Legislative Action Network.

information for students

As a student, you have an important story to tell. Maybe it’s about a professor who helped spawn an interest that’s become a passion…and perhaps a future career. Maybe it’s about an opportunity to learn more through hands-on research, or an internship or study abroad. Or the chance to meet other students that opened a world of possibilities.

Common Misperceptions About the U

Myth: It takes forever to graduate from the U. No one graduates in four years.

Fact: On the Twin Cities and Morris campuses, most students graduate within four years. The Twin Cities' four-year graduation rate for the most recent class will be above 57%, and on every campus, over 50% of the students graduate in five years.

Myth: The U's graduation rates are way below those of peer institutions.

Fact: The Twin Cities graduation rates are higher than many other public Big Ten schools, and are competitive among our peer group, which includes the very best public research universities in the country. The graduation rate story is similar for our coordinate campuses; in particular, Morris' 67% six-year rate is competitive with several elite schools.

Myth: Classes at the U are huge and mostly taught in large lecture halls.

Fact: 38 percent of undergraduate classes on the Twin Cities campus have fewer than 20 students, and 13 percent have more than 100 students. Among our peer group, we rank 5th for having the fewest classes (19%) with 50 or more students.

Myth: The state's best students go to private Liberal Arts Colleges.

Fact: We have almost as many honors students on the Twin Cities campus as Macalester and Carleton colleges combined. The average ACT score of these honors students (33 out of 36) is above that of the state's great liberal arts colleges, and ACT scores on all coordinate campuses are trending up. Additionally, UM-Morris is among the country's top public liberal arts colleges.

Myth: Students can't get the classes they need to graduate.

Fact: Our academic advisors work closely with students to plan their schedules, and feedback from those advisors helps shape departmental course offerings and schedules. The freshman four-year graduation guarantee demonstrates our success. In this program, students enter into a contract with the University that promises they will have access to the classes and advising they need to graduate in four years or we'll pay the tuition for the courses they couldn't get and had to take later. We've never paid.

Myth: You can't afford to go to the U.

Fact: The people of Minnesota should be very proud of the efforts taken to ensure financial access to all campuses of the University of Minnesota. On the Twin Cities campus, $147 million in scholarships and grant money went to undergraduate students. That's up over $70 million from five years earlier. The University Promise Program has assisted over 13,000 Minnesota students across all five campuses.

Myth: Students are anonymous. The U is a commuter school, there's no community.

Fact: The University is a collection of many communities. The Twin Cities campus has over 800 Registered Student Groups representing academic interests, culture and diversity, the arts, fraternity and sorority life, sports clubs, and much more. Over 80% of freshman students live in the residence halls on the Twin Cities campus.

Myth: There's no advising at the U.

Fact: Advising across the University has been a major priority. Sophisticated technology and well trained advising personnel have contributed to the improvements in student success described throughout the report. On the Rochester campus, student success coaches program has been a key factor in the increasing retention rates.

Myth: The U is so hard to get into that it no longer represents Minnesota.

Fact: The majority of our students are from Minnesota. On the Twin Cities campus, 69% of undergraduate students and 55% of graduate students are from Minnesota. Every year, 2,000 undergraduates, most from Minnesota, transfer from the Twin Cities campus. Keeping these students in Minnesota is good for our state, as is attracting high ability students from out of state, many of whom will stay, become active citizens and community and business leaders.