Skip to main content

Minnesota's graduation rate increased in 2020, but disparities remain

Last year, 83.8% of high school seniors in Minnesota graduated in four years.
Graduation

Minnesota’s four-year high school graduation rates continued to climb last spring despite the pandemic hitting the end of the academic year, but racial disparities have persisted.

According to data released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Education, 83.8% of high school seniors in Minnesota, or 56,684 students, graduated in four years in 2020. This continues a steady increase over the past five years, with 82.5% of high school seniors having graduated in four years in 2016.

In 2020, 3,490 students also graduated five, six or seven years after starting high school.

The rate increased despite the onset of COVID-19 causing the end of the school year – from mid-March onwards – to end with distance learning. However, the full impact of the pandemic will likely be seen with the Class of 2021, considering most Minnesota schools were in distance learning for the majority of the 2020-21 school year.

“The class of 2020 graduated while we were all just learning how to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a time of great uncertainty, and the perseverance of our students, educators and families demonstrates their commitment to rise to this moment and reach the end of their pre-K through grade 12 journey,” said MDE Commissioner Heather Mueller in a statement.

“While we have so much to be proud of in Minnesota, we know that we still have work to do to close gaps and increase access, participation and representation to ensure every single student graduates from high school.”

Graduation rates increased from 2019 for most subcategories tracked by MDE. Native American and Alaskan Native students saw graduation rates increase 50.8% to 55.7% this year.

Graduation rates Asian students went from 87.6% to 89.1%, while Hispanic students saw rates increase from 69.9% to 70.4%. For mixed race students, graduation rates increased from 72.3% to 73.5%.

Graduation rates for white students also climbed from 88.7% to 89% last year. 

But graduation rates decreased for Black students in Minnesota, with 69.2% graduating in four years in 2020 compared to 69.9% in 2019.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Minnesota also lags behind the national average graduation rate for Black students. In 2019, the four-year graduation for Black students nationally was 80%, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Minnesota’s drop-out rate for high school students also declined in 2020, going from 4.4% of students to 3.7% of students.

Graduation data from each school year is typically released the following spring. But with a full year of school during the pandemic, the class of 2021 faced unique challenges.

According to the Wall Street Journal, seniors this year had the lowest percentage of assignment completion of grade levels, citing burnout and fatigue. 

Next Up

minneapolis police

Shooting near University of Minnesota kills 1, injures 2

The victims were all in a parked car when the shooting happened, police said.

canada bodies found 2

Florida man charged with human smuggling after 4 die, 5 rescued near border

A baby and an teenage boy were among those who were found dead feet from the U.S. border.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 8.42.40 AM

Man shot while driving on I-394 in St. Louis Park

The driver and his bullet-riddled SUV wound up outside the DoubleTree hotel in St. Louis Park.

Mall of America

Mall of America to celebrate 30 years with events, giveaways throughout 2022

The festivities will kick off Friday with a '90s-themed drag show.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 7.29.00 AM

Victim of 1994 Michigan cold case murder ID'd as missing Minnesotan

Shelley Rae Kephart went missing from Hennepin County more than 28 years ago.

Mike Zimmer

Coller: Did the Vikings wait too long to fire Zimmer, Spielman?

This wasn’t just ugly. This was ugly, ugly.

walz flanagan lorie shaull flickr

Gov. proposes 'Walz Checks' for most Minnesotans

The governor wants to use $700 million of the state's surplus to fund the payments.

Hutch crash booking photo

Walz, Flanagan call on Hennepin Co. sheriff to resign

"I would say that it is time for him to resign," the Lt. Gov. said.

line 3 enbridge portage lake hubbard county mn tony webster flickr

Months after missing deadline, Enbridge says Line 3 aquifer breach is fixed

The company told Bring Me The News it "successfully stopped the flow of groundwater" at the site.

canada bodies found

Baby, teenager among 4 found dead along MN, Canada border

Authorities believe all four froze to death.

unsplash roller rink skates CROP

Former roller rink, tennis courts will become new sports hub

The Wooddale Fun Zone has been closed since spring of 2020.

Related

graduation-2038864_1280

Minnesota's high school graduation rate has hit a new high

More students than ever are graduating within four years, though disparities remain.

graduation, pandemic

Person with COVID-19 involved with MN graduation ceremony

A health official said the ceremony was conducted against health guidance.

graduation-2038864_1280

Coronavirus: MN confirms ban on large-scale graduation ceremonies

It wants schools to offer virtual ceremonies, or parade-style options.

gun-pistol-firearm-shooting-range-man-pexels

Minnesota saw record gun permit applications in 2020

The trend in Minnesota aligns with national spikes.

graduation-2038864_1280

MN's high school graduation gap shrinks

But there are still significant gaps.

graduation-2038864_1280

Minnesota's high school graduation rate hit record high in 2018

It was revealed as part of Minnesota's first 'State of our Students' report.