This is a historic moment. The higher education budget bill passed by the Minnesota Legislature and signed today by Governor Tim Walz provides a needed investment in public higher education and reestablishes Minnesota as a national leader in keeping college affordable for students.
Among the bill’s key provisions is the “North Star Promise,” which will cover 100% of tuition and fees to two-year and four-year colleges and universities — including Bemidji State and Northwest Technical College — for students from families that make less than $80,000 annually. The bill further includes a tuition freeze for students from families with incomes above the threshold, and it additionally funds full tuition and fee waivers for American Indian students who are either a Minnesota resident or an enrolled member or citizen of a Minnesota Tribal Nation, regardless of resident status.
In short, students win. And when students win, so do our colleges and universities and so do our local economies. This truly is a revolutionary package of legislation that will help carry Minnesota into a brighter future.
Our entire campus communities — students, faculty and staff — thank Representative Gene Pelowski and Senator Omar Fateh for their leadership in the development and passage of this bill, and for all members of the House and Senate higher education finance committees for their tireless work throughout the session. We are also grateful for Governor Walz, who has shown his support for this legislation by signing the bill into law.
This bill will support both BSU and NTC in our vital work to continue providing high-quality education that is affordable, accessible and equitable for all Minnesotans.
John L. Hoffman, Ph.D.
Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College