The North Pier Lighthouse is just one of many sights to see in Duluth. (Greta Schmidt)
The North Pier Lighthouse is just one of many sights to see in Duluth.

Greta Schmidt

Seniors, visit UMD while there’s still time

November 28, 2022

As you refine your college search, weighing the pros and cons that come with each location, make sure to take the University of Minnesota Duluth into consideration.

The drive up north is beautiful any time of year. (Greta Schmidt)

It is true that there are considerable cons to UMD. If being close to home is especially important to you, the two-and-a-half hour drive each way (from Sartell to Duluth) can appear to be a huge hassle when visiting friends and family on the weekend or during school breaks.

However, I would argue that the drive is far more manageable and enjoyable than it may seem. For someone who loves nature and the outdoors, the trees are beautiful to drive past during any season. And, as you approach Duluth, the views from above the city and beyond to Lake Superior are amazing.

One might also be wary of UMD in regards to academic and financial aspects. Requirements for college admissions can become confusing when looking at several different schools all at once, and financial aid is a new topic for many seniors to consider this year.

UMD provides a variety of resources centered on financial aid, academic interests, location, and student life. (Greta Schmidt)

Common App is a great resource in helping navigate stressful college applications. On the website, after adding UMD to your college list you will find important contact info, deadlines, and other requirements.

UMD itself specifically states that standardized test scores are “never required,” but a submitted ACT or SAT score may be reviewed by the university, possibly strengthening your admissions chances.

In addition, the personal essay is optional but not required. High school and college equivalent courses and grades are not used by the school in considering students, though a school and final report are required (which can be submitted by your counselor).

The final deadline for applications into the Fall 2023 semester are August 1st, though to be eligible for merit-based scholarships, apply by December 15th. The application cost is $40.00.

Make sure to also fill out the FAFSA to be considered for financial aid. Even if you are unsure whether or not you qualify, fill it out! It can only benefit you.

Another common question when looking at different schools might be the sports, clubs, and activities they have to offer.

The Weber Music Hall, the “gem” of UMD, can be spotted across campus. (Greta Schmidt)

Competitive men’s sports at UMD include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, hockey, and track and field, and women’s are basketball, cross country, hockey, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Students can come watch the Bulldogs compete for free with their UCard of for reduced price for men’s hockey during regular season.

UMD also has a wide variety of Sport Clubs for anyone to join!

With over 260 student groups and organizations, there are plenty of non-athletic clubs one can join as well.

The last, and arguably one of the most important concerns one might find in UMD, or any college, really, is the very real fear of becoming unmotivated or depressed, with a lack of activities or entertainment beyond campus, as you prepare to spend at least another four years of your life in school.

But don’t stress! There are many fun activities in Duluth that you can occupy your time with.

Bentleyville displays more than 5 million lights for guests to stroll under. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons License)

Some of the top sights to see in downtown Duluth are the Great Lakes Aquarium, the Bayfront Festival Park—which hosts the beautiful Bentleyville Tour of Lights during the holidays—the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center and nearby Aerial Lift Bridge, to name a few.

There are also so many cute and unique shops to visit as you stroll the streets downtown, including the Duluth Pottery gallery, Duluth Candy Co., Art in the Alley, Zenith Bookstore, and more.

As well as its iconic places to visit, Duluth provides wonderful opportunities for adventure in the great outdoors, right outside of campus.

The city has over 300 miles of trails for hiking, biking, skiing, and snowmobiling, according to Visit Duluth. Other popular outdoor activities include rock climbing, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and canoeing, so there’s never a dull moment for nature lovers.

So, why consider UMD?

Not only does UMD provide a small school feel with large school resources, but as of fall 2022 the university has been ranked sixth in U.S. News and World Report’s Top Public Schools Among Midwest Regional Universities.

Ultimately, the University of Minnesota Duluth is a great option when considering academics, the admissions process, location, sports, clubs, activities, entertainment, and life beyond campus.

Make sure to check UMD out and schedule a visit!

For more information on the university’s athletic programs, visit UMD Athletics, and for more on the admissions process and other general information, visit:

Also, don’t be afraid to ask your counselor if you have any additional questions about UMD, other universities and colleges, or other future plans. That’s what they’re there for!

About the Contributor
Photo of Greta Schmidt
Greta Schmidt, Journalist & Editor-in-chief

Grade: Senior

Hobbies: Playing tennis, reading, listening to music, art

Favorite drink: Starbucks iced chai

Best restaurant: Star of India


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