The more the merrier

The University should consider increasing freshman class enrollment.

The University of Minnesota is getting applications in record numbers, including a 16 percent increase this year from last. That doesnâÄôt mean that more students are being given the opportunity to get a higher education. According to a Monday Minnesota Daily article, the University had 33,000 applicants this year that are competing for 5,350 spots in the 2009-10 freshman class. Administrators note that an influx in students for the upcoming academic year is likely and has the potential to strain the UniversityâÄôs resources. However, increasing enrollment would also add financial resources through tuition and would ultimately give more in-state residents a chance to attend the school. It is likely that more in-state residents will be looking to attend the University because of its seeming affordability in comparison to out-of-state schools or private schools during the difficult economic times. Simply put, more students are looking for a bargain. Of course it would put some strain on the University in being able to guarantee student housing, but perhaps those guarantees could be reevaluated and students who live farther from campus or out-of-state would be given priority in student housing, not a guarantee. Moreover, adding a few students in large general classes would only make a small difference for a given college. The strain of expanding the freshman enrollment now would be unbearable or unrealistic, but the University should look to the future and reevaluate its enrollment standards and consider giving more the opportunity to attend this land-grant institution, fulfilling the mission to serve the citizens of the state.