The automatic ‘I’m in!’

Direct Admissions Minnesota makes college admissions stress-free


Modesty Manion

As the school year ramps up, so does the 2022-2023 college application season. This process can be incredibly daunting, with its copious amounts of application requirements, deadlines and admission anxiety. Luckily for the class of 2023, universities and schools from across Minnesota are participating in the Direct Admissions program. 

Through Direct Admissions, Minnesota seniors on track to graduate this spring will be contacted this October by their high school and the Office of Higher Education with a personalized list of colleges that align with their academic and extracurricular performance. Such institutions will allow direct admission for the students they believe are a good fit — that is, if a college is on a student’s list, said student is automatically accepted into the school. 

Although students can be directly admitted, they still have to submit applications to the colleges they’re interested in by the specific due dates as a formality. However, participating colleges will waive the application fee for pre-admitted students. Even though students will know they are admitted far ahead of time, they will also receive an official acceptance letter from the involved colleges they apply to.

Direct Admissions programs were implemented in Idaho in 2016, South Dakota in 2018 and Illinois in 2019. All of these programs were successful in increasing postsecondary enrollment rates and increasing in-state enrollment rates. The pilot program in Minnesota is starting this fall, with the goal of proving that every driven student is “college material.” Specifically, Direct Admissions Minnesota strives to close equity gaps in the college application and admission process for students of color.

There are a myriad of well known colleges participating in Direct Admission Minnesota. The list includes 51 two-year and four-year colleges, including University of Minnesota, Duluth, Gustavus Adolphus College, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Hamline University and University of St. Thomas. Such schools, even when applying normally, have relatively simplistic application processes.

For the 2022-2023 college application season, most universities use the Common Application to make it easier to apply to many schools without filling out the same information multiple times. Most schools have also gone test-optional for admissions, meaning they don’t require a student’s SAT or ACT in the admissions decision process. These two aspects, combined with online application on university websites and the Direct Admissions Minnesota program, can make college application incredibly easier for seniors. 

I think this is an incredible opportunity for students hoping to stay in-state for postsecondary education. The idea of knowing one’s admittance status ahead of time would greatly reduce the pressure of application, and thereby make one’s senior year a lot easier and more enjoyable. Also, the fact that the list is given to students by their high school makes college selection easier as well, as it can help them find out about right-fit schools they might not have known about. I appreciate that Direct Admission Minnesota believes that students don’t need an extensive knowledge of the collegiate world to enroll in higher education.

For seniors planning to attend college, the Direct Admission program can offer an easy and stress-free college admission process. For those hoping to learn more about Direct Admissions Minnesota, talk to your school counselor and keep track of your email.