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Minnesota colleges see record numbers

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Students enrolled in record numbers this spring at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, resulting in an increase of about 14,000 students or nearly an 8 percent gain over a year ago, officials said.

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The state college and university system has approximately 197,500 students taking credit courses compared to last spring's enrollment of about 183,200. The latest growth spurt was on top of a record increase last fall when an additional 12,600 students enrolled compared to the year before.

"This large enrollment increase clearly shows Minnesotans are turning to their state colleges and universities when times are tough," said Chancellor James McCormick. "We are glad to help them pursue their goals. Equally important, we will have more graduates ready in the next few years to help Minnesota's employers rebuilt the state's economy."

Enrollment increases were particularly strong at the two-year colleges. Fourteen colleges had increases of 10 percent or more. Also, growth was significantly larger among students of color and older students. At the same time, the number of white students went up by 9 percent, Enrollment of students of color went up 21 percent. Students age 25 and older went up 16 percent while enrollment of younger students grew by 6 percent.

Overall, enrollment at the system's 25 two-year colleges increased this spring by 10.1 percent; the number of students at the seven state universities went up 3 percent.

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