University of Minnesota: U of M Twin Cities welcomes 171st class, tradition of service to Minnesota continues

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The 171st fall class of students at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus experienced their first day of coursework Tuesday. While each class is unique, this one is notable for its academic strength, diversity, size and number of Minnesotans served.

“We are thrilled to welcome our new and returning students to the University of Minnesota. They represent the best and brightest from across our state, the country and the world,” said University President Joan Gabel. “They’ve accomplished a lot individually to earn a spot at our world-class research University. Now that they’re part of our University family, we look forward to supporting their learning and discovery, lifting up their successes and helping them become the next leaders for Minnesota and beyond.”

The Twin Cities’ fall 2022 class includes approximately 6,700 first-year students, the campus’ second largest freshman class in the past 55 years. The University received more than 38,000 applications—an increase of more than 6 percent compared to last year. Many of those applicants were choosing to stay in their home state, building one of the most “Minnesotan” classes in memory. Nearly 7 in every 10 students coming to the Twin Cities this fall hail from the Gopher State.

The University’s most diverse class
This class is also the University’s most racially and ethnically diverse, with 34 percent of freshmen identifying as members of a BIPOC community. In addition, 6 percent of the class is made up of international students, an increase over last year. The University saw significant increases in applications for this class from Indigenous students (up 25 percent year-over-year), Black students (up 24 percent) and Hispanic students (up 22 percent). There will be more Indigenous and Black students in this year’s freshman class than any on record.

“We continue to take steps to meet all Minnesotans where they are and provide the access, knowledge and services they need to succeed,” Gabel said. “Our comprehensive supportive resources, community and peer engagement opportunities and financial aid programs are positioned to open doors to a U of M degree.”

Among the University’s MPact 2025 commitments to diversity are programs like the Native American Promise Tuition Program. Announced earlier this year and starting this fall, the University invites Native American students who are citizens in any of the state’s 11 federally recognized Tribal Nations to consider the U of M, with free tuition available to many and significant scholarships (more than 80 percent of tuition costs) available to even more.

The program comes in addition to the long-standing tuition support for Native American students at the U of M Morris campus, which continues to offer tuition waivers to all Native American students from across the U.S. and beyond.

As it stands today, this class also includes great geographic diversity, with students representing 45 U.S. states (plus D.C. and two U.S. Territories) and 60 foreign countries. The cohort of first-year U of M students will join approximately 45,000 other undergraduate, graduate and professional students on the Twin Cities campus.

High levels of scholarship support
Investment in student scholarships remains high, with approximately $49 million distributed to students this year alone. The University’s recently expanded Promise Program ensures eligible Minnesota students whose family income is less than $50,000 can attend the University of Minnesota tuition free, while additional financial aid programs offer tuition assistance for students from almost any lower- or middle-income family. The University continues to be recognized as a leader across higher education in the amount of scholarship support provided to all students.

The University’s investment in scholarships—as well as comprehensive student support programs that support record-high four-year graduation rates for U of M students—have helped minimize student debt. Forty percent of Twin Cities undergrads graduate with zero student debt and those who do owe less than the statewide average.

Internationally renowned
The University recently was recognized in the Shanghai Ranking, internationally known for ranking the top 1,000 research universities worldwide. The U of M ranked 44th in the world overall. Shanghai Ranking also identified 10 University of Minnesota subject areas in the top 25 worldwide, including Ecology, ranked second in the world behind only Oxford in the United Kingdom.

As a research institution the U of M consistently ranks in the top ten, nationwide, among all public and private universities. In fact, last year the University competed for and won over $1 billion in research funding systemwide, the second year in a row that has happened. The University ranks eighth nationally in research funding among all U.S. universities.

Serving Minnesotans and the world
The University continues to serve Minnesotans and the world. It has created more than 200 businesses since 2006, holds more than 1,100 current patents and has licensed more than 2,800 technology solutions to businesses worldwide. In fiscal year 2022 alone, the University produced a record number of startups (22) and patents (241) issued by U.S. and foreign authorities to University inventors.

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