U rejects, rejoice! Rural Minnesota is probably fine

Nice campus, if you can get in. PHOTO: Exploration Vacation, Flickr CC

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the University of Minnesota system is exploring strategies to build enrollment statewide.

The main University of Minnesota campus in the Twin Cities remains popular, constituting 71 percent of the system’s enrollment. They even have to turn away students from elite programs. But to reach its goals, the Board of Trustees notes that enrollment must grow 69 percent at the four satellite campuses in Morris, Crookston, Rochester and Duluth.

So one of the strategies being deployed is to funnel rejected students from the Twin Cities to the U’s Greater Minnesota campuses. Today, I imagine what that letter might look like.

A work of satire:

Dear [Student Name, probably Tyler or Kelsey],

Thank you for your sincere interest in attending the University of Minnesota main campus in the Twin Cities. Your enthusiasm, though not readily apparent in your application essay, is presumed due to your obvious struggles to write within the lines of the entrance worksheet. Unfortunately, you do not qualify for admission to this year’s class due to the high quality of our applicant pool.

IMAGE: Lentini, Flickr CC

But what if I told you that every closed door is just a wall that you can punch through if you just punch and punch and punch some more?

Because the University of Minnesota system is more than just its vibrant Twin Cities campuses. It’s also four other campuses that you probably haven’t heard of given your high school geography scores.

For instance, there’s the University of Minnesota at Morris. Perhaps you imagined poking your head into our Carlson School of Business. Well, given the glassy stare you gave us at your interview, maybe you should consider poking your hand into the business end of a cow? It’s weird at first, but only at first.

Or perhaps you like the sound of a remote agricultural college, but you’re worried about there being too much traffic. Well, that’s where the University of Minnesota at Crookston comes in. The winds of change are always blowing in Crookston, just like the actual wind. You’ll get a North Dakota experience at Minnesota prices.

Did you want to attend the Humphrey School of Public Policy? Well, try the University of Minnesota’s Rochester campus. You’ll hobnob with world leaders and international titans of industry just a few hours before they have their insides probed by the world’s greatest surgeons at the Mayo Clinic. I’m sure they’d love to hear your opinions.

Or maybe just head up the Interstate to the University of Minnesota-Duluth. They’ve been catering to people who just can’t cut it in major metropolitan areas for generations. Plus their athletic programs are somehow better than the ones we’ve got in Minneapolis. That ought to appeal to a real meathead like you.

The important thing is that you enroll with us somehow, some way. We’d hate to lose you to an open enrollment college in the Minnesota State system or to technical training that will lead to an actual job. Further, we have concluded that the only future for rural Minnesota is as a dumping ground for rejects like yourself. It worked for the British Empire. Pretty much, anyway.

Thank you again for applying to the University of Minnesota. And if this letter was accidentally sent to someone who actually meant to attend one of our rural colleges, oops! Don’t worry, these folks have great fake IDs and a horse-like alcohol tolerance. The perfect roommates! Just help them with math. Because that appears to be a serious problem for them.


  1. “You’ll get a North Dakota experience at Minnesota prices.” – LOL this line was hilarious. But I do have much respect for those who choose to live there, it’s not an easy place to live.

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