The Business Journals' study of which Minnesota colleges are most selective contains some findings that won't surprise you, and some that might.
On the "not surprising" side of the ledger is the fact that Northfield's Carleton College is the most selective school in the state, admitting 31 percent of applicants with an average entrance score of 1,486.
"Possibly surprising" is the fact that the University of Minnesota is more selective than almost all of the state's private colleges, including Hamline, St. Thomas, Augsburg, and Gustavus.
[jump] The U of M admits 48 percent of applicants, and the typical admitted student has an entrance score of 1,349. So while it's the state's largest public school, the majority of applicants don't get a chance to walk across the Washington Avenue bridge while donning the maroon and gold.
With the surprising exception of Minnesota-Morris, which is ranked just one spot below the U of M, most of the state's public schools are toward the bottom of the selectivity list. The least selective school in the state is St. Cloud State, which admits 86 percent of students with an average entrance score of 1,109.
A few months back, the Business Journal also looked into which Minnesota colleges produce the highest-earning graduates. Carleton, again unsurprisingly, topped that rank with a starting median salary of $42,800 and a mid-career median salary of nearly $100,000. The U of M ranked third with a starting mean salary that is actually a bit higher than Carleton's ($45,200 -- those Carleton kids must do lots of post-graduation non-profit work), and a mid-career median salary of almost $82,000.
Don't have sterling SATs but want to make some money when you graduate? Consider Minnesota State University-Mankato. While Mankato is the second least-selective college, admitting 88 percent of students, a degree from Mankato is the 11th-most lucrative out of Minnesota colleges, earning graduates a starting median salary of $41,900 with a mid-career median of over $71,000.
Mankato -- you'll get in, party hard, and perhaps make some money to boot. Not a bad deal if you can endure living there for four years.