2020 College Completion Executive Summary
College Equity = Economic Success
Creating a more equitable statewide higher education system that supports POCI students in completing college via certificate or degree attainment has been, and will continue to be, a key indicator marking the socioeconomic health of Minnesota. The state needs more highly skilled workers to support a growing economy and, completing a college credential is an issue of social and racial justice that can no longer be ignored.
Minnesota = Not a Race Equity Education State
The racial disparities in Minnesota’s higher education system are also among the worst in the nation. People of Color and American Indian and/or Indigenous students (POCI) are less likely to enroll, remain in, and succeed in college. The racial disparities in Minnesota’s higher education system, and more specifically the policies governing the financial aid system, have disproportionately impacted POCI students throughout the state. As a result, POCI students are far less likely to graduate with a college credential in Minnesota than their White peers.
MnEEP is examining Minnesota’s higher education financial aid system as a way to understand how it reflects systemic behaviors that drive inequities. We assert that Minnesota’s higher education financial aid policies, and the broader higher education financial aid system, contribute to racial disparities and consequences that negatively have an impact on POCI students’ college completion. Most importantly, the study asserts that updating and reforming the higher education financial aid system and policies of Minnesota will unleash the talents and creativity of People of Color and American Indian and/or Indigenous students.