Carlson school

by Skyler Weinand

With the current boom of freshman applicants to the Carlson School of Management, the school will soon have to restructure its admissions standards in order to maintain an enrollment of 1,450 undergraduates.
In the past two years, more and more graduating high school students have been attracted to business majors and careers. Playing heavily into their decisions are promises of $40,000 starting salaries, a 98 percent job placement rate and dreams of grabbing a piece of the booming U.S. economy.
These factors, combined with the exposure the Carlson school has received from its improved rankings, have created dramatic results: Undergraduate applications for the 1999-2000 academic year rocketed up 53 percent from the previous year, and the two-year Master’s of Business Administration program experienced a 40 percent jump.
Applications for the approaching 1999-2000 academic year are up for business schools across the country, though not as much as at the Carlson school. For example, the University of Wisconsin’s business school saw an admirable 9.1 percent increase in the number of undergraduate applicants over the previous academic session.
Already, the Carlson school is the toughest college at the University for freshman admission, and it is comparable to most upper echelon business schools. If administrators follow through on their plans, it’s going to get even tougher.
For freshmen, the magic number for automatic acceptance is 135 — the ACT score multiplied by two, plus class-rank percentile. This will be raised to 140 in the 2000-01 school year. Other colleges within the University require scores ranging around 120.
The Carlson school also plans to toughen the requirements for students transferring from other University colleges.
Gerald Rinehart, the Carlson school’s assistant dean, said that in order to stick to enrollment goals, officials set their admissions limit at 300 freshman for the upcoming academic year. So far, 330 applicants have received acceptance letters. To find out if they’ve met their admissions goals, the school will have to wait until later this spring when applicants make their final college decisions.
Rinehart said the popularity of the business school has a lot to do with the strong economy and students taking a pragmatic approach to getting a job after college. “They don’t want to put in the time and be left without a job,” he said.
In addition to its own momentum, the Carlson school is enjoying the benefits of a University wide upswing. Applications to the University as a whole are up 13 percent from last year.
Like the Carlson School, the College of Biological Sciences faces enrollment overflow and plans to restructure its admissions requirements.
Wayne Sigler, director of admissions for the University, said there’s a renewed interest in the University that has much to do with the school’s improved reputation and the well-received efforts of University President Mark Yudof to improve the undergraduate experience.