- Campuses, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Accessed May 2017, http://www.mnscu.edu/colleges/campuses.html
- Student FAQs, Minnesota Transfer, Accessed May 2017, http://www.mntransfer.org/students/basics/s_faq.php
- About Us, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Accessed May 2017, https://twin-cities.umn.edu/about-us
- At a Glance, St. Cloud State University, Accessed May 2017, http://www.stcloudstate.edu/about/glance.aspx
- Fast Facts, Minnesota State Mankato, Accessed May 2017, https://www.mnsu.edu/about/facts.html
- About Us, University of Minnesota Crookston, Accessed May 2017, https://www.crk.umn.edu/about-us
- A Unique Campus History, University of Minnesota, Morris, Accessed May 2017, https://www4.morris.umn.edu/about/unique-campus-history
- History, Bemidji State University, Accessed May 2017, http://www.bemidjistate.edu/about/history/
- Minnesota State University Moorhead's History, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Accessed May 2017, https://www.mnstate.edu/about/history.aspx
- About, Martin Luther College, Accessed May 2017, https://mlc-wels.edu/about/
- Fall 2016 Facts, University of Minnesota Duluth, Accessed May 2017, http://www.d.umn.edu/facts/
- Winona State University Overview, Winona State University, Accessed May 2017, https://www.winona.edu/aboutwsu.asp
- Aid from State Sources, Minnesota Office of Higher Education, Accessed May 2017, https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?PageID=222
- Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. Copyright © 2017-18 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.
In Minnesota, students can choose from a number of colleges and universities. These options include two-year colleges, four-year universities and technical schools. There are also a number of institutions in Minnesota that offer online degrees.
One of the largest higher education systems in the state is Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Within the system, there are seven universities and 30 colleges. Some of these schools are two-year institutions while others offer four-year degrees. Several have a flagship campus as well as satellite locations. The other main public university system is the state is the University of Minnesota which includes five institutions.
Students who choose to start their education at a community college within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities may be able to easily transfer their credits toward a bachelor's degree. That's thanks to articulation agreements between the member schools within the state system. However, even those who decide to continue their education outside the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities may find their credits are accepted by the University of Minnesota, private institutions or one of the online colleges for Minnesota.
Best 4-Year Colleges in Minnesota
Whether you want to earn an online bachelor's degree in Minnesota or would like to study on-campus, finding the right school is crucial. Here's a look at the best four-year colleges in the state, as determined by a methodology that considers cost, program flexibility and graduation rates among other things.
The University of Minnesota's flagship campus in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul tops the rankings. The university doesn't only rank high for the state, but it is also the 25th best college in the country.
Students who choose the University of Minnesota Twin Cities should have no trouble finding a degree that fits their career goals. The school ranks first in the state for the number of programs it offers. It is also one of the best online colleges for Minnesota and is second in the state when it comes to distance education offerings.
What's more, the university promotes a flexible learning environment. In addition to online courses, there are night and weekend classes as well opportunities for AP credit, dual enrollment and even credit for some life experiences. The University of Minnesota Twin Cities ranks ninth for its affordable net cost and sixth for its graduation rate.
As one of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, St. Cloud State University is the most-affordable school on this list. It ranks first for the low cost of its tuition and fees and its average net price is the second best of the 42 Minnesota schools surveyed.
At its campus about an hour northwest of Minneapolis, SCSU has been educating students since 1869. Today, the school has more than 200 majors, minors and pre-professional degree programs in addition to more than 60 graduate offerings. That helps St. Cloud State University rank third in the state for the number of programs offered.
It also offers a flexible learning environment with online, night and weekend classes available to accommodate adult learners. In addition, there is an option to earn credit for some life experiences. Remedial support is available to those who need to brush up on academic skills before pursuing their degree.
Another top-ranked choice in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System is Minnesota State University-Mankato. Celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2018, the school encourages students to think big and prides itself on preparing graduates to apply their knowledge in the real-world.
Minnesota State University-Mankato earns high ranks for both its affordability and its program availability. It has the second lowest tuition and fees of the 42 Minnesota schools surveyed. It also earned top ten rankings for the low cost of its books and supplies, its average net price and its average net price for low-income students.
When it comes to academics, Minnesota State Mankato ranks second for the number of programs it offers. Those looking to earn an online degree in Minnesota will find them here too. The school ranks fifth in the state for the number of distance education programs it maintains.
Located in northern Minnesota, the Crookston campus of the University of Minnesota is dwarfed by the physical size of its counterpart in Twin Cities. However, don't let its small campus fool you. The University of Minnesota Crookston is a solid choice that rivals many of the bigger institutions in the state.
