New report releases statistics on students of color, freshmen

Liz Kohman

University freshman Trevre Andrews chose to attend the Board of Regents Educational Planning and Policy committee meeting Thursday because he wanted to find out how the University’s governing board functioned.

Besides the insight gained about University policy-making, Andrews learned more about the characteristics of his freshman class.

“It’s huge,” Andrews said.

An enrollment and student characteristics report showed the percentage of Twin Cities campus undergraduates increased 2.7 percent this year.

In 2000, there were 26,972 undergraduates on campus, and this fall there are 27,699 students.

Vice Provost Craig Swan said the yield rates for freshmen were a little higher than expected.

According to the report, this year’s University freshmen earned higher ACT scores than previous classes. In 1990 the average ACT score of entering freshmen was 23, compared with 25 in 2001.

“Every dean loves every student that he or she has at the moment,” Swan said. “And every dean would like next year’s class to be better.”

The report also showed the percentage of freshmen women on campus has increased, said Peter Zetterberg, Institutional Research & Reporting senior analyst .

“It all sounds great,” said Regent William Hogan about the enrollment increases.

The percentage of freshmen students of color increased on all University campuses except the Twin Cities, where the number fell. In 1990, 17.1 percent of freshmen were students of color, and in 2001 the proportion decreased to 16.9 percent.

Regents also discussed the national trend of lowered participation in higher education among men ages 18 to 24. In 1967, 2.3 million women and 3 million men attended college nationwide. In 2000 5.1 million women attended college but only 4 million men attended college.

“People are beginning to ponder the different participation rates among males and females,” said University President Mark Yudof. “Not that you worry about the female rates going up, you just wonder why the male rates are languishing.”

Projections show the number of graduating Minnesota high school students will continue to increase – as it has for the past few years – peaking in 2003.