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 2016 admission, applications increased 6 percent compared to the previous year. We have received more than 48,000 applications for a freshman class of approximately 5,700 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 have created a competitive admissions situation for fall 2016.

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

Special note for students applying to the College of Science and Engineering

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

By February 29, 2016, students who submitted a complete application by the December 15th priority deadline received 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. Frequently asked questions for students with a waitlist decision. An update was emailed to waitlisted applicants on April 12, 2016.
  • 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. Frequently asked questions for students with a deny decision.

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 we feel is a good fit but that was not listed on the student's 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.

  Average High School Rank Percentile Average ACT Composite Average SAT Total
Biological Sciences 93.8 30.5 2022
Design 81.9 26.7 1855
Education and Human Development 85.3 25.7 1810
Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences 83.5 27.2 1853
Liberal Arts 84.7 27.9 1910
Management (Carlson School of) 91.4 29.8 1972
Science and Engineering 95.2 31.8 2097

*Special note for students interested in the College of Science and Engineering

We have experienced increases in applications in all seven of our freshman-admitting colleges. For fall 2016, we must note that we anticipate the greatest shift in competitiveness of admission in the College of Science and Engineering (CSE). Applications have increased significantly over last year, which was also a record year. Additionally, we are finding that students applying have exceptionally competitive academic records. We are very grateful for the strong increase in students applying to this program. Although the University has increased capacity in CSE over recent years, admission to this college will be even more competitive than last year. As we maintain our focus on retention and student success, we must keep our enrollment within the limits of the resources available to support student success and timely graduation. There are just 1,080 spaces for enrolled freshmen in the College of Science and Engineering.

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?

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

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.

I was admitted to the University of Minnesota. Will I be admitted to Honors?

Students who are admitted to the University Honors Program will be notified by the end of March 2016. Admission to the University Honors Program is highly competitive, and the degree of competitiveness varies by college of admission. Honors admission is offered to the overall most competitive applicants from each freshman-admitting college. Jump to frequently asked questions about Honors admission.

Request information

Return to Home Page

YouTube Instagram Virtual Tour