University of Minnesota aims to grow system enrollment

Published 9:59 pm Monday, June 25, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS — Students who can’t get into University of Minnesota’s selective Twin Cities flagship campus will be steered to the four other satellites as the system looks to grow by 3,000 over the next six years, according to university officials.

The Twin Cities campus accounts for 71 percent of the system’s more than 44,500 undergraduates, the Pioneer Press reported. However, its campuses in Duluth, Crookston, Morris and Rochester need to bear 69 percent of the enrollment growth in order for the system to meet its 2024 target.

University officials said they’ll craft application materials and rejection letters that promote all five campuses. The schools have already started sharing their rejection lists with the other campuses and will do the same with wait lists.

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The university’s flagship campus turns away more than 20,000 undergraduate applicants annually.

Vice provost and undergraduate dean Bob McMaster said the campuses have historically viewed each other as competitors. That’s changing as officials work to develop a comprehensive strategic plan.

“We must remind students that there is one University of Minnesota diploma, not five,” McMaster has said.

He said the university also must ramp up recruitment efforts for students of color and work with high schools to ensure students are prepared for college.

Barbara Keinath, interim chancellor at Crookston, said she believes the joint enrollment planning is “the best example of how the campuses have worked together in any area.”

The Minnesota State system is taking a similar approach with its 30 public colleges and seven universities by developing new degree pathways between their two- and four-year schools, which will guarantee credits will transfer within the system and enable students to earn four-year degrees on the two-year college campuses.