Day at the Capitol

Students meet with legislators to talk college funding

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March 30, 2012

By Ben Besasie

While tuition increases each year, students ask for help to fund their college education. On March 22, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University students traveled to the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul to talk with state legislators about the importance of the Minnesota State Grant program in the hopes of keeping it off the chopping blocks during state budget discussions.

The Minnesota State Grant program is a source of money for more than one out of four Minnesota college students. This funding helps students at both public and private universities, targeting low- and middle-income families. Over 1,000 CSB and SJU students are receiving State Grant aid this year.

"Our presence sends the message that we believe in the school we go to and that anyone should be able to come here too, without being financially restricted," Kate Paul, CSB sophomore, said.

Students reached out to inform lawmakers, to share their personal stories, and to keep college affordable for thousands of students. Throughout the day, they met with lawmakers either one-on-one or in small groups. Roughly $3.5 million in State Grant awards are given to CSB and SJU students each year.

"It was important to meet with legislators about the Grant Program because it is establishes a more intimate connection between legislators and the students who are directly affected by the program," Paul said.

A total of 29 CSB and SJU students attended "Day at the Capitol." To help give others the Bennie and Johnnie experience, these students took the initiative to make college more affordable.