ST. PAUL, Minn. – After a highly successful launch in the 2018 - 2019 academic year, and continued growth in the 2019 - 2020 academic year, Minnesota State is poised for a dramatic expansion of the Workforce Development Scholarship program. For students enrolling fall semester 2020, nearly 2,200 scholarships of $2,500 each will be available to students in Minnesota State colleges and universities.
The program, funded by an appropriation from the legislature, offers scholarships of $2,500 to students who enroll in programs leading to high demand occupations in healthcare services, advanced manufacturing, information technology, transportation, early childhood education, or agriculture. Students enrolled in eligible programs can receive two years of financial support (up to $5,000), plus a third year worth an additional $2,500 if they complete a two-year degree and transfer to one of Minnesota State’s four-year universities. The $2,500 scholarships cover about half the cost of full time tuition at Minnesota State community and technical colleges, which averages $4,960 per year for tuition and fees, before federal and state grants and other scholarships.
During fall, 2019, 650 students enrolled at all 30 Minnesota State colleges received over $800,000 in scholarships, a 56% increase over the number of scholarship recipients over the prior academic year. Demand for scholarships is high, as some campuses reported more than 200 applicants for a limited number of awards.
Colleges are also leveraging state-funding by creating partnerships with campus supporters such as local chambers of commerce and employers, to use donor gifts to increase the number or size of scholarship awards. For example, over the past two years, the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association Education Foundation has made contributions totaling $60,000 to support students in advanced manufacturing. Century College increased each scholarship to $3,000 using funds contributed by various employers, trade associations, and chambers of commerce.
Students interested in learning more about these scholarships or applying for admission should visit https://www.minnstate.edu/wds for more information.
Minnesota State includes 30 community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving approximately 350,000 students. It is the third-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States.