MSU President's Newspaper Column

April 29, 2023

Private support becoming increasingly important

Thursday, May 4, the MSU Foundation’s 2023 annual day of giving, will be big for Mayville State! This special day has been designated as a time when we can all show our gratitude for “The School of Personal Service.”

We are asking our alumni and friends to consider making a gift on May 4 that will pay forward their appreciation for Mayville State University and how it has made a difference in their lives. At the same time, their generosity will have an impact in the lives of Mayville State University students in pursuit of their educational goals and dreams. It’s not uncommon for a scholarship to be the difference required to give a student a chance to attend Mayville State.

One of our thankful and supportive alumni families has pledged to match dollar-for-dollar all gifts made on Mayville State’s annual day of giving, up to a total of $15,000! We could not be more Comet Proud and grateful for the thoughtfulness and generosity of this special family. It is a true blessing to count these and so many other big-hearted alumni and friends as members of the Mayville State family.

Every dollar invested through the annual day of giving helps to fuel the engine that keeps the MSU Foundation energized and supporting Mayville State and its students. This financial support is super-important to the success of our foundation and ultimately the university.

Private scholarship support for students is becoming increasingly important for a number of reasons, but one of them is particularly front and center right now.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which contains the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Simplification Act, will have a big impact on families applying for financial aid, especially those who own small businesses or farms. The act, which was passed by Congress and signed by the president in December of 2020, included provisions that alter the federal needs analysis formula. The provisions of the act will be fully implemented for the 2024-25 financial aid application cycle. Students will begin filing with the new FAFSA starting in late 2023.

Under the new rules, family farms and small businesses will have to be reported as part of a family’s net worth. Currently, the federal needs analysis excludes the net worth of a family farm or small business (defined as a family-owned business with 100 or fewer full-time equivalent employees). The fear under the new act is that many individuals will appear to have asset wealth that is not liquid, and which far exceeds their actual income and ability to pay for college. These newly reported assets are expected to make a significant number of FAFSA filers ineligible for federal and/or state needs-based financial aid.

According to the USDA, 98% of the farms in the U.S. are small, owner-operated farms. The SBA reported that the number of small businesses in North Dakota grew by 23.4% from 1995 to 2019. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 will no doubt have a big impact on North Dakota and Minnesota students and their families.

On May 4, I encourage you to consider how Mayville State has made a difference in your life and make a gift to the MSU Foundation that will help to impact the future and ensure that others will benefit from the Mayville State Experience.

Brian Larson, a 1960 Mayville State graduate, has made a commitment to increase his annual gift by $50 this year and he’s urging his fellow alumni to do the same. He’s considered the fact that if every donor who gave last year increased their annual gift by $50, the total additional amount raised would be $200,000 (4,0000 gifts x $50=$200,000).

Brian said, “I will never be able to repay Mayville State or the Mayville community for the ‘personal service’ they gave me as a student.” For the benefit of the students of tomorrow, Brian is paying forward the gifts that were given to him as a student. Please consider following his lead.  

To see the details about how you can make a gift and/or lend your words of support on Mayville State’s annual day of giving, you may go to Thank you in advance for your support!