Students prod Dayton, Franken to pursue answers to loan debt


College students huddled with Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday to share their stories about how the skyrocketing cost of tuition has affected their futures.

Franken at the event at St. Paul College said the trend of ever-increasing student loan debt was bad for America, the Pioneer Press reported. "It's certainly not good for young people who are going to be saddled with debt," he said.

Franken and Dayton were struck by stories students told of working full time to help pay for their education, the student newspaper Minnesota Daily reported. University of Minnesota Student Association President Taylor Williams told Franken and Dayton that he works up to 40 hours a week.

“If I didn’t have to work so much, what could I have focused my time on academically?” Williams said. “What other majors could I have pursued? Where would my grades be right now?”

Dayton as part of his budget proposal is seeking a $240 million increase in higher education funding over the next two years. About $80 million of that would go toward a state grant program to make college more affordable for an additional 5,000 students, the Pioneer Press notes.

Minnesota students have the third-highest average student loan debt in the nation, nearly $30,000, according to a recent report.

Americans now owe $1 trillion on student loans, more than they owe on credit cards, KARE 11 reported.

"It's loans, loans and more loans," Dayton told the students, KARE 11 reported. Here's more of the station's report from the event:

Next Up

State Capitol.

Lawmakers reach agreement on eviction moratorium off-ramp

It would replace the governor's executive order that has been in place during the pandemic.

Pixabay - keys home house

Median sale price of Twin Cities homes hit whopping $350,000 in May

High demand and low supply is the reality for buyers throughout much of the state.

Sheldon Richardson

Report: Vikings working on reunion with Sheldon Richardson

The defensive tackle played with Minnesota in 2018.

June 7 - New Platform - CROP

Ospreys started a nest on a coop's power pole - so they built a new home for them

A small electrical cooperative went out of its way to help the hopeful osprey pair.


In 13 MN counties, the adult vaccination rate is below 50%

Todd County is the lowest, with a 37.8% adult vaccination rate.

scared dog

Keeping your pet safe and calm during fireworks, summer events

Pets are more sensitive to loud noises, and fireworks are known to stress out many dogs.

Pixabay - hospital emergency room sign

Sheriff: 25-year-old woman run over after falling off towed ATV

It happened on a rural forest road in Smokey Hollow Township.

Screen Shot 2021-06-14 at 8.45.06 AM

Loved ones identify woman killed in Uptown as Deona Marie Erickson

She was among the protestors Sunday night when a motorist drove through the crowd.

University of Minnesota

U of M won't require COVID-19 vaccination for fall semester

The university's president called it "a complex and personal issue."

enbridge energy line 3

MN appeals court upholds Line 3 pipeline approval

The decision is a blow to Tribal leaders and environmentalists fighting the project.