Minnesota State’s Budget Request - What to know as a student.

written by | Director of Government Relations Sarah Berns


On Tuesday, November 14th, the Minnesota State Board of Trustees approved the 2020-2021 Biennial Budget request. As a reminder Minnesota State relies heavily on state appropriations for their operating budgets. This year, after being encouraged by bargaining units, the system office created a proposal that they say represents what they need. The total request is $246 million in additional funding. This is a much larger request that the system has proposed in recent years.

The request contains a number of different provisions detailed below:

Minnesota State 2019 Legislative Biennial Budget Request

  • $37 million to support ISRS

    • This would fund the needed ISRS Next Gen enterprise system upgrade.

    • This system is vital to the success of the Minnesota State system and every institution. This data system touches every activity, application, registration, course schedule, housing, financial aid, transcripts, system finance, accounting and HR.

    • The current system is 20 years old and reaching the technological end of it’s capability.

  • $169 million to provide funding for programs and inflationary costs

    • This would allow the institutions to continue to provide high quality programs and fund inflationary costs at three percent each year of the biennium.

  • $25 million to provide two new scholarship programs targeting enrollment and completion

    • “Mn State College Promise Program” for new and continuing college students

      • Supports students with greatest financial need-the program is designed to focus on improving retention and completion for students in certificate, diploma, and degree programs.

      • Estimated cost:

        • FY 2020 - $9 Million

        • FY2021 - $5 Million

        • FY20/21 - $14 Million

      • Research suggests an average grant of $1,000 per term to fill unmet need after Pell and state grants are awarded.

    • “Mn State University Transfer Scholarship” for transfer from our colleges to our universities      

      • This grant encourages transfer from our colleges to our universities. It also encourages progression from AA to BA/BS or diploma to degree. A scholarship is not proposed for certificate completion.

  • $15 million to address the workforce gap through innovative career, technical and professional programming serving business and industry

    • This funding will be used to expand career technical education and professional programming in sectors with high employment growth and demand in sustainable wage occupations.

    • Also, leverage campus and system capacity for collaborative program development and delivery.

    • It would also be used to develop new teacher education pathways in career technical education in support of K-12 and higher education programming.

It is the system’s goal that if the request is fully funded, students would not see an increase in their tuition from this year.

This weekend at Minnesota State University Moorhead, Students United will be hosting it’s fall conference where students from around the state will set the state and federal legislative agendas for the upcoming year. As students craft the state agenda, this request will likely be debated and discussed. Stay tuned for more information on our legislative agendas and our advocacy work!

Aly Hagglund