Kaler announces new scholarship for greater MN students

CFANS will offer a $5,000 annual four-year scholarship next fall.

University President Eric Kaler fields questions from the audience at his State of the University address in Coffman Memorial Union on Thursday, March 2, 2017.

Carter Jones

University President Eric Kaler fields questions from the audience at his State of the University address in Coffman Memorial Union on Thursday, March 2, 2017.

Emun Solomon

The University of Minnesota is offering a new scholarship to students from greater Minnesota to boost in-state enrollment.

Starting next fall, the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences will offer a $5,000 annual four-year scholarship, which is funded through private donations. Once fully implemented, the Land-Grant Legacy scholarship will be offered to 100 students, according to a press release.

“Minnesota is a net exporter of college-bound talent and as our state’s only public, land-grant, research institution, the University has a special obligation to educate Minnesota students,” University President Eric Kaler said in the statement.

In 2016, less than 15 percent of the University’s undergraduates came from outside the Twin Cities seven-county metro area, data from the Office of Institutional Research shows. About half of undergraduates claimed a Twin Cities metro county home.

In the statement, Kaler said North Dakota, Iowa and South Dakota state universities have lower tuition than the University.

“This new scholarship will level the playing field financially and ensure that the University of Minnesota’s stronger academic programs are even more attractive to Minnesota students and families,” he said in the statement.

The scholarship will be the latest of the University’s initiatives to support the retention of college-bound Minnesota students, joining others like the University of Minnesota Promise and Raise Me programs.

“We are committed to playing a role in making this institution and all of the colleges and campuses more accessible to students from all 87 counties, and this scholarship is another step in the process,” said Brian Buhr, dean of CFANS.