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Minnesota's 2008 High School Graduates Enrolled in College at Record Rates
Is it a sign of the economic times or the culmination of years of work to get more students into college?
Minnesota's college participation rate hit an all-time high in 2008 with 70.2 percent of the state's 65,220 high school graduates enrolling immediately in a public or private college after high school. Minnesota's college participation rate has gradually increased over time and has been among the highest in the nation. But 2008 was the first year 70 percent of the state's high school graduates enrolled immediately in college.
College Going Rates of Minnesota High School Graduates 1996 through 2008
Source: Minnesota public and private high school graduation rates from Minnesota Department of Education; in-state college enrollment from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education; out-of-state enrollment data from the U.S. Department of Education, IPEDS Enrollment Survey
College participation rates are defined as the percentage of high school graduates who enroll in a postsecondary institution the fall after high school graduation. The rate provides an indication of whether postsecondary education is accessible to a broad socio-economic range of high school graduates. While the rate represents an indicator of college access and student choices, the rate highlights only one transition of a much longer education process spanning from kindergarten through postsecondary.
The number of Minnesota's high school graduates has leveled off somewhat. Projections indicate the number of high school graduates is not expected to increase in the next 10 years.
Where are students attending?
Specifically of the 45,776 Minnesota high school graduates in 2008, enrolling in college,In Minnesota
From 2007 to 2008, the percentage of high school graduates enrolling in Minnesota institutions remained constant, while the percentage of high school graduates enrolled outside Minnesota increased, with notable increases in the percentage of Minnesota resident high school graduates enrolling in the bordering states of North Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Enrollment in neighboring states has increased in recent years.
Minnesota High School Graduates Enrolling in College in Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin
Source: U.S. Department of Education, IPEDS Enrollment Survey
Participation Rates by Race and Ethnicity
Of Minnesota's 65,220 high school graduates, 10,510 or 16 percent were students of color. Projections indicate that by 2015, students of color will comprise about 20 percent of Minnesota's high school graduates. The largest growth is expected to be in the number of Hispanic and Black graduates, two student populations with historically low college participation rates.
Because the numbers of high school graduates by race and ethnicity are small for some groups, fluctuation in the rates from year to year is expected. The chart below illustrates the most recent five-year average participation rate by racial or ethnic group.
Participation rates by race and ethnicity are only available for students enrolled in Minnesota colleges.
Five-year average college participation rates of Minnesota high school graduates who enrolled in a Minnesota postsecondary institution, fall 2004 to 2008
Note: These percentages do not include high school graduates who enrolled out of state.
2008 Minnesota High School Graduates In-State Enrollment by Race and Ethnicity and Institution Type
Note: The chart does not include 14,000 Minnesota high school graduates who attended out of state.
Minnesota high school graduates who were American Indian, Black or Hispanic enrolled in public two-year colleges at higher rates than their white and Asian counterparts.
College enrollment is up across the country and in Minnesota.
Dozens of state and federally funded college access programs operate at schools and within organizations across the state. Programs vary, but involve tutoring, college planning, college tours and information sessions.
The state provided high schools with additional funding to support the delivery of Advanced Placement courses in high school and rigorous courses online. Dramatic increases in participation and successful end-of-year test scores on AP tests have been the result.
Minnesota's average score on the ACT college entrance exam has increased gradually over the last 10 years. Minnesota 2009 high school graduates had the highest average score of any state where a majority of the students choose the ACT over the SAT.
Minnesota's P-20 Partnership, a collaboration of K-12 and college education leaders, lawmakers, policymakers, pre-kindergarten organizations and state government, have outlined college and career readiness expectations for all Minnesota students.
About Participation Rates
The numbers of high school graduates are obtained from the Minnesota Department of Education. Students who graduate from high school and delay college entry past the fall following high school graduation are not included in the participation rate. Data on enrolled students are revised to estimate missing information. Participation rates contain adjustments for:
Data on the number of students who attend a postsecondary institution out of state are obtained from the U.S. Department of Education, IPEDS enrollment survey, collected biannually. Institutions report the state of residence of freshmen who graduated from high school during the past 12 months.
About the Office of Higher Education
The Minnesota Office of Higher Education is a state agency providing students with financial aid programs and information to help them gain access to postsecondary education.
The Minnesota State Grant program, which is administered by the agency, is a need-based tuition assistance program for Minnesota students. Through collaboration with systems and institutions, the agency assists in the development of the state's education technology infrastructure and shared library resources.
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