Applebaum Introduces Academic Excellence Grant Program

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Today, Rep. Jon Applebaum (DFL – Minnetonka) introduced H.F. 820, creating a grant program for high-achieving students to attend college in Minnesota at a substantially reduced cost.  The Academic Excellence Grant Program would provide grants to Minnesota students who earn above a 3.5 GPA throughout high school and receive a score of 25 or higher on the American College Testing (ACT) college readiness test, and have an adjusted household income under $100,000 at any postsecondary institution in the University of Minnesota or Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

“The costs associated with attending four-year in-state colleges and universities are out of control and often discourage young people from earning a college degree,” explained Rep. Applebaum.  He added, “This bill is a major step towards eliminating barriers for high-achieving students not only to earn their degrees, but to do so here in Minnesota.  It’s time we make a bold commitment to accomplishing these important objectives.”

If enacted, all tuition and fees not covered by other grants and scholarships would be provided under the Academic Excellence Grant Program.  Minnesota’s existing State Grants Program is based solely on financial need.  At present, 70% of students receiving state grants come from families with an adjusted income under $40,000.  Rep. Applebaum’s proposal, modeled after Georgia’s HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarship Programs, would fill funding gaps that exist for high-achieving students beyond the State Grant program, the Federal Pell Grant program, and other scholarships a student may be awarded.

Rep. Applebaum encourages constituents to contact him with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas. Rep. Applebaum can be reached by phone at 651-296-9934 or by email at rep.jon.applebaum@house.mn. Constituents can also visit Rep. Applebaum’s legislative page and sign up for email updates.