U of M to get picky

School will no longer guarantee admission

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- The University of Minnesota will no longer guarantee admission to all of its undergraduate colleges at its Twin Cities campus, starting with students who apply this fall for 2003.

Instead, applications will be individually reviewed.

The new system is to help with overcrowded classrooms. University officials say the best students will still get in, with academics remaining a top admission criterion.


"This is not being done to be more selective; we're doing it to ensure a good experience for freshmen," said Wayne Sigler, director of admissions.

However, the university warns that students who once were shoo-ins might not be admitted. It all depends on how many students apply, how qualified they are and what college they apply to. In some colleges, demand means that standards might become higher than they are now.

Students whose transcripts suffered because they took tough classes or were in rigorous high schools might have a better chance of getting in.

Last fall, 5,343 freshmen enrolled at the university, a number that strained the school's efforts to improve and personalize undergraduate education. The goal for 2003 is to enroll fewer than 5,100 freshmen.

Last year, the university dropped guaranteed admissions to the Carlson School of Management, the College of Human Ecology and General College. The same policy will be applied to the colleges of agriculture, biological sciences, liberal arts, natural resources and the Institute of Technology.

All other Big Ten schools except Iowa have similar admission policies.

Applications for this fall's freshman class have dropped about 4 percent from the previous year, with about 5,150 students expected. Sigler said the drop appears to be mostly in out-of-state students, who do not get tuition breaks.

The university has always reviewed some applications. But under the old admission system, applicants were guaranteed entry to the university if they met a December application deadline and their aptitude rating -- a number derived from their score on a college entrance exam and their high school class rank -- met or exceeded a score set by the college they applied to.

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