What changes have been made to the online application? 

While the application looks the same for students and continues to provide students the option to disclose their race and ethnicity, the University has decided that the demographic check-box data on applicant race and ethnicity will not be shared with admissions decision-makers. Information on an applicant’s tribal affiliation, if provided, is not considered race/ethnicity and can be shared.

What if I learn the race/ethnicity of an applicant? 

We understand that admissions decision-makers may learn the race or ethnicity of applicants through other means. Any admissions decision-maker who learns of an applicant’s race or ethnicity may not use that information in making admissions decisions or recommendations. If admissions decision-makers have personal knowledge or learn of the race or ethnicity of an applicant, they similarly may not use that information, and they may not share that information with other admissions decision-makers.

Is it appropriate to take steps to discover the race/ethnicity of an applicant? 

Admissions decision-makers should refrain from Googling applicants, reviewing their social media accounts, or otherwise searching for any information about applicants that is not solicited directly through the application.

What about outreach and recruitment work? 

Departments may continue to consider race and other factors when identifying prospective students for outreach and recruitment, as long as all students have the same opportunity to apply and be considered for admission. Similarly, a department may consider race when identifying prospective students to recruit for participation in a pipeline or pathway program, but the department cannot consider race when awarding slots in such programs. As long as a department uses non-racial criteria for participation, the department may give program participants preference in its admissions process. 

Can race/ethnicity be considered in any way during the admissions review process? 

Information about a student’s race or ethnicity cannot be considered as a contribution to the diversity of the student body. It can, however, be considered as part of the review of an application as it relates to challenges that applicants have faced, skills they have built, or lessons they have learned that will provide them a unique ability to contribute to the University of Minnesota’s scholarly community, in which case the challenges, skills, or lessons can be considered, not the student’s race or ethnicity.

Please use our FAQ form to send us any related questions or concerns. Someone from the Graduate Admissions or General Counsel will follow up with you. Additionally, your use of this form will help us build this FAQ resource for the future.

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