State universities to give veterans a boost in grad-school admissions


State universities are discussing ways to give added consideration to military veterans who apply to this fall’s graduate and professional programs.

Acting on the legislature’s orders last session, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) officials have drafted a policy making veteran status as a “positive factor” in admissions.

But they said they don’t know yet how much weight the vet status will carry, and that it won’t be a centralized decision.

“What we’ve done is really encourage each institution and each graduate program to develop for themselves what makes sense,” said MnSCU Associate Vice Chancellor Leslie Mercer.

Winona State University President Scott Olson gave two examples of how it might work at his campus.

If two equally qualified candidates were competing for one spot, he said, a veteran might take priority over a nonveteran.

Another approach, Olson said, “would be a point system that would give so many points for your scores, and so many points for your grade-point average, but maybe would also give you points for whether you’re a veteran or not.”

The legislature has encouraged the University of Minnesota and private universities to take a similar step.

It also said state universities must keep track of how many veterans apply for grad school and the number they accept.

Mercer said MnSCU is expected to give a progress report to the legislature next month.