College Students to See Up To $200 Increase in Student Aid

MN Dept. of Higher Education | February 14, 2014

As many as 100,000 Minnesota State Grant recipients could see a modest increase in their grant award next fall, based on new projections released today by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE). Revised college enrollment numbers, and recent increases in the federal Pell Grant program, have freed up additional State Grant dollars--meaning thousands of low- and middle-income college students could see a one-time increase of up to $200 in their State Grant award next fall.

"Any additional help we can give students to cover the cost of pursuing a postsecondary education is good news," said Higher Education Commissioner Larry Pogemiller. "This modest adjustment to the State Grant program builds on the work Governor Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature began last session to have grant awards be more realistic in covering the actual cost of college, enabling many students to take on less debt."

OHE projects that after all awards are distributed to eligible students, the $182 million Minnesota State Grant program will have an additional $17.6 million left on the bottom line. These projections are based on assumptions for enrollment, cost of tuition and fees, and changes in wages and federal changes in financial aid policy, including Pell Grants. [Read More]


Angel Tax Credit Leverages Millions, Creates 500 Jobs 

MN Dept. of Employment and Economic Development | February 14, 2014

The Angel Tax Credit leveraged over $107 million of private investment in Minnesota technology based startup companies and supported over 500 jobs from 2010 to 2012, according to an independent evaluation of the program by the Economic Development Research Group (EDRG).

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development officially launched Minnesota’s Small Business Investment Tax Credit (“Angel Tax Credit”) in July 2010, which was designed to encourage early stage investment technology-based businesses in the state.  Statute required the Minnesota Department of Revenue to contract with an independent consultant to complete an evaluation of the program after three years.

“The Angel Tax Credit program has a proven track record of success in assisting promising startups in their early stages of development,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “This independent study highlights a number of positive ways the Angel Tax Credit is impacting Minnesota’s small business community.” [Read More]

Minnesota Students Save $44 Million by Taking Advanced Placement Courses

MN Dept. of Education | February 13, 2014

More Minnesota high school students are taking rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) courses than ever before, and those course offerings are paying off—both academically and financially. A new report released this week by the College Board showed that Minnesota high school students posted passing scores on 42,031 AP exams in 2013 alone, earning 126,093 college credits free of charge. With an average rate of $348.93 per credit hour, those passing scores helped save Minnesota students and their families nearly $44 million. [Read More]


State Posts Highest Graduation Rate in a Decade

MN Dept. of Education | February 19, 2014

Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Commissioner Brenda Cassellius was joined today by Office of Higher Education (OHE) Commissioner Larry Pogemiller and Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben to announce that graduation rates are the highest in the last decade, with more than 79.5 percent of Minnesota high school seniors graduating in 2013, up from 77.6 percent in 2012. This increase is twice the yearly increase seen over the past three years, showing acceleration in progress for Minnesota seniors.

"Today is a great day for students throughout Minnesota," Cassellius said. "We are not only seeing a higher graduation rate for all students, but increases in the number of students graduating in every single group. These increases are the result of targeted investments by Governor Mark Dayton and the Legislature, as well as greater accountability for schools through our waiver, and the incredible work being done each and every day by Minnesota’s educators."

Across the board, all student groups showed gains, with some of the largest increases being made by black students—up 6 percent over last year—and students learning English, whose rate increased by 7.5 percent over 2012. In fact, no single group of students made less than a 3 percentage point gain.

The benefits of earning a high school diploma are both immediate and wide-reaching. From ensuring access to postsecondary options to providing better career opportunities and future earning potential, graduating from high school is an important step on a student’s path to success.

Additionally, the data show reduction in gaps between white students and students of color. The gap for both black and Hispanic students closed by 8 percent since 2010, while Asian students closed the gap by 5 percent and American Indian students saw a 2 percent gap closure. [Read More]

Minnesota Ranks Fourth in Gallup Job Creation Index 

MN Dept. of Employment and Economic Development | February 13, 2014

Minnesota ranked fourth among states last year in employee perceptions of job creation at their workplaces, according to a new study released by the Gallup organization this week.

Gallup’s Job Creation Index is a measure of net hiring, determined by asking full- and part-time U.S. workers, aged 18 and older, whether their employer is hiring new people and expanding the size of its workforce, not changing the size of its workforce, or letting people go and reducing the size of its workforce.

“The Gallup Job Creation Index results are another positive indication of a strong economy in Minnesota,” said Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). “High scores in the index strongly correlate with standard of living and confidence in the economy rankings.”

Minnesota, which has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 4.6 percent, created nearly 46,000 jobs in the past year. A separate study by the Bureau of Economic Analysis last year ranked the state fifth in growth of gross domestic product in 2012. [Read More]

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