Latest Posts





Rush City’s Dennis Frandsen offers free college for his hometown’s high school seniors

As Minnesota grapples with an increasingly urgent workforce skills gap, stories like Minnesota banker Dennis Frandsen’s offer inspiration.

Frandsen—whose business holdings include banks and manufacturing companies that employ 1,000 people in four states—recently offered to award the entire senior class at Rush City High School with two years of free college at Pine Technical and Community College.

The Star Tribune had this to say:

A man who never went to college has offered full-ride community college scholarships to every graduate of Rush City High School this year.

The unprecedented offer from businessman and Rush City resident Dennis Frandsen came “out of the blue,” said Pine Technical and Community College President Joe Mulford.

The scholarships to Pine City Tech include a $1,000 stipend for books and tools for students who want to earn a two-year degree in programs like nursing, education, automotive repair, gunsmithing, computer science and other vocational trades.

Frandsen was moved to make this remarkable gift while touring the Pine City campus recently:

Struck by the needs of Rush City kids, and wanting to make a difference in his community, Frandsen said he saw a way forward right then and there.

“I just realized, ‘Wow, it’s right underneath our nose,’” he said, wholly impressed with his hometown’s trade school.

The Star Tribune noted that some of Rush City High School’s 68 seniors have already applied for the Frandsen Foundation’s scholarships, and all have been invited to meet with Frandsen himself. According to the paper,

Frandsen, the son of Wisconsin dairy farmers, started logging trees near Luck, Wis., after graduating from high school….

[He] paid for his grandchildren’s college education after seeing firsthand how difficult it was for them to transition to the workplace, especially with student loan debt acting “like a terrible anchor around their neck.”

“Wouldn’t you be better off to come out of college without any debt?” he said.

The Star Tribune noted that about 10 percent of Rush City’s population holds a bachelor’s degree or more, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Approximately one-third of the school district’s graduates do not go on to post-secondary education, according to Mulford:

Frandsen, who has donated to the tech school in the past, told Mulford that after his tour he was thinking of how to get more students to attend [post-secondary institutions].

“Money is off the table at this point,” said Mulford.




Upcoming Events

  • The Diversity Delusion

    Location: Hilton Minneapolis 1001 South Marquette Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, April 24th at the Hilton Hotel for a lunch forum with Heather Mac Donald as she discusses her new book, The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture.  Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and a New York Times bestselling author. She is a recipient of the 2005 Bradley Prize. Mac Donald’s work at City Journal has covered a range of topics, including higher education, immigration, policing, homelessness and homeless advocacy, criminal-justice reform, and race…

    Register Now
  • 2019 Annual Dinner Featuring Nigel Farage

    Location: Hilton Minneapolis 1001 South Marquette Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Purchase Tickets Here

    Register Now