MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — University of Minnesota admissions representatives report the Big 10 School saw a record 44,000 applicants in the last year heading into this fall semester.

The university reports there has been an upward trend most years for the past decade, and it affords the school the chance to be more selective in admitting students.

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According to the university, last year’s incoming freshmen class had an average ACT score of 27.9; the national average is 20.9.

For prospective students like Corey Taylor, the big and modern campus seems like a good fit during the college search.

“I am only in high school, so I don’t know exactly what I want,” Taylor said.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor Steven Rosenstone said Friday many students who are high-achieving, yet turned away from the U of M, find a home at one of his 31 universities and community colleges.

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“We get many students who are in the top 10 percent of their class, but we also make room for the other 90 percent who need and deserve a good education,” Rosenstone said.

The chancellor also said 83 percent of his graduates find work in their desired field, but he is also seeing more students opting to take advantage of more affordable higher education options.

“Affordability is becoming an increasingly important criterion,” Rosenstone said.

The University of Minnesota admissions department reports in-state tuition for freshmen at $13,626, while Rosenstone says MNSCU colleges range from $4,800 to $6,800 per year.

Rosenstone said students are also saving money early in their college careers, then reapplying to more challenging admissions programs or moving on to other schools.

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Taylor and her family are focusing on finding out what she needs, even if it comes with debt she doesn’t want.