University of Minnesota freshmen at New Student Convocation on the first day of school (September 6). Over the past decade, freshman applications to the Twin Cities campus have increased by more than 70 percent.
Freshmen shining brighter at the U
Published on October 13, 2005
The quality of the incoming freshman class at the University of Minnesota continues to improve, according to enrollment data released by the University last Thursday (October 6). Of this year's freshmen on the Twin Cities campus, 73.8 percent came from the top 25 percent of their high school class--up from 55.8 percent in 1995.
"Although the academic profile of our incoming class is around the middle of the Big Ten universities, these numbers show excellent improvement and progress in attracting students who are prepared for the academic challenges of a major research university," said Provost Tom Sullivan in a presentation to the Board of Regents Educational Planning and Policy Committee.
In addition, Sullivan noted that:
- The percentage of new freshmen on the Twin Cities campus graduating in the top 5 percent of their high school class continues to increase, reaching 19.1 percent this year versus 17.2 percent last year.
- The average ACT composite score continues a 15-year trend of improvement, reaching 25.14 this fall, up from 22.2 last year. (The composite score is the average of four subject test scores: English, Math, Reading, and Science, and it ranges from 1 to 36, with 36 being the highest possible score.) According to ACT, Inc., which provides the college entrance exams, this year's average national composite score is 20.9, unchanged from 2004.
- The percentage of students of color on the Twin Cities campus increased to 18.5 percent this year (18.3 percent in 2004).
- Enrollment of National Merit Scholars increased this year to 58, compared to 51 in 2004, and 38 in 2002.
Looking out for the freshmen
Since 1995, the Twin Cities campus has deliberately and successfully undergone a "freshman transformation." Last year, the campus had nearly 300 more first-year students than it expected, and this year, the class size goal of 5,305 stayed on target. To read about some of enhancements introduced to improve the student experience, read "Transforming the freshman experience."
- Applications to the Twin Cities campus for the fall 2005 freshman class increased to 20,576--up more than 2,000 from 2004. Over the past decade, freshman applications to the Twin Cities campus have increased by more than 70 percent, while the number of high school graduates in Minnesota has increased by only 20 percent. These application numbers show that students recognize what the U offers, said Sullivan, "and that includes a wide range of areas in which to major and the opportunity to study with top faculty."
Total student enrollment this year on the Twin Cities campus stands at 51,175, a slight increase over 2004. System-wide enrollment is 65,489, also a slight increase over last year.