February 2023

Low-income students in Minnesota already had much lower odds of continuing their education than middle- and higher-income students. But those odds have now gotten works, since the pandemic started.

In Minnesota, college enrollment of Pell Grant recipients dropped 14.2 percent in 2021-22 compared to 2019-20 — a drop that was twice as large as the decline for students who are not receiving Pell Grants.

2021-22 compared to 2019-20: Pell Grant recipients dropped 14.2%, non-recipients dropped 7.6%

The pandemic has had an unequal impact on college going rates by race and ethnicity as well.

As the Council stated in “Expanding College Access & Economic Opportunity,” released in January, this is a crisis for students and our state: “Minnesota is losing ground on access to higher education, even though it is the surest path to economic mobility.” See more on this issue and the argument for investing in the need-based State Grant program.