An increasing number of University of Minnesota students are graduating in four years.
Fifty-four percent of students at the U of M Twin Cities campus now graduate in four years — that's up 4 percent over last year. A decade ago the rate was under 30 percent.
University officials credit the increase to better academic and financial aid advising, and more rigorous entry requirements for freshmen.
"As you bring in better and better classes, in terms of higher school rank and rigor of the curriculum and ACT (scores), there's a very strong correlation between the incoming metrics and the graduation rates," said Bob McMaster, U of M dean of undergraduate education.
The university hopes to reach a four-year graduation rate of 60 percent by next year, but McMaster said the school is likely to fall a bit short of that goal.
"And that's OK. We are moving toward the targets quickly. I never would have expected to see a four-point jump this year," McMaster said. "And if we do get that four-point jump next year — I'll take that anytime."