We don’t like to get too political here on the blog, but today I’m sharing a bit of personal information that a certain sector of the population won’t take too kindly to: I’m a Bennie. As in, I graduated from the College of Saint Benedict, sister school to the Tommies’ archrival, Saint John’s University. I graduated in 1998 with a degree in French Studies (because, liberal arts college), and over the years, I have been blessed not only to retain, but also to strengthen existing, and form new friendships with men and women I attended college with.
I have several groups of girlfriends who like to plan semi-annual outings, and today was one of these: several of us from the Twin Cities, plus spouses, significant others, kiddos and one parent drove to SJU for a Johnnie football Saturday. We couldn’t have chosen a better day—with sunshine and a temperature of 60 degrees, plus fall colors just past their prime, combined with a high school choir competition and Family Weekend on campus, Collegeville (of which SJU is the only true concentration of humanity) was bustling with activity. Our on-field rival today was Carleton College, and the final score landed at 52-3 in favor of SJU—Carleton is known more for academics than for athletic prowess, after all.
Clockwise from top left: Members of the Rat Pack sing Sound of Music tunes from the treetops; the Link, aka the Bennie Bus; woodlands statue dedicated to Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks; commemorative bench near a Saint John’s Prep School classroom building; game day at Clemens Stadium; Saint Thomas More Church and the Great Hall.
With ever-increasing tuition costs and myriad other considerations, saving for your child’s education, or helping them choose which college to attend poses unique challenges. Community and state colleges and universities offer more affordable annual tuition, and are typically located in larger metropolitan areas, which can help save on room and board. There’s more to think about when making the choice, however, and a recent report breaks down the numbers.
Bachelor’s degrees: While just 16 percent of students attend any of the 17 private colleges in Minnesota, they award 30 percent of all degrees in the state—the same share as University of Minnesota, and close to the state universities’ (MnSCU) 32 percent.
Strength in specific disciplines: Private schools award more degrees in certain areas of study, including philosophy and religious studies (71percent), physical sciences (50 percent) math and statistics (46 percent), history (44 percent), and health-related professions (40 percent).
Graduate degrees: Here, again, the private colleges match U of M, awarding 39 percent of all graduate degrees in the state. MnSCU universities fare far below this mark, at 12 percent.
Master’s degrees: Private colleges awarded 45 percent of the state total, well above U of M’s 34 percent and MnSCU’s 15 percent.
Doctorates: Private colleges awarded 19 percent of the state total, well below U of M’s 57 percent, but considerably higher than the 1 percent earned at state universities.
4- and 6-year graduation rates: At private colleges, 4-year graduation rates were at 62 percent, and 6-year rates at 72 percent—significantly higher than the 22 percent and 49 percent rate, respectively, at state universities. University of Minnesota students graduated at a rate of 44 percent in 4 years, and 66 percent in 6 years.
Minnesota boasts a rich tradition of higher education, and personal priorities, financial considerations, and preferences, as well as individual college’s strengths, will dictate each individual’s ultimate choice. When making the final decision, however, remember there’s more than meets the eye, or that can fit into a spreadsheet.
Licensed Associate Working with Sharlene Hensrud of RE/MAX Results, and HomesMSP — Sharlene, John, Angela