With more applicants than ever, U of M gets more choosy

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Record numbers of applicants are allowing the University of Minnesota to be more selective about the students it admits to its Twin Cities campus.

The Gophers still play in the Big Ten but one U of M executive says "We're in a different league than we were before."

Bob McMaster, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, tells the Minnesota Daily: “Over the last 20 years, we’ve shifted from what I would call a safety school … to a destination for high-quality students.”

The Daily reports the university received more than 44,000 freshman applications last fall, which is more than two-and-a-half times the level of a decade earlier.

That's led to a drop in the proportion of applicants who are admitted – from 74 percent down to 44 percent.

University leaders sound more focused on the high-caliber academic talent arriving on campus than on the larger number of students getting rejected. McMaster tells the Daily competing for better students is something that should make the university proud.

President Eric Kaler says it will encourage high school students who hope to attend the U of M to aim higher. “This needs to be an aspirational place for good students in Minnesota,” he tells the campus paper.

The rise in applications is not unique to the U of M. MPR News reported last week that it's common among the state's colleges and has been building for years.

Macalester College, for example, was getting 1,100 applications per year in 1983. Last year it received 6,000. During that time the acceptance rate fell from 83 percent to 37 percent.

MPR says the college application process has become simpler since it moved online, fueling the trend toward high school students applying to more schools. A Lakeville teenager who will enroll at the U of M this fall told the network she applied to 11 colleges and knows people who applied to as many as 20.

Of course, there's still the pesky question of how to pay for higher education. The U of M's Kaler (right) was on Capitol Hill Thursday to talk about exactly that.

U.S. Sen. Al Franken invited Kaler to speak to a committee looking at how much support the states are providing to higher education.

As MinnPost reports, Kaler testified that between 1999 and 2011 Minnesota's spending on higher ed declined by 48 percent. He says some of that has been recovered since then, but with ups and downs along the way.

Find a transcript of Kaler's testimony here.

If college applications are in your future, here are some tips from The College Board.

Next Up

Liam Robbins

Gophers stay perfect at home by crushing 7th-ranked Michigan

Liam Robbins and Marcus Carr were too much for the previously undefeated Wolverines.

police lights

Four teens arrested over robberies in Minneapolis

They teens were found in a vehicle that was taken during an earlier carjacking.

Boundary Waters/BWCA

All BWCA visitors will now have to watch three 'Leave No Trace' videos

Visitors left an "unacceptably high amount" of damage last year.

ambulance

Ten fatal overdoses in past 6 weeks reported in region of northern MN

Law enforcement agencies have issued a plea to the general public.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Bracing for security threats, federal courthouses closing in Minnesota

Security is also being ramped up at the state capitol.

N95 mask

3M sues Florida company that sold 10K counterfeit N95 masks to HCMC

The Maplewood company has obtained a temporary injunction against the firm.

vaccine, covid

Walz, Whitmer, and Evers call on Trump Admin. to buy more vaccines

It comes after The Washington Post reported that the country's COVID vaccine reserves have been exhausted.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Wolves-Grizzlies game off, KAT tests postive for COVID

The Timberwolves star was among several players that are dealing with COVID-related issues.

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.

Related