The following article summarizes the original event which is listed below the summary.

Deciphering today’s college admissions process

Tue, April 18 2023, 11am

Our April 2023 workshop featured Keri Risic, executive director of admissions at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, talking to us about undergraduate admissions at the University and elsewhere. She began by describing the multi-year, multi-class recruitment process at the University. To fill a class of 6,000+ new freshmen, the Office of Admissions starts with a pool of more than 400,000 students, primarily in their sophomore and junior years of high school. As a student expresses interest, the University reciprocates with invitations to visit campus and attend a variety of events, many targeted specifically to the student’s background.

The University admits students on a rolling basis, from September to March of their senior year. Those placed on a wait list may be admitted up until June. Like many schools these days, the University uses a holistic review process, with each application being read by at least two reviewers.

Primary consideration is given to academic factors—grades, class rank, grade point average, course rigor, and test scores, if provided. ACT or SAT test scores are optional; a small majority of 2023 applicants submitted scores. Particular attention is paid to whether a student took advantage of the curricular opportunities available at their high school.  Also important are other context factors like outstanding achievement or aptitude in a particular area, commitment to community service, or family responsibilities.

If you have a prospective student in your family, there are many things you can encourage them to do, including:

·      Take advantage of the curriculum in their school to challenge themselves (without overburdening themselves). Advance placement and international baccalaureate courses are good if a student can succeed in them.

·      Start thinking about college early, and try to visit a variety of schools in their sophomore and junior years.

·      Take the ACT and SAT regardless of whether they plan to submit the scores. They can decide whether they want to send the scores to a given school.

·      Apply early in the senior year to several schools, including “reach” schools and “safety” schools. 

·      Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid even if they don’t think they’ll qualify for financial aid. There may be scholarships available that they don’t know about.

·      Apply for housing if there is a separate application.

—Ron Matross, UMRA president




College admissions: What you and your grandkids should know about applying for college

Tue, April 18 2023, 11am
Keri Risic
Executive Director of Admissions
University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Event to be held via Zoom.

Do you have grandchildren or other family members who will soon be applying for college? If so, you should tune into UMRA’s April 18 Living Well Workshop via Zoom. Keri Risic, executive director of admissions at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, will be our guest speaker.

College admissions has become more complex in recent years. Despite declining numbers of high school graduates, applications to flagship universities and prestigious colleges have generally increased. Many high schools have stopped ranking students. Standardized tests are increasingly optional, and the use of ethnicity as a factor in admissions decisions may soon be banned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A student applying to college now confronts a number of questions: How many colleges should I apply to? Should I submit test scores, or not? Should I take Advanced Placement courses? Is having a high GPA more important than taking harder courses? Should I get involved in a lot of activities or concentrate on just a few?

Keri Risic will help answer these questions and more. In her role as executive director of admissions, she oversees recruitment, admission, and enrollment of freshman and transfer students, including University Honors Program admissions and merit-based scholarship awards. She has more than 24 years of experience in the undergraduate admissions profession.

Risic’s professional affiliations include the Minnesota Association for College Admission Counseling, National Association for College Admission Counseling, and the College Board’s Enrollment Leadership Academy. She is an alumna of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and a former Golden Gopher athlete.

Please register today for this Zoom webinar and join us at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 18.

—Ron Matross, UMRA president

Upcoming Events

Event Date: October 2, 2023, at 9:30am

We will meet at the Mel-O-Glaze bakery on 28th and Minnehaha Parkway and walk to Minnehaha Falls and then back again.

Event Date: October 3, 2023, at 1pm

Some of the most valuable and rare maps in the world are held in UMN's own James Ford Bell Library, housed in Andersen Library  See https://www.lib.umn.edu/collections/special/bell .

Event Date: October 4, 2023, at 10am

The first meeting of UMRA’s Family History Interest Group for 2023–24 will feature a presentation by Marilyn DeLong about sharing family stories and learning surprising family connections. 

Event Date: October 4, 2023, at 10am

UMRA has a special opportunity to engage with the four newest members of the U of M Board of Regents on Wednesday, October 4, via Zoom. The purpose of the event is to share our perspectives as former University employees. 

Event Date: October 10, 2023, at 12:30pm

All UMRA members with an interest in photography are welcome to attend the meeting of the UMRA Photo Club on Tuesday, October 10. We welcome photographers of all abilities. Most of us are struggling amateurs. We laugh a lot and learn from sharing and talking about our pictures.

Event Date: October 16, 2023, at 9:30am

The walk along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis is always changing, with many attractions being added along both sides of the river and, now, the beautiful fall colors.

Event Date: October 19, 2023, at 11am

UMRA’s workshop on Open Enrollment for U of M retiree health plans for 2024 will include a briefing on the choice between Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans, by Jeff Snegosky of BCBS of Minnesota, followed by an overview of the U of M’s retiree health insurance plans, by Katie Kolodge from the Office of Human Resources.

Event Date: October 20, 2023, at 2pm

Mary Jane Towle will lead the discussion of The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams.

Event Date: October 24, 2023, at 11am

To help us understand the growing movement in the U.S. to ban books, especially children’s literature, and the critical role of libraries to protect intellectual freedom, UMRA will welcome U of M Librarian Lisa Von Drasek (pictured) and Rochester Public Librarian Kimberly Edson as the guest speakers for our October luncheon forum at Midland Hills. 

Event Date: October 27, 2023, at 2pm

The Fourth Friday Book Club will meet from 2 to 3:30 p.m. CDT on October 27 to discuss the life and narrative of Frederick Douglass.

Event Date: November 6, 2023, at 9:30am

Join us for a 5 mile moderately paced hike around Pleasant Lake located in the heart of North Oaks.  It takes us past some of James J. Hill’s original farm buildings as well as beautiful homes built along the lakeshore. The trail is wide, generally flat and consists of packed dirt and crushed rock. 

Event Date: November 6, 2023, at 9:40am

The documents noted for this event specify your managers and can minimize income taxes now, and estate taxes. 

Event Date: November 7, 2023, at 1pm

The material world we live in is shaped by design. While popular discussions of design typically focus on fashion and furniture, design is fundamental in art, architecture, and indeed nearly all aspects of the everyday world around us.  Goldstein Museum of Design curator Jean McElvain will demonstrate and discuss some of the fascinating and often unexpected holdings before we walk through the current gallery exhibit.

Event Date: November 27, 2023, at 9am - December 3, 2023, at 5pm

Get an insider's perspective on Santa Fe and Taos alongside local artists, exploring the Georgia O'Keeffe museum, enjoying traditional music and learning about native cultures. The deadline for reserving a space is June 2, 2023.

Event Date: December 4, 2023, at 9:30am

Please join us for an invigorating hike from The Monument located at the intersection of Mississippi RIver Blvd and Summit Avenue in St. Paul to Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis and back.  This hike is on paved trails, approximately 5.5 miles in length, and will be at a pace suitable to the weather.

Event Date: December 13, 2023, at 11:30am

Topics include tax changes; tax reducing moves required now and tax management in 2024 & 2025.