MnSCU "Access to Excellence" Campaign to Raise $20 Million in Scholarships

Posted: June 4, 2013

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@so.mnscu.edu, 651-201-1426

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) has launched Access to Excellence, a statewide fund-raising campaign with the goal of generating $20 million for scholarships through fiscal 2015 to assist 16,000 MnSCU students. Access to Excellence represents the most ambitious scholarship goal in MnSCU history.

“Unmet financial need is a major factor preventing many students of modest financial means from completing a college degree,” said Steven Rosenstone, MnSCU chancellor. “The availability of need-based scholarships will help enable more low income students to enroll and help students complete their program or degree in a timely fashion.”

The initiative was announced in conjunction with a meeting of volunteer board members and institutional advancement officers from 42 affiliated foundations throughout the MnSCU system. Speakers at the Access to Excellence kick-off event included Wendy Hanson, scholarship recipient and alumna of North Hennepin Community College; Fred Goldschmidt, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Foundation Board Chair; Deeann J. Griebel, Managing Director – Investments, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC; and Mike Newman, Vice President of Travelers Foundation.

The Access to Excellence campaign is one element in MnSCU’s ongoing commitment to remain the state’s highest value, most affordable higher education option. Additional elements include a commitment to generate $44 million in efficiencies and cost control over the next two years, tuition rates that are substantially lower than the state’s other higher education options, and a tuition freeze for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years. As a result of these and other initiatives, more students graduate from the colleges and universities of MnSCU with little or no debt than is true of the state’s other colleges and universities.

The 31 colleges and universities of MnSCU educate 58% of all Minnesota undergraduates, serve more students of color than any other provider of higher education in Minnesota, provide educational services to nearly 11,000 veterans, and serve more low income students than all of the state’s other higher education providers combined.