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Percentage of Minnesota High School Graduates Entering College Up Slightly




Contact: Sandy Connolly, (651) 259-3902

Minnesota's high school graduates are entering college in steadily growing numbers, according to a newsletter published today by the Office of Higher Education. Sixty-five percent of Minnesota's approximately 64,000 high school graduates in 2003 attended postsecondary institutions following graduation. Slightly more than 50 percent of all graduates attended a Minnesota institution. The rate is up slightly from the previous year and up about nine percent from ten years ago.

"The steady growth is encouraging, but we must aim higher," said Susan Heegaard, Director of the Office of Higher Education. "College participation must become an expectation we hold for all Minnesota students."

The participation rate is defined as the number of high school graduates who attend a postsecondary education institution immediately following high school graduation. The rate is just one indicator of participation along an educational pipeline from pre-kindergarten through college graduation. Other measures, such as high school drop-out and graduation rates and college retention and graduation rates, are important measures of educational effectiveness not included in the study.

"It's important that this indicator be viewed in the context of the broader educational questions," said Heegaard. "Still too many students do not make it to high school graduation, and are not recognized in this particular indicator. Participation rates are but one piece of the puzzle."

View the complete Minnesota 2003 Participation Rate analysis.

2003 High School Graduates Entering Minnesota Postsecondary Institutions
Race/EthnicityParticipation Rate
American Indian42.3%
Asian and Pacific Islander58.6%
White, Non-Hispanic50.7%

The 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 agency serves as the state's clearinghouse for data, research and analysis on postsecondary enrollment, financial aid, finance and trends.

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