On campus beat: U Morris campus makes Kiplinger, 'greenest' lists

  • Article by: MAURA LERNER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 5, 2014 - 6:21 PM

Every college likes to get some national press now and then, at least when it’s good news. For the University of Minnesota, Morris, this has been a good two weeks.

First, it was named last week as one of the 50 “greenest universities” in the country by BestColleges.com.

Then, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance this week crowned it No. 2 on its list of the “25 Best College Values Under $30,000 a Year.”

As you might imagine, the director of admissions, Bryan Herrmann, was quite pleased.

“It’s really exciting,” he said. “I think people have been starting to pay attention to our campus.”

The Morris campus has long carved out a name for itself as a small liberal arts school within the giant U system. But its location, in a small town in west-central Minnesota, can make it difficult to get noticed.

So it was quite an honor, Herr­mann said, to hit the national radar two weeks running.

BestColleges recognized the 125-year-old campus for its energy conservation efforts, in particular, reducing its carbon emissions by 40 percent.

The school, which also has wind energy and sustainable food projects, has pledged to become a “carbon neutral campus.”

Kiplinger’s has recognized Morris as a “best value” before, including in its top 100 list in December. This time, it crunched numbers comparing the cost, financial aid, graduation rates and student performance to other schools with price tags under $30,000. The only one that came in higher: the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

The Twin Cities campus of the U was No. 23.

Herrmann isn’t sure whether the national publicity makes a difference, but applications are up this year.

Campus visits, however, are another story.

“Visits have been a little bit challenging,” he admits. “We’ve had a lot of days where it’s like, ‘Oh great, another snowstorm, another 20 below zero.’ ” Either way, he said, a little good news “definitely helps us.”

 

maura.lerner@startribune.com

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