Gateway FAQs

Program Details

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Program Details

Why was I contacted to apply for the program?

Based on your application materials, Admissions and Gateway staff identified you as a student who might benefit from and enjoy participating in Gateway. Your academic interests fit well with the opportunities Gateway provides.

Gateway provides opportunities for incoming first-year students to

  • develop skills related to research, creative endeavors, and leadership, and
  • learn about resources and engagement opportunities on campus.

What are the Gateway Program dates?

Though Gateway always occurs in late summer, the specific dates are different each year to accommodate Welcome Week. So, if you’d like to know the specific dates of Gateway each year, contact the Gateway coordinator.

How much does Gateway cost?

All Gateway students receive a scholarship that covers all the direct costs of the Gateway Program. So, Gateway students do not have to pay tuition, fees, or housing and food costs associated with attending Gateway.

Whom is Gateway for and what is a typical Gateway student like?

Gateway is for recent high school graduates registered to begin their studies at UMN Morris in the fall. Eligible students come from backgrounds that are underrepresented in higher education.

Gateway students are diverse. So there isn’t a specific sort of student that is a “Gateway student.”

That said, Gateway students tend to become students who are fairly involved in leadership roles on campus. For example, Gateway students tend to be overrepresented on the executive boards of student organizations and in other student leadership positions. There are also proportionally many more Gateway students engaged in research positions on campus than one would expect. Gateway students are very well represented among UMN Morris students who win major awards.

If I don't fit the requirements can I still apply?

If you’re not sure if you’re eligible to participate in the Gateway Program, contact the Gateway coordinator.

Can I apply if I am a transfer student?

Yes, though we suggest that you email the coordinator to see if Gateway makes sense for you and will meet your needs. Gateway is designed for students entering college for the first time, but some transfer students have also found Gateway to be a good way to begin their studies at UMN Morris.

How will I know if I am accepted into the program?

The Gateway coordinator will contact you via email to to tell you if you have been accepted to the Gateway Program. If you're accepted into the program, you will also receive materials in the mail. These materials will give you more information about the program and moving to campus to begin the program.

Feel free to contact the Gateway coordinator via email to ask about the status of your application or to ask any questions you have about the program.

What are the expectations for Gateway students?

You will be expected to make a good faith effort to participate to the best of you ability in all the programming offered during Gateway. Such programming includes Gateway classes and workshops, as well as various community-building, cultural, and recreational activities. Each of the elements of Gateway is designed to support each of the other elements. So, to get the most out of the program, you should put effort in to all of the program’s activities.

You will also be expected to treat yourself, other participants your mentors, your faculty, university staff, and everyone else with respect, kindness, care, and grace. The Gateway Program is committed to providing an affirming and supportive environment, and we expect one another to support and maintain that environment for each other. Success requires mutual support.

Finally, you will be expected to challenge yourself. Growth requires the overcoming of challenges, and learning is essentially growth. That said, if challenges seem insurmountable, you should seek support from faculty, staff, mentors, or other participants. As noted above, success requires mutual support.

What do we do on the weekends?

On the weekends we have community bonding, cultural events, and field trips. In the past, we have attended exhibits at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, competed at dragon boat races, built a house through Habitat for Humanity, attended a powwow, and visited an environmental learning center.

Can I leave during the weekends?

No. However, extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Gateway coordinator.

Will I get to meet with faculty in my major?

There are opportunities to meet with faculty in the division, if not within your intended major.

Are campus buildings and offices open during Gateway?


Some buildings an offices might be open for fewer hours during the summer than they are during the academic year. But all buildings and offices will be open and accessible to you to some extent during Gateway.

Will I have the opportunity to connect with the city of Morris?


Gateway usually includes programming that takes place off campus in partnership with community organizations. We also plan off-campus social and recreational activities in the city of Morris.

And you'll have many informal opportunities to explore town with the Gateway mentors and other Gateway students.

What do I do after Gateway is over?

Some students choose to go home or travel during the period between Gateway and Welcome Week. Others choose to stay on campus until Welcome Week. Either way, the choice is yours.

Will I interact with Gateway participants after the program is over?


We plan events throughout the year for former Gateway students, so you'll get to see other students from your Gateway cohort and meet students from previous Gateway years.

You'll also see and interact with other Gateway students in your classes, through your undergraduate research and creative production, in your student leadership positions, and during community engagement projects. And you'll probably just want to hang out sometimes with your friends from Gateway.

Why was Gateway created?

Gateway was created in 1995 as a way to support UMN Morris’s mission and values. UMN Morris strives to provide full accessibility to all of UMN Morris’s teaching, living, service, and learning spaces and technologies. We want to create an inviting and usable environment for everyone on our campus.

Reasons for Attending Gateway

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Reasons for Attending Gateway

What is the purpose of Gateway?

Gateway is an academic enrichment program that provides a head start in college for students like you.

