by Lisa Thompson

Low-income Minnesota students completing grades three to 11 in spring 2011 may be eligible to participate in a summer academic enrichment program at no or low cost thanks to a new program offered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.  The program will fund up to $1,000 to attend an approved program offered by Minnesota colleges and nonprofits. These programs give students the opportunity to experience a college environment and improve their academic skills to better prepare for college.


To be eligible, students must be Minnesota residents who qualify for the free or reduced price school lunch program. Additionally, students in grades seven through 11 must:


  • have earned at least an overall “C” average or its equivalent for the most recently recorded academic term (semester/quarter/trimester) OR
  • have earned at least a “C” average or its equivalent for the most recently recorded academic term in the subject area applicable to the summer program the student wishes to attend.


To find eligible programs and application instructions go to Funding for the program will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so apply early!


“Summer is an excellent time for students to delve into a specific academic area of interest or brush up on a subject in which they need extra help,” said Dr. Nancy Walters, program manager for the Office of Higher Education. “We are pleased to be able to help more students gain access to summer program opportunities.”


The Summer Academic Enrichment Program is made possible by the federal College Access Challenge Grant Program.