University of Minnesota

Forbes names U of M Twin Cities a ‘rising star college’

UMTC has climbed 435 spots in magazine’s rankings since 2009

July 31, 2014

High retention rates, low debt burden and high graduate salaries are three reasons the University of Minnesota Twin Cities has been named a “rising star college” on Forbes magazine’s listing of America’s Best Colleges.

UMTC has climbed 435 spots since 2009 – to 108th in 2014 - the most by any college nationwide.

“The goal of the U of M’s undergraduate student experience is to cultivate well-rounded students who are staying in school, managing debt and graduating on time,” said Robert McMaster, vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Education. “Our graduation, retention and debt data show that we are meeting this goal. This recognition from Forbes affirms the strong environment we have in place to prepare students for their lives after college. We will continue to equip tomorrow’s leaders with the tools they need to be successful over the course of their career lives.”

The University’s graduation and retention rates are currently at all-time highs:

  • 4-year graduation rate: 59.1% for Fall 2009 freshmen, up from 15.2% for the Fall 1992 freshman class
  • 6-year graduation rate: 75.7% for Fall 2007 freshmen, up from 45% for the Fall 1992 freshman class
  • First to second year retention: 90.4% for Fall 2012 freshmen, up from 78.6% for the Fall 1992 freshman class

Also, among the undergraduate class of 2013, 37 percent completed their degrees carrying no debt at all.

“The increases are due to many initiatives such as Welcome Week, the 13-credit policy, a strong emphasis on four-year graduation, the President’s Emerging Scholars program and improved advising – which has allowed us to better serve our students,” added McMaster. “Our U Promise program, which provides more than $30 million in support for Minnesota resident undergraduates with a family income of up to $100,000, is also proving effective.”

Additionally, Forbes highlighted the U for its “production of high-quality graduates who become leaders.” The magazine included U of M alumni John Hammergren, CEO of McKesson Corporation, Mark Thierer, CEO of Catamaran and Diana Murphy, the Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals’ Eighth Circuit.

Overall, the “rising star” list included schools who are “focusing on student success and college affordability” and noted that “the only way to do well in this list is to produce superior undergraduates that succeed later in life, enjoy their experience, and graduate on time without high debt.”

Forbes’ America’s Top Colleges list, produced since 2009, includes 650 schools from across the U.S. ranked on factors such as student satisfaction, post-graduate success, student debt, four-year graduation rate and academic success.

Twin Cities Campus: