University of Minnesota whacks scholarships for low-income students

Isn't one of the purposes of a college degree supposed to be that it helps people lift themselves up and out of challenging economic circumstances?

We ask, because the University of Minnesota has announced that it's cutting back on a key scholarship program for low-income students.

The cuts can be traced back to those dedicated budget hawks in the Legislature who have been slicing away at the university's funding. So the U has decided that one way to trim its bottom line is through the $30 million-a-year Promise Scholarship program.

But the program is actually getting hit from two sides, MPR reports. Besides the dwindling budget, there has been a marked increase during the recession in the number of students who apply and qualify for the scholarship, which pays for a student's tuition and fees not covered by grants.

Starting with incoming freshmen next year, students who qualify for the scholarship are going to have to help pay their own way, making it even harder than before for them to bootstrap their way through college.

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