You'll develop skills related to research, creative endeavors, and leadership. And you'll learn about opportunities on campus before starting your first semester. 

Participants come from populations that are underrepresented in higher education in the United States.

What will I get out of Gateway?

You will gain many benefits as a Gateway Scholar, including opportunities to

  • further strengthen your academic writing and data analysis skills before the beginning of the semester;
  • develop tools and skills for time and stress management;
  • learn about opportunities related to leadership, work study, recreation, and culture on campus;
  • work with faculty, staff, and peer mentors to consider how you might best use the opportunities available at UMN Morris to achieve your long-term career and life goals;
  • meet and get to know faculty, staff, and other students who will help you become more successful as a student and a leader;
  • build friendships and a community on campus before starting the academic year;
  • become familiar with campus;
  • join a community of hundreds of previous Gateway Scholars who have higher persistence and graduation rates when compared to students who did not participate in Gateway;
  • earn four college credits at no cost to you; and
  • have fun!

Why should I participate in Gateway?

Gateway will help you be more prepared for your first semester at UMN Morris.

You will gain academic skills, make friends, and get used to campus.

You will meet staff and faculty who will support you while you are at UMN Morris and after you graduate.

Why should I move to campus a month early?

Because it makes a difference to feel comfortable before your fall semester classes start.

Gateway gets you ready. You'll start your first semester with a support system in place. You'll know what to expect from college classes and have a group of friends. You'll know your way around campus and be prepared to be involved on campus and succeed in your classes.

Plus, you'll earn four college credits.

What skills will I learn during Gateway that will help me throughout my college career?

Gateway courses will help you further strengthen your skills related to

  • analyzing text,
  • academic writing,
  • analyzing data,
  • using data analysis software,
  • stress management,
  • wellness, and
  • time management.

Gateway workshops and co-curricular programming help you

  • practice event-planning, community-organizing, and leadership;
  • learn about opportunities for
    • research,
    • community engagement (volunteering),
    • campus engagement (student groups and clubs),
    • academic enrichment opportunities; and
  • explore resources for
    • academic support,
    • college finances,
    • campus employment, and
    • student services.

What about my summer job? Is Gateway worth it?

This is a decision that you will ultimately have to make. However, students who attend Gateway report that the benefits of Gateway far outweigh the benefits of a summer job. Some students take jobs that end just before Gateway starts so they get the best of both worlds. Keep in mind that the tuition, housing, and food cost for students during the Gateway program are covered by a scholarship provided to all Gateway participants. And, as a Gateway participant, you will have the opportunity to connect with on-campus jobs sooner than other students, since you will arrive on campus earlier.

Is Gateway fun?

Nearly all students report that Gateway was the highlight of their University of Minnesota Morris experience and a great way to begin their time in Morris. Although we try to have fun in all we do, keep in mind you will be taking college classes and academic work will be required.

What do past participants say about Gateway?

Here are some quotes from past Gateway participants:

  • “During Gateway you will learn how to navigate college before other students have a chance to. This allows you to get comfortable on campus at your own pace with a special group of [students from] your class.”
  • “I really enjoyed getting to know some professors and the level of work that will be expected of me throughout college. I also like being able to navigate around campus better.”
  • What I found most worthwhile about Gateway: “Making friends, being independent, finding purpose, leaving home.”
  • “I learned what the approximate workloads of classes are. I also learned how to navigate the UMN systems.”
  • What I learned in Gateway: “How to work with (other) young adults, be responsible, and organize/plan events”

Gateway Program Activities

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Gateway Program Activities

What are the Gateway workshops?

Gateway workshops are programs that help you

  • practice event-planning, community-organizing, and leadership;
  • learn about opportunities for
    • research,
    • community engagement (volunteering),
    • campus engagement (student groups and clubs),
    • academic enrichment opportunities; and
  • explore resources for
    • academic support,
    • college finances,
    • campus employment, and
    • student services.

Will I get to explore campus during Gateway?

You'll get to explore and learn about campus during Gateway in several ways:

  • Tours: as part of the Gateway orientation, your mentor will lead you on a tour of various important offices on campus.
  • Workshops on location: many of the workshops for Gateway are hosted in different offices and spaces on campus. 
  • Gatherings in fun spaces: much of the social and recreational programming organized by the Gateway mentors will be in various locations around campus, which will allow you to learn about the informal gathering spaces used by UMN Morris students.

Gateway classes

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Gateway classes

Do I get to pick my Gateway classes?

All participants take the same classes during the Gateway Program.

What are the Gateway classes?

You'll take three classes during Gateway:

  • quantitative literacy
  • positive psychology
  • writing

These classes give you an opportunity to further strengthen the skills you'll need to get into research, creative and academic writing, and student leadership at UMN Morris.

Do I have to take the math or English class if I tested into a higher-level math or English?


