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College Continues 50% Off Tuition Grant for Unemployed in Summer Semester

March 23, 2009

Tuition compares to college costs of nearly 20 years ago.

The large-sized community college in Cambridge and Coon Rapids, Minn., Anoka-Ramsey Community College, once again reveals its commitment to the higher education needs of Minnesotans by extending its Workforce Retraining Initiative grant into summer semester 2009. With the goal of stimulating the economy through education, the grant provides summer courses at half price to those who qualify for unemployment. Anoka-Ramsey first offered this 50 percent grant just before the start of spring semester of 2009. More than 200 people took advantage of the opportunity.

Anoka-Ramsey already offers the lowest tuition and fees in the state. The Workforce Retraining Initiative offers a total cost per credit $76.75.  A price comparable to that offered by many colleges in the late 1980s – early 1990s.

“We work extremely hard here to keep college costs as low as possible for students because we see it as an investment in people, to keep our communities strong, competitive,” says Anoka-Ramsey President, Dr. Patrick M. Johns. “With unemployment rising, the time to act is now. We have heard from so many people who have lost their jobs and would not have been able to afford college if it wasn’t for this opportunity. They want to get back to work, and by obtaining additional training, they will be more marketable.”

The college is able to provide this opportunity by filling spaces available in courses already scheduled for summer semester. In addition, there is support among college faculty and staff to reallocate funds within the college to support this initiative. Some college employees have gone as far as offering donations through the college foundations.

Anyone who is eligible for unemployment benefits, and has documentation from the Minnesota Workforce Center, is eligible to take advantage of the half-priced tuition option. Those interested should start the process immediately by first gathering the unemployment documentation at http://www.uimn.org. Second, contact the college at 763-433-1410 to register for a Workforce Retraining Express Session. Facilitated by Anoka-Ramsey counselors and advisors, these sessions provide a one-stop meeting to complete the steps to becoming a student in summer semester.

The college offers several short-term retraining programs designed for those searching for quick career-change options. There are also two-year career degrees and four-year degrees from state universities on the Anoka-Ramsey campuses. For a list of program offerings, or to review the college course schedule, visit our Academics Web page.

If you qualify for unemployment and you are ready to take advantage of the half-priced tuition, call 763-433-1410 to register for a Workforce Retraining Express Session.

student Jennifer Proesel Jennifer Proesel (left) and her daughter Brooke are moving forward on their college plans. Jennifer had tears of joy in her eyes when she first became a student at Anoka-Ramsey Community College after being laid off from her job in retail management. Through the college's Workforce Retraining Initiative (50% tuition grant) she plans to pursue a degree in business and return to the market better equipped. Brooke is a high school senior considering attending Anoka-Ramsey next fall