Legislative Update for January 16th, 2017

Greetings North Dakota ASPIRE members,

I hope that the new year is treating you well.  As you know, the 2017 Legislative Session convened on January 3, 2017.  One of the things that I am watching at this point is funding levels for the North Dakota State Grant, the need-based state grant program for ND residents.

The Higher Education funding bill from the North Dakota University System, Senate Bill 2003, did not show any increase in funding for the need-based Student Financial Assistance Grant, also referred to as the North Dakota State Grant.  In addition, Governor Dalrymple’s budget recommended a $1.97 million decrease in the State Grant.   Recently, Governor Rick Burgum has proposed further cuts to the Higher Education budget, but the implications of those cuts have yet to be determined.  Of course, the legislators will also introduce their own changes to the Higher Education budget before the final passage of SB 2003.

Currently, individual awards for the ND State Grant are at $1950 per year.  Level funding or reductions may reduce the number of students who are eligible to receive it.   This is not good news for low-income students, especially if accompanied by tuition increases.  For more information or to contact your legislators about this issue, here is a link to the 2017 Legislative site:  2017 ND Legislature

Mary Fredricks,

ND ASPIRE State Initiative

 

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