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In 2000, 81% of Arizonans 25 years old and over were high school graduates. Some 23.5% had obtained a bachelor's degree or higher.

The first public school in the state opened in 1871 at Tucson, with 1 teacher and 138 students. In the fall of 1999, total enrollment in public schools was 852,612. Of these, 623,561 attended schools from kindergarten through grade eight, and 229,051 attended high school. Minority students made up approximately 49% of the total enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools in 2001. Total enrollment was estimated at 856,984 in fall 2000 and expected to reach 995,000 by fall 2005. Enrollment in nonpublic schools in fall 2001 was 44,060. Expenditures for public education in 2000/01 were estimated at $4.257,374.

As of fall 2000, there were 331,099 students enrolled in college or graduate school. In the same year Arizona had 75 degree-granting institutions. In 1997, minority students comprised 26.7% of total postsecondary enrollment. The leading public higher educational institutions, the University of Arizona at Tucson and Arizona State University (originally named the Arizona Territorial Normal School) at Tempe, were both established in 1885. The American Graduate School of International Management, a private institution, is located in Glendale.