Don't expect debate over State Grants and for-profit students this legislative session

Should State Grants be for all?

It’s a debate that seems to come up every few years: Should needy students who attend the state’s for-profit schools receive state money to help pay tuition?

Critics say giving those students financial aid from the Minnesota State Grant program amounts to a public subsidy for for-profit schools.  Some lawmakers, who say it’s unlikely students would ever be cut off from the program, say for-profit colleges should meet new performance benchmarks in order to have their students qualify for the grants.

Other lawmakers, and officials at the for-profit schools themselves, think the system is fine the way it is.  They maintain the State Grant program is about student choice: the state offers the grants to students and they decide where the money goes.

At this point it doesn’t sound like the discussion will get much play during the legislative session. You can see my story on the issue at the MPR News website.