Leaving Minnesota? The high school edition

After posting Leaving Minnesota? this afternoon, the Minnesota Private College Council sent me its new research showing another worry: our state is also a net exporter of college-bound high school students.

Here’s the report. I’d love to hear from folks on this. What does it mean? What kinds of questions should I ask? Drop me a line or post below. I’m especially interested if you’re a student or family member of a student who’s recently left Minnesota for college elsewhere.

I’ve always had great respect for the quality of the council’s research. Its been a consistent voice over the years warning about gaps in Minnesota’s future workforce needs and that the fastest growing student populations here are the least prepared for that future.

Here’s the council’s trend data:

Minnesota Has Been a Net Exporter of College Enrollees Over Time
Fall Yr


Net Loss
2003 3,183 9,710 -6,527
2004 7,715 11,388 -3,673
2005 4,804 10,900 -6,096
2006 8,337 11,834 -3,497
2007 6,247 10,544 -4,297
2008 7,410 13,299 -5,889
TOTAL 37,696 67,675 -29,979

That includes private non-profit, private for-profit and public schools

The data require a deeper look. If a Woodbury High kid graduates and goes to University of Wisconsin River Falls, he’s gone out of state. But it doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t stay in Minnesota and contribute to the economy.

Still, the council point is worth exploring:

As Minnesota’s workforce population ages and shrinks and high school and college graduates decrease, it is an added concern when large numbers of high school graduates go to college elsewhere — and possibly not return to the state.

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