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Rep. Angie Craig drops college requirement for staffers

The Democratic representative from Minnesota says she may be the first member of Congress to end a bachelor's degree requirement for all staffers.
Credit: KARE
Rep. Angie Craig

BURNSVILLE, Minn. — Rep. Angie Craig announced Thursday that her staffers will not be required to have college degrees, in a move designed to expand the pool of candidates at a time of declining enrollment and rising higher education costs.

In an interview with KARE 11, Craig said that she is the first member of Congress to her knowledge to drop a degree requirement in her office. 

Between her offices in Burnsville and Washington, D.C., Craig employs about 15 staff members. Two of those current staffers, Craig said, already do not have four-year degrees.

"I think we have got to rethink the work force a little bit. Everything can't just fall to whether you've got a piece of paper," Craig said. "If you've got the relevant experience, that needs to be counted as well." 

Craig's decision to consider candidates without bachelor's degrees is part of an emerging trend among some government entities, with support from both Democratic and Republican officials. Last year, Gov. Larry Hogan made Maryland the first state to drop a college requirement for thousands of state positions. 

Since then, several other states have followed suit, including Colorado, Utah and Pennsylvania.

"If you want to go get a four-year degree, that's great, but I think we ought to be strongly supporting the idea that experience matters," Craig said. "The cost of college has really grown out of control in this nation, and it's created a tier of individuals in our country that just can't access the next level of college career." 


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