Minn. high school students enrolling in college hits record number

The number of Minnesota high school graduates enrolling in college has hit an all time high.

A new report from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education says 70.2 percent, or 45,776, of Minnesota's 65,000 2008 high school graduates enrolled in college immediately after graduation. That's a slight increase over the year before.

David Metzen, director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, said education officials have worked over the years to increase the number of students going to college.

"I think the next big shift is going to be working with the students that are there and working very hard at completing what they finish," Metzen said.

The report also says the number of students of color enrolling in college has increased. In 2008, 5,253 students of color enrolled in college after graduation, 1,500 more than in 2004.

Metzen said the data shows students are getting the message about the importance of higher education.

"They've figured out that they're going to have to get something after high school, at least two years of either trade school or community college, and hopefully four years for lots of them," he said.

The numbers

12,995 students (or 28.5%) enrolled at a Minnesota community or technical college.

6,603 students (or 14.5%) enrolled at one of seven state universities.

6,105 students (or 13.4%) enrolled at a Minnesota private college.

5,636 students (or 12.4%) enrolled at one of the four University of Minnesota campuses.

1,303 students (or 2.8%) enrolled at a private career school in Minnesota.

Outside Minnesota, 8,377 students (or 18.4%) enrolled in colleges in bordering states of Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.