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Minnesota Office of Higher Education Seeks High Schools to Join Direct Admissions for Second Year of Pilot Program



Direct Admissions works with participating high schools to proactively notify graduating seniors of colleges in the state ready to admit them, and then lets those students apply for free.

St. Paul, Minn.— The Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) has issued an open call to all high schools to join the state’s Direct Admissions initiative in the second year of the pilot program. Launched in fall of 2022, Direct Admissions is driven by a belief that every student is "college material." The program ensures that graduating high school students know they qualify for admission to a variety of Minnesota colleges and universities. The program also eliminates the application fee for participating colleges and universities. 

“Every single high school student in Minnesota is college material and Direct Admissions reinforces that belief by proactively admitting students to college.” OHE Commissioner Dennis Olson said. “If a student knows that they will be admitted, they are less likely to self-select out of higher education. In its first year of implementation, we heard from students who were not considering college, but after receiving their notification of admittance, suddenly pursuing higher education became a real possibility. This program is simplifying process of getting into college and advancing our work to break down attainment gaps for historically excluded populations.”

As Direct Admissions enters its second year of implementation, OHE is seeking to expand the number of participating high schools, with a hope for full participation from all state high schools in the next few years.

Over 40 Minnesota high schools participated in the first year of Direct Admissions. Students at participating high schools created a personalized list from over 50 Minnesota participating colleges and universities and then were notified of admission based on their academic records through junior year and projected graduation date. Once notified, students then completed a free admissions application for each of the colleges and universities they were interested in attending. Participating colleges include a full range of community, technical, tribal, public, and private institutions.

OHE will hold four information sessions for interested high schools and school district staff:

School districts interested in joining Direct Admissions should have their principal or superintendent contact program staff: 

Direct Admissions was made possible through an investment by Governor Tim Walz and the Minnesota Legislature during the 2021 legislative session.

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