Greetings North Dakota ASPIRE Members,
I hope that things are going well in your programs as we head into second semester!
As you know, the 64th North Dakota Legislature began its work on Monday, January 5th. At this point, the big question is how legislators will make appropriations for the state’s needs, as oil prices continue to drop. Some are optimistic because oil revenue makes up only 4% of the General Fund and the state has numerous “rainy day” funds to which oil revenue has been channeled. However, other legislators may decide that trimming the budget is the proper response. Time will tell.
Despite uncertainties, there is some encouraging news in the Higher Education Funding Bill, House Bill 1003. The North Dakota State Grant Program may see a general fund increase of $1.7 million to increase this need-based grant by 4% per year, from $1650 in for FY15, to $1716 in FY16 and $1784 in FY17. The merit based Career and Technical Education and Academic Scholarship (ACA/CTE) program may see be increased to $2500 per year (maximum of $10,000 for 4 years) for new recipients beginning in 2015-17. Funding for current recipients will remain at $1500 per year (maximum of $6000 for 4 years). There is also a proposal to prohibit increases in tuition rates at two-year institutions under the control of the state board of higher education, in HB 1043.
Thanks for your attention. Watch for additional posts as the Legislative Session unfolds.
ND ASPIRE State Initiative