Minnesota's students (barely) above average
Minnesota has long prided itself as a leader in higher education. The government-issued Minnesota Measures report released last month calls that perception into question.
One barometer of success in higher education is the rate at which students complete their degrees. In 2005, 34 percent of students attending Minnesota's two-year schools graduated within three years. While that's good for 24th place overall (we did mean barely above average), it's nearly 30 points lower than first-place South Dakota, as noted here.
Minnesota's four-year graduation rate in the same year? 35 percent. This is good for 21st place overall, but certainly nothing to write home about. When you break down the numbers further, they get even uglier. At our state colleges and universities, only a fifth of students graduate in four years, and fewer than half graduate in six years. In other words? We've got some work to do.