University Of Minnesota Essay Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Fall 2018 Freshman Admission

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

By the end of January, students who submit a complete application by the November 1 first deadline will receive one of the following decisions:

  • Admit: The student has been admitted to the University of Minnesota.
  • Defer: The admissions committee has completed a holistic review of the application but has not yet made a final decision. Deferred applications will be reviewed a second time, taking into consideration the number of spaces available in the freshman class and competitiveness of the entire pool of applicants who met the January 1 application deadline. By March 31, deferred applicants will receive either an admit, waitlist, or deny decision. Frequently asked questions about defer decisions.
  • 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 about deny decisions.

By the end of March, students who submit a complete application by the January 1 second 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. Waitlisted applicants will receive an update on the status of their applications by April 15. If we determine that spaces remain available, the overall strongest applicants will be admitted from the waitlist. Frequently asked questions about waitlist decisions.
  • 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 about deny decisions.

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 considered for up to two colleges listed on the application in the order the interest is indicated. If we are unable to admit the student to one of the colleges listed, the applicant is automatically considered for admission to all other U of M colleges that are a good fit with the academic interests, academic preparation, and other information included in a student's application materials. Admission decisions are based on a comprehensive, individualized review of the student's application, the overall strength of the applications received, and the number of spaces available in each of the University's freshman-admitting colleges.

Primary Factors

Because academic preparation is key to student success in college, the strongest consideration in the decision is given to student's academic preparation, or primary review factors.

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

Secondary Factors

Individual circumstances listed below are also considered as part of the overall assessment of each application. Enrolling a diverse student body—with students bringing differing experiences, talents, and perspectives to their scholarly community—is essential to achieving the development outcomes of a University of Minnesota education. Our university community is strengthened by our students representing different races, economic backgrounds, geographic origins, genders, religions, ethnicities, sexualities, talents, and beliefs.

Our holistic review takes into consideration the individual circumstances that make each individual student unique. We consider the following secondary factors in our decision review.

  • Outstanding talent, achievement, or aptitude in a particular area
  • An exceptionally rigorous academic curriculum (enrollment in honors, AP, IB, 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
  • Personal or extenuating circumstances
  • Information received in open-ended questions

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.

Overall, the middle 50 percent of students admitted for fall 2017 scored between a 27 and 32 on the ACT, between an 1300 and 1440 on the SAT, and had a high school rank percentile between 81 and 97.

The table below provides a college-by-college overview of the middle 50 percentile of freshman applicants admitted for fall 2017, broken down by high school rank and standardized test scores. Please note the data presented in the table are a composite picture of admitted freshman applicants; they are not admission criteria.

 Biological SciencesDesignEducation & Human DevelopmentFood, Agricultural and Natural Resource SciencesLiberal ArtsManagement (Carlson School of)Science and Engineering
High School Rank
High School Rank (if provided) - Range of the Middle 50 Percentile of Admitted Freshmen90 - 99%74 - 93%75 - 92%74 - 93%78 - 94%87 - 97%92 - 99%
ACT Composite
ACT Composite Score29 - 3225 - 2923 - 2825 - 2926 - 3028 - 3230 - 34
SAT Total
New SAT
(estimated score out of 1600)
1330 - 14501230 - 13401220 - 13401240 - 13601270 - 14001330 - 14201400 - 1490

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.

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.

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

Students who are admitted to the University Honors Program are notified by the end of March. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions for Common Application Applicants to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities

UPDATED: My high school counselor tried uploading my transcript on Naviance but it didn't come through. Why?

If your high school uses Naviance, you must indicate you are applying to the University of Minnesota via the Common App in the "Colleges I'm applying to list" and also complete the matching process between Naviance Family Connection and Common App. Instructions on completing the matching process.

Is the Common Application the only application I can use?

The Common Application is currently the only application available for students applying for the spring and fall 2018 semesters.

If I apply as a freshman applicant using the Common Application, am I still eligible for the Share My App program?

Yes, students applying using the Common Application whose applications become complete will receive an invitation to participate in Share My App.

Do I need to submit an essay because I'm applying with Common App?

No; the U of M does not require the Common App an essay or letters of recommendation. If you are applying to multiple universities or colleges using the Common App, all schools' requirements will show up on the student checklist. For example, this is what you will see if you have schools both with and without an essay requirement: is not required because our application questions make it easy for you to let us know who you are. Our application questions and other required materials such as transcripts and test scores are used in our holistic review of your application.

Do I need to submit letters of recommendation?

No; the U of M does not request or require letters of recommendation or the Common App essay. If you are applying to multiple universities or colleges using the Common App, all schools' requirements will show up on the student checklist. Our application questions make it easy for you to let us know who you are. Our application questions and other required materials such as transcripts and test scores are used in our holistic review of your application.

How can you make an admission decision without an essay or letters of recommendation?

Our application questions make it easy for you to let us know who you are. Our application questions and other required materials such as transcripts and test scores are used in our holistic review of your application.

Do I need to submit mid-term grades?

No, we do not request mid-term grades through the Common Application; if, on a case-by-case basis, we need to request updated grades for any reason we will request them directly from you.

My high school uses Parchment. Is the "School Report" required, and is it the same as a high school transcript?

Yes. You have to request that an official high school transcript, also called a "School Report", be submitted by your high school counselor. The School Report can be submitted by your counselor electronically using methods such as Parchment or Naviance, or through mail or fax.

Can I check the status of my Common App requested materials?

Yes! Once you have submitted your materials request via Common App, you can log back into the Common App and see the status of the document upload. We also recommend you use our Application Tracker for the most up-to-date information about what materials we have received and what we still need.

If my high school counselor needs to submit multiple documents that are required by Common App, when do the Universities receive the documents?

For the University of Minnesota, we only need the "School Report." When your high school counselor submits documents for you, they are shared with each university immediately, even if your counselor continues to add supplemental materials on your behalf.

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