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U-Mary, Jamestown University out of challenge grant bill -- at least for now

When the North Dakota House passed the higher education challenge grant bill, it took out the two private universities in North Dakota.

The Senate’s version of the measure made the University of Mary and Jamestown University eligible. The challenge grants would be awarded on a match basis – meaning for every two dollars the college foundations would raise, the state would add one dollar.

"We've never had the private schools in the challenge grants," said Rep. David Monson (R-Osnabrock), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's Education and Environment section. "We just thought we should go back to the way we originally set it up."

The House version also adds the UND Medical School to the list of eligible colleges.

"The med school was originally in the challenge grant program," said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-Grand Forks). "The decision was made to take it out a couple of sessions ago, when resources were very slim. It didn't get restored the last time, so I think it's appropriate."

The language for the challenge grant appropriation is in two bills – SB 2030 and SB 2003.

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