Free and reduced price lunch eligibility

Minnesota free and reduced price lunch eligibility by:

Children in lower-income households are more vulnerable to severe dental disease

Boy with apple

 

The percentage of students in public schools who are eligible for free and reduced price lunch is commonly used to understand how many school-age children live in lower-income households. Public schools do not collect student data on household income.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture determines yearly eligibility criteria for the National School Meal Program based on family size and income.  Identifying schools with higher rates of free and reduced price lunch eligibility can help target “high-risk” children for disease prevention programs, such as school-based dental sealant programs.

 

Four in 10 Minnesota public school students are eligible for free and reduced price lunch

4 out of every 10
Minnesota public school students (37.1%)

 

Eligible for free and reduced price lunch
2017 to 2018 school year

During the 2017 to 2018 school year, 319,760 children or nearly 4 out of 10 students enrolled in Minnesota public schools were eligible for free and reduced price lunch. 


2 in 10 Minnesota public schools have high student free and reduced price lunch eligibility

2 out of every 10
Minnesota public schools (22.8%)

High student free and reduced price lunch eligibility
2017 to 2018 school year

During the 2017 to 2018 school year, 472 Minnesota public schools or 2 out of 10 schools had 50 percent or more of enrolled students eligible for free and reduced price lunch.  


 

Minnesota public schools by free and reduced price lunch (FRPL) eligibility and school year

 
Source: Minnesota Department of Education, Student Enrollment Data for Special Populations: Free and Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility.  
School year Less than 50.0% of students eligible free and reduced price lunch 50.0% or more of students eligible free and reduced price lunch Total number of schools Total number of students

2014 to 2015

76.2%

23.8%

1,643

817,327

2015 to 2016

76.1%

23.9%

1,636

821,568

2016 to 2017

76.6%

23.4%

1,639

823,356

2017 to 2018

77.2%

22.8%

1,644

831,166

Data does not include schools for which information on free and reduced price lunch is missing, schools that did not participate in the National School Lunch Program, and within school programs such as online schools, special education, deaf and blind schools, area learning programs, juvenile detention and correction programs, and hospital programs for mental health and chemical treatment. Total number of schools = 1,643 (2014 to 2015), 1,636 (2015 to 2016), 1,639 (2016 to 2017) and 1,644 (2017 to 2018). Total number of students = 817,327 (2014 to 2015), 821,568 (2015 to 2016), 823,356 (2016 to 2017) and 831,166 (2017 to 2018). Percents are weighted to the number of schools within free and reduced price lunch eligibility categories.  See About the Free and Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility data for more information.

During the 2017 to 2018 school year, 23 percent of Minnesota public schools had high free and reduced price lunch eligibility (50 percent or more students eligible). This has not changed significantly over time.


 

Minnesota public schools by free and reduced price lunch (FRPL) eligibility and rural versus urban, 2017 to 2018

 
Source: Minnesota Department of Education, Student Enrollment Data for Special Populations: Free and Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility.  
School location Less than 50.0% of students eligible free and reduced price lunch 50.0% or more of students eiligible free and reduced price lunch  Total number of schools Total number of students

Rural

78.4%

21.6%

682

228,434

Urban

76.8%

23.2%

962

602,732

Data does not include schools for which information on free and reduced price lunch is missing, schools that did not participate in the National School Lunch Program, and within school programs such as online schools, special education, deaf and blind schools, area learning programs, juvenile detention and correction programs, and hospital programs for mental health and chemical treatment. Total number of schools = 682 (rural) and 962 (urban). Total number of students = 228,434 (rural) and 602,732 (urban). Percents are weighted to the number of students within free and reduced price lunch eligibility categories. See About the Free and Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility data for more information.

During the 2017 to 2018 school year, there was no major difference in free and reduced price lunch eligibility between urban (23 percent) and rural (22 percent) Minnesota public schools.


 

Minnesota public schools by free and reduced price lunch (FRPL) eligibility and school type, school year 2017 to 2018

 
Source: Minnesota Department of Education, Student Enrollment Data for Special Populations: Free and Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility.  
School type Less than 50.0% of students eligible free and reduced price lunch 50.0% or more of students eiligible free and reduced price lunch Total number of school types Total number of students

All schools

77.2%

22.8%

1,644

831,166

Elementary & combined

69.7%

30.3%

947

399,098

Middle or junior high

83.0%

17.0%

245

159,103

Secondary or senior high

84.9%

15.1%

452

272,965

Data does not include schools for which information on free and reduced price lunch is missing, schools that did not participate in the National School Lunch Program, and within school programs such as online schools, special education, deaf and blind schools, area learning programs, juvenile detention and correction programs, and hospital programs for mental health and chemical treatment. Total number of public schools = 1,644 (All schools), 947 (Elementary/combined), 245 (Middle/junior high), and 452 (Secondary/senior high). Total number of students = 831,166 (All Schools), 399,098 (Elementary/combined), 159,103 (Middle/junior high), and 272,965 (Secondary/senior high). Percents are weighted to the number of students within free/reduced price lunch eligibility categories. See About the Free and Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility data for more information.    

During the 2017 to 2018 school year, 30 percent of elementary and combined schools, 17 percent of middle or junior high school and 15 percent of secondary or senior high schools had high free and reduce price lunch eligibility (50 percent or more students eligible). 


 

Free and Reduced Price Lunch (FRPL) Eligibility School Year 2017 to 2018

 
 

During the 2017 to 2018 school year, counties with the highest free and reduced price eligibility in Minnesota included:

  • Mahnomen (75 percent),
  • Nobles (62 percent),
  • Cass (59 percent),
  • Watonwan (57 percent),
  • Beltrami (57 percent),
  • Ramsey (56 percent),
  • Todd (55 percent),
  • Kandiyohi (53 percent),
  • Mower (51 percent),
  • Clearwater (51 percent), and
  • Hubbard (50 percent).