Frequently Asked Questions about Fall 2016 Freshman Admission

We very much respect that your application is important to you. Each application is reviewed individually to ensure that everything a student submits is carefully considered and that each student receives a fair and consistent admission decision. For Fall 2015 admission, applications increased 3 percent compared to the previous year. We received more than 45,000 applications for a freshman class of approximately 5,500 students. While we are very grateful for the strong interest in the University of Minnesota, the number of applications submitted and the strength of the applicant pool created a competitive admissions situation for fall 2015 and we expect the same for fall 2016 admission.

We have prepared several Frequently Asked Questions below to provide detailed information about how we review applications and make admission decisions.

What are the possible admission decisions that an applicant could receive?

Students who submit a complete application by the December 15th priority deadline will receive one of the following decisions:

  • Admit: The student has been admitted to the University of Minnesota.
  • Waitlist: The student's application has been placed on a waitlist. Although we have determined that the applicant is academically prepared to succeed at the University of Minnesota, we must make certain that we do not exceed the number of spaces available in each of the freshman-admitting colleges.
  • Deny: We are not able to offer freshman admission. Students who are denied admission are encouraged to apply for transfer admission for a future semester. Transfer admission is also competitive so it is important that students achieve a strong academic record at another college or university.

Please note: Applicants are automatically considered for admission to all U of M colleges that are a good fit with the academic interest(s) listed on their applications. Because of this, it is possible that a student may be admitted to a college that was listed as an alternate choice on the application, or to a college that was not listed as an academic interest on the application, but that we have determined best matches the student's academic interests and preparation, based on a very careful, overall assessment of the academic record and the additional information provided in the application.

What factors do you consider when making an admission decision?

We believe that selecting students from a highly talented group of applicants requires an individual assessment of all application materials submitted for each student; every application is read in its entirety.

Admission decisions are based on a very careful, overall assessment of each student's academic preparation and performance, as well as the additional information provided in the application, based on the primary and secondary factors listed below. The strongest consideration in the decision is given to the primary factors, and no single factor is the deciding factor in the decision. Applicants are automatically considered for admission to all U of M colleges that are a good fit with their academic interests and preparation.

Primary Factors

  • Coursework through high school graduation. (Admitted students typically exceed the University's high school requirements. See course requirements)
  • Grade point average
  • Class rank (if available)
  • ACT or SAT scores

Secondary Factors

Individual circumstances listed below are also considered as part of the overall assessment of each application.

  • Outstanding talent, achievement, or aptitude in a particular area
  • An exceptionally rigorous academic curriculum (enrollment in honorsAPIB, or college-level courses)
  • Strong commitment to community service and leadership
  • Military service
  • Contribution to the cultural, gender, age, economic, racial, or geographic diversity of the student body
  • Evidence of having overcome social, economic, or physical barriers to educational achievement
  • First-generation college student
  • Significant responsibility in a family, community, job, or activity
  • Family employment or attendance at the University of Minnesota
  • Extenuating circumstances

What is the academic profile of students who are admitted?

Admission decisions are based on an individual, overall assessment of each application, using the primary and secondary review factors listed on the previous page.

Among students admitted to the U of M for fall 2015, the middle 50 percent of students scored between a 27 and 31 on the ACT, and had a high school rank between 81st and 96th percentile.

The table below provides a college-by-college overview of the middle 50 percentile high school rank and standardized test scores of freshman applicants admitted for fall 2015. Please note the data presented in the table are a composite picture of admitted freshman applicants; they are not admission criteria.

  Biological Sciences Design Education & Human Development Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences Liberal Arts Management (Carlson School of) Science and Engineering
High School Rank
High School Rank (if applicable) - Range of the Middle 50 Percentile of Admitted Freshmen 91 - 99% 74 - 92% 80 - 94% 75 - 94% 77 - 93% 87 - 97% 93 - 99%
ACT Composite
ACT - Range of the Middle 50 Percentile of Admitted Freshmen 29 - 32 25 - 28 23 - 28 25 - 29 26 - 30 28 - 31 30 - 33
SAT Total
SAT - Range of the Middle 50 Percentile of Admitted Freshmen

(SAT total out of 2400)
1890 - 2160 1750 - 1970 1720 - 1940 1740 - 1980 1790 - 2030 1860 - 2060 2000 - 2220

Am I at a disadvantage because my high school does not provide high school rank information?