The Gateway classes are not part of the course sequences of the majors at UMN Morris, and the Gateway classes teach you unique content intended to provide you with an enriched academic experience.

Housing and Food

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Housing and Food

Where will I live during Gateway?

Gateway students are housed together during the program in one of the on-campus dormitories.

Either Spooner Hall or Pine Hall is often used for the Gateway program, but other halls have been used as well.

Do I have to pay for housing during Gateway?

No. Housing during Gateway will be provided to you as a Gateway student at no cost to you.

What will we eat, and do I need to bring money for food?

All students participating in Gateway will have access to the campus dining hall at no cost to them. Meals will also be provided during any field trips or off-campus events that overlap meal times.

Will my Gateway housing assignment be the same as my housing assignment for the fall?

Probably not.

Since all the Gateway students are housed together in the same building during Gateway, most students will not be assigned to the same room for both Gateway and the regular semester. However, you will have help from other Gateway students as well as Gateway staff to move to your regular housing assignment after the end of Gateway.

Will I have a roommate?

By default, all Gateway students are assigned a roommate. If there is a reason that you need a room of your own, contact the Gateway coordinator.

How are Gateway roommates assigned?

Once accepted into the program, you will be sent a questionnaire to declare your roommate preferences. Roommates are assigned by the Gateway staff based on your replies.

Will my roommate for Gateway be the same roommate for the fall semester?

Probably not.

It is unlikely that your Gateway roommate will be the roommate that is assigned to you by the Office of Residential Life.

Is there a curfew?

No, there is no curfew during Gateway. However, we expect you to act in a responsible manner, taking into consideration the amount of time you need for rest and study. We also expect you to be on time for classes, meetings, and activities.

Can I have visitors?


Unless you have the express permission of the Gateway coordinator. Extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Can I bring my pet?

Pets are not permitted in the residence halls or apartments except small aquarium fish. Aquarium tanks cannot exceed five gallons in size.

Exceptions are made for service animals and emotional support animals. Make sure to contact UMN Morris housing if you have a service animal or want to discuss having an emotional support animal.

Gateway Staff

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Gateway Staff

Who are the Gateway staff?

The Gateway team includes

  • a coordinator,
  • student intern,
  • peer mentors,
  • faculty from the English, mathematics, and statistics disciplines who teach Gateway courses,
  • staff from a variety of offices at UMN Morris, including, but not limited to:
    • Office of Equity, Diversity, and Intercultural Programs,
    • One-Stop Student Services,
    • Briggs Library,
    • Office of Community Engagement,
    • TRIO Student Support Services,
    • Native American Student Success Program,
    • Student Affairs,
    • Student Success Center,
    • Office of Sustainability, and
    • Student Counseling.

What do the peer mentors do?

Gateway peer mentors support will support you in a number of ways.

Mentors will

  • provide academic support as teaching assistants and tutors for Gateway classes,
  • offer guidance that's useful in strengthening skills and knowledge,
  • help connect you with University resources and support services during the program,
  • answer questions about campus life, and
  • create and host social and cultural programing to help you get to know other Gateway students and feel comfortable on campus.

How are the peer mentors selected?

Gateway peer mentors are chosen based on two criteria.

  1. Exemplary leader in at least one (but usually more than one) of the following areas:
    • academic performance,
    • artistic production or performance,
    • research,
    • campus or community engagement,
    • or campus and community leadership.
  2. Demonstrated inclination and aptitude for mentoring and sharing skills and insights with other students.

Gateway mentors are among the very best students attending UMN Morris.

How am I assigned a peer mentor?

Once accepted into the program, you will be sent a questionnaire to answer a few questions about you as a student and an individual.

Peer mentor groups are assigned to align with your interests and needs both as a student and as an individual.


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What do I need to bring?

School supplies

Since coursework is a core part of Gateway, you will need school supplies such as notebooks, pens, and other similar materials.

Bedding and toiletries

While Gateway provides all meals and housing in a residence hall during the program, you will need to provide your own bedding (pillow, blankets, and sheets for a twin XL bed), toiletries (including: soap, shampoo, conditioner, razors, shaving cream, skin and hair care products, shower sandals, towels, washcloths, feminine hygiene products if you need them, and something to carry your hygiene supplies between your room and the bathroom), and medication. Former Gateway students have noted that a mattress pad would have made their beds more comfortable. You might also want a personal first aid kit.


The Gateway schedule includes some outdoor activities, so bring a hat, sunscreen, and a pair of shoes that are comfortable for running around outside. There will also be several semi-formal events; please bring business casual clothes for those events. 

Do I need a computer?

Yes, but we can provide one if you don’t have one of your own.

Do I need a car?

No. Transportation will be provided for any Gateway activities that occur off campus. All activities happening on campus will be nearby. Many students at UMN Morris do not have a car on campus throughout their time here.