While our students make up 30 percent of all baccalaureate graduates in the state, they benefit from a small share — less than 4 percent — of public spending on higher education.

Minnesota higher education spending fiscal year 2020

Attracting out-of-state student

Our colleges enroll more than 10,500 undergraduate students from other states each year. That compares to about 9,800 at the U of M and 6,800 at Minnesota State universities.

Educating tomorrow’s workforce

The knowledge and skills gained at our 17 colleges and universities are exactly what employers seek. A liberal arts education that emphasizes critical thinking skills is more relevant than ever in our global economy. Students also graduate well prepared to go on to earn graduate and professional degrees. And the real-world experiences that our colleges encourage — internships, undergraduate research, and overseas study — develop important workforce skills.

  • 72 percent of our most recent graduates stay in Minnesota, adding to the quality of the state’s workforce and tax base.
  • 300,000 of our alumni live across the state, in every corner of Minnesota.

The median earnings of our alumni working in Minnesota five years after graduation is $58,900. And 94 percent of our most recent graduates were employed, pursuing additional education, or doing volunteer service (e.g., Peace Corps or mission work) or in the military within a year of earning their bachelor’s degree:

  • 74 percent of graduates listed employment as their primary activity.
  • 17 percent listed continuing education as their primary activity.
  • 3 percent listed volunteer service as their primary activity.
  • 1 percent listed military service as their primary activity.

Economic benefits

Our 17 colleges and universities add more than $1.6 billion annually to Minnesota’s economy through direct spending that includes wages, operating costs and capital construction expenditures.

Combined, they also employ more than 14,000 faculty and staff — ranking 9th among Minnesota private sector employers and 13th among all employers, public and private.