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Home state students put the Minnesota into the University of Minnesota

It’s time to invest in students that are choosing the U of M education that has already helped make our more than 600,000 alumni successful.

University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

As a public university that is also one of America’s leading research universities, we are charged with educating Minnesotans to develop our state’s future workforce. So it’s noteworthy that, currently, the University of Minnesota welcomes more Minnesotans into our classrooms than we have in decades.

This school year began with 68,631 enrolled students across our Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester and Twin Cities campuses. And 70% of these students, or roughly 48,000, are from Minnesota. This is one of the largest numbers we’ve seen in decades. At the same time, we have increased our diversity. In fall 2022 we had the highest BIPOC population in our history in the freshmen class on the Twin Cities campus at 35%.

Two factors in particular are driving these accomplishments. First, interest in our Twin Cities campus among graduating high school students continues to be strong. This year we saw 30,000 more applicants than available space for admission. Second, the U of M has become the first choice of many Minnesota students. Nearly one in eight Minnesota high school graduates from last spring enrolled as freshmen at one of our five campuses this school year. This represents an all-time high, and is a key goal in the University’s system-wide strategic plan, MPACT 2025.

Why is this important? In addition to honoring our mission, we know that students who study at the University of Minnesota tend to stay and build careers in this state, growing our workforce and contributing to our economy. In fact, nearly three in four working alumni are with a company or organization located in Minnesota. Whether it’s your doctor, your dentist or your children’s teacher, it’s more likely than not they studied at the U of M.

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This progress – more importantly, these Minnesota students – should be the focus right now at the State Capitol and in public discussion. We need to build up the University from its current position of strength. The trends and facts prove the University is strong or students wouldn’t be choosing it over the abundance of available post-secondary education choices.

Bob McMaster
Bob McMaster
As Minnesota legislators weigh their own choices about how to spend the state’s record-setting surplus, they need to remember the more than 68,000 students at the University. It’s time to invest in students that are choosing the U of M education that has already helped make our more than 600,000 alumni successful. Strong state investment in the University will have an immediate impact on Minnesota students, and it will keep the pipeline of Minnesota students strong – an investment in our entire state’s future.

From the moment I arrived at the University of Minnesota 34 years ago to join the faculty in geography, I realized what an exceptional University this state had created over the last 170 years. It has led the world in multiple areas of creativity and research, provided excellent education to thousands of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, and applied U of M expertise in solving myriad state challenges. Let’s make certain we continue to support this remarkable institution.

Bob McMaster is the vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Education at the University of Minnesota.