ST. CLOUD -- Area students were able to voice their concerns directly to one of the highest education officials in Minnesota.

Director Larry Pogemiller of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education was in St. Cloud today (Tuesday) to participate in a roundtable discussion on higher education.

Students say there are a number of issues that factor into their decision to pursue a higher education, but cost is the underlying factor.

One student says "getting a loan is easy, paying them off is the hard part." Pogemiller says the feedback is critical to creating a plan to address the issues.

The issues raised in St. Cloud are not new to the higher education official.

Pogemiller says he is hearing similar feedback in other areas of the state.

One student says she is working five jobs to make it work, while another is putting in 70 hour work weeks.

This is Pogemiller's fifth stop with hopes of completing a total of 10 to 12.

It is part of a greater campaign by the governor's administration.

Governor Mark Dayton is proposing a $240 million investment in higher education. The money will be used to expand the state grant program and improve both the University of Minnesota and MnSCU system's.

Pogemiller says he will report to the governor when he wraps up his tour of the state. The governor will then use the feedback to determine how to address the issues in the future.