordinary generosity of thousands of donors and the outstanding work of foundation boards and staff, volunteers, and our presidents,” said Rosenstone. “Thank you all for the powerful investments you have made in the lives of our students.”


The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities include 30 community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving more than 400,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system in the United States.