About 60 to 70 students and recent graduates of Minnesota colleges and universities will be able to volunteer for work during the Republican National Convention next summer under a program hosted by Augsburg College.

In all, some 250 young people from across the country will participate in the program announced Wednesday by Augsburg and the Washington Center, a nonprofit group.

Gene Alpert, center senior vice president, said that, during the Sept. 1-4 convention, students will be assigned to the Republican Party, state delegations, corporations, interest groups, the host committee, candidates' organizations and the media.

They will do everything from working in copy centers to carrying film canisters for the media, Alpert said.

The program, begun in 1984, is done in collaboration with both major parties and will also occur next year at the Democratic convention in Denver.

Students will be housed at Augsburg for 13 nights, starting the week before the convention so as to attend classes on it. The cost is $3,995 per student -- $250 less if a college nominates a student.

Students are also encouraged to find corporations, labor unions, Rotary Clubs and Chambers of Commerce to nominate and subsidize them. Alpert estimated 30 to 40 percent of participants will lean toward Republicans, 10 to 20 percent to Democrats and the rest, just "curious."

Paul Pribbenow, president of Augsburg, said that in 2004 when he was president of Rockford (Ill.) College, a student there was assigned to security inside the Democratic convention.

"He spent every day on the convention floor," said Pribbenow, and got a behind-the scenes look at the convention.

The deadline for applications is March 1. Interested students should go to www.twc.edu.