EdPaysMN - Education Pays for Minnesota


Institution Types    

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education uses the following three public and three private categories to classify institutional student enrollment data.

  • State Colleges — 25 public two-year community, technical and comprehensive institutions that are part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System located in 47 communities. These colleges offer general education, associate degrees and shorter programs leading to occupationally specific diplomas or certificates. These colleges are governed by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (www.mnscu.edu).
  • State Universities — seven public four-year comprehensive institutions that are part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. The state universities offer bachelor, master’s degrees and other advanced degrees. These colleges are governed by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (www.mnscu.edu).
  • University of Minnesota— comprises five campuses. The Twin Cities campus is the state’s land-grant research university, offering bachelor’s degrees, professional education, and graduate education through the doctorate. The Morris campus offers an undergraduate liberal arts curriculum. The Crookston campus focuses on career and technology based undergraduate programs. The Duluth campus offers a broad undergraduate and graduate curriculum. The Rochester campus specializes in health professions. The University of Minnesota is governed by its own Board of Regents.
  • Private Career Schools — are predominately for-profit institutions offering only career-specific certificates, diplomas, and degrees. While institutions in this group offer mostly programs that can be completed in two years or less, some institutions offer limited career specific bachelor’s degrees, and/or graduate programs in addition to their shorter programs.
  • Private Colleges and Universities — are predominately not-for-profit four-year liberal arts or religious institutions. In addition to providing undergraduate education, some private colleges offer professional education and graduate degree programs in certain fields.
  • Private Graduate Schools — institutions predominately offering specialized graduate or first professional programs. In some cases, limited undergraduate programs may also be offered. These may be for-profit or not-for-profit institutions. A first professional program requires completion of a program that is necessary to practice in the profession; at least two years of college work prior to entering the program; and a total of at least six academic years of college work to complete the program. 

Degree Levels

Postsecondary academic award classification upon a completion of study are defined by length and type of award or degree.

  • Sub-baccalaureate awards less than 1 year - a program of study that is completed in less than 900 contact hours.
  • Sub-baccalaureate awards at least 1 but less than 2 years - a program of study that is completed in at least 900 but less than 1,800 contact hours (or at least 30 credits but less than 60 credit hours).
  • Sub-baccalaureate awards at least 2 but less than 4 years - a program of study that is completed in at least 1,800 but less than 3,600 contact hours (or at least 60 credits but less than 120 credit hours).
  • “Certificates” are sometimes used to consolidate the previous three sub-baccalaureate award types.
  • Associate Degree - an award that normally requires at least two but less than four years of full-time equivalent college-level work.
  • Bachelor's Degree - an award (baccalaureate) that normally requires at least four but not more than five years of full-time equivalent college-level work.
  • Post-baccalaureate Certificate - an award that requires completion of an organized program of study requiring 18 credit hours beyond the bachelor's; designed for persons who have completed a baccalaureate degree, but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of master.
  • Master's Degree - an award that requires the successful completion of a program of study of generally one or two full-time academic years of work beyond the bachelor's degree. Some of these degrees, such as those in Theology (M.Div., M.H.L./Rav) that were formerly classified as "first professional," may require more than two full-time academic years of work.
  • Post-Master's Certificate - an award that requires completion of an organized program of study of 24 credit hours beyond the master's degree, but does not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctor's level.
  • Doctor's Degree - research/scholarship - a Ph.D. or other doctor's degree that requires advanced work beyond the master's level, including the preparation and defense of a dissertation based on original research, or the planning and execution of an original project demonstrating substantial artistic or scholarly achievement. Some examples of this type of degree may include Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Doctor of Public Health (D.P.H.), and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).
  • Doctor's Degree - professional practice - a doctor's degree that is conferred upon completion of a program providing the knowledge and skills for the recognition, credential, or license required for professional practice. The degree is awarded after a period of study such that the total time to the degree, including both pre-professional and professional preparation, equals at least six full-time academic years. 

Who is entering/completing higher education in Minnesota?

  • Age – whether a student is classified as an adult student (age 25 and older).
  • Ethnicity – percentage of students that are not White.
  • Graduation rate –the percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduates who graduate within 3 years (at any two-year institution) or 6 years (at a four-year institution)
  • Net price – the average cost of attendance, minus scholarships and grants
  • Resident – students, who at the time of enrollment, lived in Minnesota as reported by the enrolling institution.

Who is employed in Minnesota?

  • Economic Development Region (EDR) – 87 Minnesota counties that are grouped into 13 regions that may reflect similar labor market and employment-related characteristics.
  • Programs of Study – academic program titles are grouped by a national taxonomic standard, Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes, developed by the U.S. Department of Education. CIP codes help organize the nearly 2,000 different unique programs offered at over 7,000 postsecondary institutions in the U.S. to report fields of study and program completions activity at the state and federal level. Within Minnesota there are nearly 800 different programs of study offered. CIP codes are independent of program length. Programs with different degree levels may be given the same CIP code. In some cases CIP codes are further consolidated into career clusters to align academic programs to occupational career pathways.
  • Two-, Three-, and four-year Average Annual Median Salary – the annual full-time year-around wage of those employed each quarter of the year for at least 1,820 hours in the state of Minnesota two, three, and four years after completing a postsecondary program.
  • Career Cluster- groups the hundreds of higher education programs into 16 career clusters to align terminology used in higher education programs and majors (Classification of Instructional Programs CIP Codes) with those used in the workforce for careers and occupations.The 16 Career Clusters in the National Career ClustersTM Framework, represent more than 79 Career Pathways to help students (at both the secondary and postsecondary level) link the knowledge acquired in school with the skills needed to pursue careers. By tracking college graduates in higher education programs to specific career clusters, potential workforce needs can be estimated.
  • Growth Rate - A measure of how fast an occupation is expected to create jobs over the most recent 10-year projection period.
  • Total Openings- A measure of how many jobs there will be in an occupation over the most recent 10-year projection period.
  • Usual Education Level – Categories that best represent the typical education level needed to enter an occupation.