Direct Admissions Minnesota | Commissioner Olson kicks off statewide tour | Ready, Set, FAFSA October Sessions

office of higher education


September 30, 2022

Blue graphic that reads "Direct Admissions - Every student is college material" with female graduate

Direct Admissions pilot program launches for high school seniors

Every student is “college material.” This core belief is the driving idea behind the Office of Higher Education's newly launched program: Direct Admissions. The pilot program will notify graduating high school seniors from 39 participating Minnesota high schools that there are multiple partner colleges and universities that are eager to admit them based on their academic records and projected spring 2023 graduation date. 

Early next month, seniors at participating high schools who are on track to graduate will receive personalized communication that lists all participating Minnesota colleges and universities they are proactively admitted to. To complete the admissions process, students apply to their colleges and universities of interest, then secure their enrollment to their institution of choice, all while knowing they have already been accepted. The purpose of the program is to encourage students to apply with confidence, promote college access and reduce equity gaps in college enrollment. Learn more at

Commissioner Olson kicks off higher education visits across the state

OHE Commissioner Dennis Olson and St. Cloud State University President Robbyn Wacker and photo of Commissioner's visit at Winona State

Office of Higher Education Commissioner Dennis Olson kicked off his month-long tour visiting postsecondary institutions to discuss the current state of higher education and how to strengthen state and university partnerships. This week, Olson met with campus leaders, staff, and students on Sept. 26 at St. Cloud State University and Winona State University leaders on Sept. 29. Commissioner Olson will visit a total of 15 Minnesota campuses by the end of October.

Featured photos above include Commissioner Olson and St. Cloud State University President Robbyn Wacker (Credit to St. Cloud State University) and the Commissioner's visit at Winona State University.

Ready, Set, FAFSA! Register for October Financial Aid Webinars

Ready, Set FAFSA! graphic "Join us for virtual financial aid events! Free for MN students and families. $500 scholarship and interpreters available"

Four sessions remain in the Ready, Set, FAFSA! webinar series designed to inform and assist students and families with the college-going process.

Ready, Set, FAFSA Details:

  • Tuesdays at 7pm; Remaining sessions are October 4th through October 25th
  • All sessions will be approximately one hour long with a short presentation from financial aid experts.
  • Interpreters will be available in Spanish, Hmong and Somali.
  • Participant questions will be answered live in the chat.
  • Students who attend these sessions will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 scholarship!

Get all your FAFSA questions answered by attending our fall webinar series! Space is limited - so register today! Click here to complete webinar registration.


David J. Tomassoni ALS Research Grant Program - Request For Proposals Application Period Open

Blue graphic reads "Minnesota is funding ALS Research - Now Accepting Request For Proposals for Clinical and Translational Research Related to ALS"

In consultation with Minnesota Department of Health and the ALS Association, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education is accepting proposals to accelerate research into ALS knowledge, prevention, and treatment through the David J. Tomassoni Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Research Grant Program.

Eligible grant applicants must be lead institutions/organizations located within Minnesota and fall into one or more of the following categories: research facilities, universities, and health care systems located in Minnesota. Small businesses, for-profits, and other entities within the science/medical technology industry must partner with an eligible institution who will act as the fiscal agent on the project.

Named after the late Minnesota Senator, the David J. Tomassoni ALS Research Grant was instated to provide funding for translational research that leads to the prevention, functional improvement, and curative efforts for people with ALS. Tomassoni was diagnosed with ALS in 2021 and passionately advocated for research into the rare disease. In his final term as a Senator, he successfully authored and passed the legislation that provided $20 million to support ALS research and $5 million in caregiver resources.

Click here for more information on the David J. Tomassoni ALS Research Grant. Letters of Intent to Submit are mandatory and are due October 7, 2022. Eligible applicants will receive an invitation to submit a full application no later than October 21, 2022.

Proposals are due by 4:30pm CST on December 16, 2022.


Office of Higher Ed Publications Available for Order

Blue graphic that reads "Order 2022-23 Publications for Students" with three publications. "Available at no cost for MN schools and organizations"

The Office of Higher Ed is currently accepting bulk orders from Minnesota schools and organizations for 2022-23 publications. Designed to provide higher education knowledge and resources, each of the four publications will allow students and their families to further prepare for, select and pay for their postsecondary education options. Click to learn more and submit orders.

Available for order:

  • Choosing a College: College Programs & Profiles
  • Paying for College: A Guide to Financial Aid
  • Grants and Scholarships Guide
  • Student Loans and Consumer Protection


Tan graphic that reads "Find a college that's just right for you. My Higher Ed MN" with a female student. "Learn More" in bottom right corner.

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