About Minnesota Measures

Minnesota Measures is a data exploration tool for understanding key higher education indicators in Minnesota. The dashboards available on this site display data on a variety of topics, such as higher education access, attainment, student financial aid, affordability, and student health and wellness. The data also explores equity in higher education, looking into how student outcomes compare across different groups of students.

  • 25%

    Only 25% of housing-insecure high school students who enrolled in college completed their degrees.

  • The average amount students pay out-of-pocket each year for all college-related costs falls between $10,000 and $23,000.

  • Most Minnesota State Grant recipients are dependent students from families earning less than $40,000 per year.

  • College enrollment for American Indian or Alaska Native high school graduates is 28 percentage points lower than the statewide average.

  • of Minnesota State Grant recipients are students of color and indigenous students.

  • 28%

    of Minnesota resident undergraduates were age 25 and older in fall 2019.

  • 38%

    of Minnesota resident undergraduate students enroll in 15+ credits per semester.

  • 68%

    of Minnesotans aged 25-44 have attained a postsecondary credential.


Greater educational attainment correlates with increased earnings and lower unemployment. The ability of Minnesota workers to find employment at a family-sustaining wage to cover the costs of housing, food, transportation, and childcare is directly related to higher educational attainment. In addition to the direct economic benefits associated with postsecondary education, there are numerous indirect benefits, including: improved employee-employer job match, lower crime rates, greater civic participation, improved health outcomes, increased life expectancy, and intergenerational degree attainment effects.

Given that Minnesota’s population is rapidly changing and communities of color and indigenous communities are continuously falling behind on economic outcomes, ensuring the path to family-sustaining wages for our communities of color and indigenous communities represents a moral imperative for the State.


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ANALYSIS HIGHLIGHT: Successfully Transitioning to College

To increase educational attainment, Minnesota can invest in strategies to increase college enrollment among low-income students, students of color, and indigenous students.

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In order for holistic student support services to be effective, policymakers need to recognize both the commonality of student health and wellness crises, and the reality that some students are more likely to experience these crises than others. This requires Minnesota to implement equitable solutions that serve those most impacted.

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Maintaining investments in state and federal grants programs ensures financial aid keeps pace with rising college costs. However, Minnesota must also address the non-financial reasons students may not enroll or succeed in college.