There are nearly 200 public and private institutions. The number fluctuates frequently, as there are new institutions in the for-profit sector that become licensed or do not wish to renew their license throughout the year.
The institution with the largest enrollment is the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. In fall 2011, it had 52,556 students enrolled. Of these, 34,811 were undergraduates, and 17,745 were graduate students.
The University of St. Thomas located in St. Paul (with a branch campus in Minneapolis) has the largest campus-based enrollment for a private institution in Minnesota. It also has the largest number of undergraduate students at a private institution. In fall 2011, 6,148 of the 10,506 students enrolled were undergraduates.
The Office of Higher Education maintains a list of the location of students records from private schools that have closed, changed their names, relocated, or are otherwise difficult to locate or contact. This list includes private proprietary and not-for-profit schools as well as some out-of-state schools that have been licensed or registered with the state of Minnesota and schools which may have been licensed or regulated by other state agencies but used the term College, University, Academy, or Institute in their name.
The Office of Higher Education provides consumer protection for students and prospective students. Two state laws require private and out-of-state postsecondary education institutions to meet state standards to operate legally in Minnesota.
Private and out-of-state institutions should review the standards and application procedures to determine their legal obligations before advertising or offering postsecondary education in Minnesota.