The student enrollment data reported are from the Office of Higher Education student enrollment record data base. The data base contains enrollments during the fall term in Minnesota's public and private postsecondary education institutions. Since fall 2005, all institutions eligible to participate in a Minnesota-funded student financial aid program are required to report their student enrollment data to the Office of Higher Education.
Starting with the 2016-2017 academic year, institutions will report data at the end of each term. Prior data were enrollments as of the institution's official fall reporting date, or for institutions without distinct academic terms as a proxy for fall data, the three-month period, July 15 through October 15.
A compendium of previous fall enrollment data can be found in the Basic Data Series.
Starting with the 2016-2017 data collection enrollment intensity were modified to identify:
Minnesota postsecondary institutions were previously asked to report the enrollment status of students as defined by their institution. These data are not the same as enrollment intensity for student financial aid eligibility. In the federal student financial aid system, a full-time undergraduate as a student who is enrolled for 12 or more semester credits, or 24 or more contact hours a week each term. In the Minnesota State Grant Program, undergraduates are full time if they enroll for at least 15 credits per semester.
The Office of Higher Education does not collect or calculate FYE enrollment data. In Minnesota, for purposes of state budgeting, the concept of full-year equivalent (FYE) student has been established as the standard means of reporting enrollments for public postsecondary institutions. Minnesota Statute 135A.031, Subd.4. (b) states:
“For all purposes where student enrollment is used for budgeting purposes, student enrollment shall be measured in full-year equivalents and shall include only enrollments in courses that award credit or otherwise satisfy any of the requirements of an academic or vocational program.”
Public postsecondary institutions calculate FYE students by dividing total student credit hours by the number of credit hours constituting a full load. Under semesters, a full-time load is 30 credit hours for undergraduate and professional courses and 20 credit hours for graduate courses for the academic year. FYE enrollment data are not collected for private postsecondary institutions since they do not receive direct state appropriations.
Race/ethnic categories are used to describe groups to which individuals belong, identify with, or belong in the eyes of the community. The categories do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origins.
Starting in fall 2009 the categories used to identify a student's race/ethnic background were changed in line with federal reporting requirements. Students who are "Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander" are now a separate race from the "Asian" category; students of Hispanic ethnicity are given priority over other races, and students may identify more than one race with which they belong.
Students are asked to first designate ethnicity as:
Second, individuals are asked to indicate all races that apply among the following (if more than one race category is indicated the student is reported in the "Two or More Races" category:
Changing how data are collected has shifted previous trend categories. See State Postsecondary Enrollment Distributions by Race/Ethnicity Before and After Changes to Reporting Categories: Fall 2004, 2007, and 2010 from the U.S. Department of Education.
Data on Minnesota postsecondary institutions eligible to participate in a federal student financial aid program are provided on the College Navigator. The data are primarily from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the core postsecondary education data collection program for NCES - the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education.