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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

Law provides: The office performs several statewide services that support access to post-secondary education, including student financial aid. (Minnesota Statutes, Section 136A.01)

Director: Susan Heegaard 
Appointed: 2004
Salary: $108,400

St. Paul.  Skidmore College, B.A.; William Mitchell College of Law, J.D. Assistant director, federal relations, Office of the Governor (1991–1993); committee staff, U.S. Senate (1993–1994); assistant director, Minnesota Office of Planning (1994); director of education strategy, Office of the Governor (1995–1997); government relations director, Minnesota Department of Education (1997); policy director, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce (1998–2000); director of government and community relations, Minnesota Private College Council (2000–2001); policy advisor, Office of the Governor (2002–2004).

1450 Energy Park Dr., Suite 350, St. Paul 55108
(651)642-0567
Web site: www.ohe.state.mn.us
E-mail: info@ohe.state.mn.us

Function: The agency advances the promise of higher education to all Minnesotans and provides information that informs policy decisions. The agency informs students and parents about higher education finance issues.

The agency provides financial aid programs to students. As such, the agency administers the State Grant program ($125 million to 71,000 undergraduates), the State Work Study program ($12 million annually to about 12,000 students), and the Student Educational Loan Fund (SELF) program ($104 million annually to about 28,000 students). The agency also administers interstate reciprocity agreements with neighboring states (39,000 students participate annually).

The agency encourages families to save for higher education by providing information and administering the Minnesota College Savings Plan. Through the Get Ready program, the agency works in schools and communities with school-age children and their parents, low-income children, and families with no previous higher education experience.

The agency registers and licenses over 140 private institutions that offer their programs in Minnesota.

The agency collects and shares statewide data on enrollments and financial aid and provides reports for the public and policymakers.

The agency also oversees the MINITEX Library Information Network, which makes library resources accessible to residents across the state; facilitates the development of a statewide online library information system called MnLINK (Minnesota Library Information Network); and facilitates operation of the Learning Network of Minnesota, the technological highway that provides electronic access to education programs and library resources.

Last updated: 6/1/2009 2:52:59 PM