March 2023

Looking across sectors, students at our 18 colleges and universities are more likely to graduate in four years than students at the University of Minnesota or Minnesota State universities. The most recent data on the share of students graduating in four years:

  • 67 percent at Minnesota Private Colleges (18 members of the Minnesota Private College Council)
  • 63 percent at University of Minnesota (all campuses)
  • 32 percent at Minnesota State universities

With the highest graduation rate in the state, our 18 member institutions are more efficient in producing college graduates, which means our students are able to enter the workforce sooner. (When a student takes longer to graduate, there are additional costs to factor in.)

For those students who enrolled in and graduated from the institution they started, only nine percent of our graduates took more than four years to graduate, compared to 18 percent at the University of Minnesota and 38 percent at Minnesota State universities. (These data are the most recently available that allow for cross-sector comparisons, looking at those who enrolled in fall 2015.)

It’s important to note that Minnesota Private Colleges don’t just have the highest graduation rate – they also represent 35 percent of all college students in the state pursuing bachelor’s degrees who are enrolled full-time for the first-time. And because of the strength of the graduation rate, Minnesota Private Colleges award 43 percent of this group’s bachelor’s degrees four years later.