University of Minnesota Aims to Attract Minority Students - Higher Education
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University of Minnesota Aims to Attract Minority Students

by Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Minnesota is increasing efforts to recruit students of color to its Twin Cities campus.

The university’s admissions office is scheduling campus tours, sending out recruiters and delivering applications to potential students, Minnesota Public Radio reported. The office has five staff members dedicated to recruiting students of color.

The university is also tailoring tours and programs for minority students.

Isra Hassan was a senior at Anoka High School last year when she toured the campus.

“Even when you’re taking a tour here, they really do emphasize how they are very into diversity and inclusion,” she said. “And I just felt like if there were to be any problems coming here in the future, I could somehow get it resolved and I didn’t have to worry about my identity interfering with my education.”

The school is using more direct marketing, recruiting and events that cater to specific groups.

“We’ve been able to create new programs that are making a difference and this is not a short-term game, particularly in the recruitment of African-Americans and other underrepresented folks,” said Shakeer Abdullah, the assistant vice president in the office of equity and diversity at the university.

The university is most focused on recruiting more Black students, a group it’s struggled to attract in the past. About 5.5 percent of the undergraduate student population is Black, up from 4.5 percent five years ago.

“We know we have work to do, but I think we have made some concerted efforts to change the narrative and really change the actual numbers,” Abdullah said. “We have been deliberate.”

The university said its retention rate of students of color has also increased, from less than 90 percent in 2010 to almost 94 percent in 2015.

The U.S. Census estimates that more than 6 percent of the state’s population is Black.

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