No. Students whose high schools do not provide high school ranks receive full consideration for admission, through an individualized and overall assessment of the application. For a complete list of the factors that we consider to make an admission decision, see the question above. ("What factors do you consider when making an admission decision?")

Do you really review every application?

Yes! Each and every application is read very carefully by more than one staff member in the Office of Admissions before a decision is made. We know that your application is important to you and your family, and we do not take your interest in the University of Minnesota for granted.

Because we are committed to ensuring that each application receives very careful consideration, our review does take some time to complete. We work very hard to ensure that we each student is given the time and attention needed to make a fair admission decision. Our comprehensive and individualized review process ensures that each application is given a thorough, fair, and consistent review.

Why are some students placed on a waitlist?

Admission to the University of Minnesota is highly competitive. For example, for fall 2015 we have received more than 45,000 applications for a freshman class of approximately 5,500 students. This strong interest in the University--combined with the academic qualifications and preparation of applicants--has resulted in a very competitive admission situation.

Based on an individual, overall assessment of their application materials, some students will be placed on a waitlist. Until we determine the number of admitted students who confirm their enrollment, we do not know whether space will be available in the freshman class.

All colleges at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities have enrollment limits to ensure that students have access to resources and services necessary for their success. This enrollment limit is the specific number of students that the college can accommodate. To provide our enrolled students with access to the courses, academic advising, and other important services designed to support and enhance their success, it is important that we not exceed each college's enrollment limit. Because we do not know how many admitted students will confirm their enrollment, we do not know how many spaces will become available to students whose applications are on the waitlist.

Can students apply for housing if they are on the waitlist?

Any student who has applied for admission, including those whose applications have been placed on a waitlist, may apply for housing beginning in December at http://housing.umn.edu/apply/. As part of the application, students must submit a nonrefundable $25 application fee.

Can I transfer to the U of M in the future?

Each year, the University of Minnesota welcomes more than 2,000 transfer students to campus. Students are able to transfer after three or four semesters of full-time coursework, if they meet the admission requirements for the program in which they intend to earn a degree. To optimize the chances for successful transfer to the University, you should:

  • Earn a strong grade point average at your transfer institution(s). Admission to the University of Minnesota remains competitive at the transfer level. Each college has its own coursework, GPA, and credit requirements.
  • Carefully plan your coursework at your transfer institution to help ensure that the courses will transfer and minimize the time that will be needed to earn a degree from the University of Minnesota.

Can students who received a deny admission decision apply for transfer admission to the U of M in the future?

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities has partnered with seven public two-year campuses around Minnesota to offer the Minnesota Cooperative Admissions Program (MnCAP). Students enrolled in MnCAP are guaranteed transfer admission to one of the participating U of M colleges and majors when they meet certain conditions. Students enrolling in this program work closely with dedicated staff at the community colleges and the University of Minnesota Office of Admissions to define the specific conditions for transfer.

Participating University of Minnesota colleges: College of Biological Sciences; College of Design (select programs only); College of Education and Human Development (select programs only); College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; College of Liberal Arts; College of Science and Engineering (select programs only).

Participating community colleges: Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Century College, Inver Hills Community College, Minneapolis Community & Technical College, Normandale Community College, North Hennepin Community College, Saint Paul College

Visit http://admissions.tc.umn.edu/admissioninfo/mncap_intro.html for participating colleges and more information about this program.

I was admitted to the University of Minnesota. Will I receive an academic scholarship?

Scholarship decisions are based on a very careful, overall assessment of each student's academic preparation and performance, as well as the additional information provided in the application. Our freshman scholarship review process ensures that each application is considered individually, based on our primary and secondary factors. Although the strongest consideration in the scholarship review is given to the primary factors, no single factor is the deciding factor in the decision.

Last year's fall 2015 freshman applicants were exceptionally strong. The competitiveness of the applicant pool for fall 2015 made for a highly competitive scholarship situation, and we expect the same for fall 2016 admission. Unfortunately, we do not have enough funding to award scholarships to all students whose records demonstrate strong academic achievement.

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