St. Paul, MN – Six Minnesota colleges have been awarded state grants to help them address housing and food insecurity among their students.
The Emergency Assistance for Postsecondary Students (EAPS) Grant Program, signed into law last year by Governor Mark Dayton, dedicates $175,000 each year to Minnesota postsecondary institutions with a demonstrable homeless population to support the retention of students facing food or housing insecurities. Sixteen schools competed for grants in the first round.
“Sometimes college students think back rather fondly to the days of eating nothing but Ramen noodles or popcorn, or even having to crash temporarily on a friend’s sofa,” said Commissioner Larry Pogemiller, Office of Higher Education. “But for many students, food and housing insecurity pose a real threat to successfully completing their postsecondary education. We know from schools currently providing emergency services to students, such as those supported by these grants, that they can be very effective in keeping students enrolled.”
A 2015 survey conducted by MinnPost indicated that nearly 16 percent of students at Minnesota postsecondary institutions have struggled to buy food and 10 percent have experienced temporary homelessness while in school. A recent survey conducted by Boynton Health Services at the University of Minnesota found that 10 percent of U students didn’t have adequate food and over 17 percent worried about running out.
Grant applicants could either create new emergency grant programs or supplement existing emergency grant programs with their award. The maximum award is $43,000 with a required 25% institution match.
Grants have been awarded to:
- St. Catherine University, St. Paul: $30,000
- Century College, White Bear Lake:$37,500
- Inver Hills Community College, Inver Grove Heights: $30,000
- Pine Technical and Community College, Pine City: $20,000
- Normandale Community College, Bloomington: $37,500
- White Earth Tribal and Community College, Mahnomen: $20,000