Minnesota loses more college students to other states than it gains
When it comes to going to college in another state, more Minnesota students do so than other states’ students come to Minnesota. This is a continuing trend, averaging a net export of 4,577 students per year since 2004.
States that have examined where college graduates go have found that they tend to become employed in the state where they receive their degree — so this net loss of students is a concern for Minnesota’s economy.
In fall 2012, 14,606 Minnesota high school graduates went to college out-of-state while 9,494 students from other states came here; a net loss to Minnesota of 5,112 students.
- Of the students who left Minnesota to go to college, two-thirds chose a public institution — and two-thirds of that number went to a neighboring state.
- About one-quarter of those who left Minnesota enrolled at an out-of-state private, nonprofit college; many went beyond neighboring states, especially to Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and California.
- Of the students who came to Minnesota, 56% enrolled at a public institution and 34% at a private, nonprofit college.
- Those who chose a public institution primarily came from neighboring states. Meanwhile, only 42% of those attending a private, nonprofit college came from neighboring states, indicating that nonprofit institutions draw more of their students from around the country.
- The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, enrolled 1,734 first-time, full-time students from other states. The 17 Minnesota Private College Council member institutions collectively enrolled 2,744 students from other states.
As Minnesota’s labor force shrinks and the need for college educated individuals increases, understanding where students go and whether they stay becomes important. Strategies to retain more college-bound students include providing incentives such as tuition reduction, loan forgiveness and grant aid. Once students graduate, economic opportunities in the state will be key to their decision to stay.
For further background, analysis and conclusions see the August 2013 Student Migration Report or the November 2009 Research Brief, Student Migration Trends: Minnesota’s Net Loss of College-Going High School Graduates.