What's more, UMC doesn't cost as much as some of the bigger name schools in Minnesota. The sticker price of its tuition and fees was the eighth best of the 42 schools surveyed. The University of Minnesota Crookston ranks first for its average net price and second for its average net price for low-income students. Its graduates reported the fourth-lowest student debt in the state compared to alumni of other surveyed institutions.
For older and nontraditional students, there are online classes plus credit may be granted for life experiences. All students have access to academic advising while graduates get career placement services as well.
The University of Minnesota, Morris prides itself on welcoming students from all backgrounds and walks of life. The campus opened in 1960 and today serves nearly 1,900 students. It offers 35 majors and minors although biology was the most popular degree awarded in 2015. There are also 10 pre-professional programs from which to choose.
Like its counterpart in Crookston, the University of Minnesota, Morris offers great value. Its tuition and fees rank ninth in the state while its average net price lands the school in the number three spot in these rankings. For low-income students, the average net price of the University of Minnesota, Morris is the best in the state. Meanwhile, qualified American Indian students attend free of charge.
You won't find any online programs at the university, but adult learners may benefit from a policy that allows credit for some life experiences.
Founded in 1919 as a school for teachers, Bemidji State University is a part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. Today, it has more than 65 undergraduate majors and pre-professional degree plans as well as 14 graduate programs.
BSU ranks high for the affordability and flexibility of its programs. It is also one of the best online colleges for Minnesota, with the ninth-greatest number of programs available via distance education. Both on-campus and online students benefit from low tuition rates at Bemidji State University. The school ranks fifth in the state for its tuition and fees, average net price and average net price for low-income students.
As for flexibility, Bemidji State University offers dual credit, AP credit and credit for some life experiences. Remedial support and academic counseling are also available. Graduates have access to career placement services.
At Minnesota State University Moorhead, students will find all the state's most popular degree programs. Registered nursing, biology and business administration are among the majors offered although the top choice for many students is elementary education and teaching. More degrees were awarded by MSUM in that field than any other in 2015. That's not surprising considering the university was originally founded in 1888 as a school for teachers.
Its many degree options helps Minnesota State University Moorhead rank eighth in the state for the total number of academic programs it offers. Students looking to earn an online bachelor's degree in Minnesota will also find choices here. The school ranks 12th for the number of distance education programs available.
Located near Fargo, North Dakota, MSUM is one of Minnesota's most affordable universities. It ranks third in the state for its low tuition and fees.
Located in New Ulms, Martin Luther College is the smallest institution on this list. Its 900 students are largely training for ministry work within the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Its undergraduate programs include elementary education, theological studies and a preseminary program. Graduate degrees in education and educational administration are also available.
While Martin Luther College offers a limited number of degree programs, for those interested in Christian ministry work, it's a top choice. The school's retention rate is fifth-best in the state, and it ranks 11th when it comes to graduating its students on-time.
Many of these enrolled seem to be able to minimize student loans, as Martin Luther College ranks tenth in the state for the median debt carried by graduates. Alumni also have the second best three-year repayment rate in the state. That may mean students are able to find positions after graduation that allow them to successfully make loan payments.
In northern Minnesota by the shores of Lake Superior, the University of Minnesota Duluth offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 10,000 students. The school ranks high for affordability and its flexible learning options.
UMD was founded in 1895 and joined the University of Minnesota System in 1947. The current campus was built in 1948. As a regional university, it draws its student body largely from Minnesota.
Nontraditional students will find UMD offers many options to make earning a degree easier. There are night, weekend and online courses. Plus, remedial support is provided for those who need to brush up academic skills. Adult learners may even find they get credit for some life experiences. The University of Minnesota Duluth ranks tenth for the affordable cost of its tuition and fees and its average net price. For low-income students, its average net price is the third-best in the state.
Winona State University is the oldest member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. The school was founded in 1858 and has since grown to include three campuses. The main campus is in Winona along with a secondary West Campus in the city. The third WSU location is in Rochester.
Students from 35 states and 42 countries are enrolled at Winona State University. Many factors may bring them to the school, including its affordable tuition rate. The university ranks sixth out of 42 Minnesota schools for its low tuition and fees.
WSU has five colleges covering popular fields such as business, education and nursing. Online courses, remedial support and credit for life experiences are all available. There are more than 80 undergraduate and graduate programs, but registered nursing was the most-awarded degree in 2015.
Most Popular Degree Programs in Minnesota
Curious what other Minnesota students are studying? Here's a look at the most popular on-campus and online Minnesota degrees.
In-Demand Careers in Minnesota
A degree is only as good as the job it can get you. While there are no guarantees, these careers are expected to see the most growth and demand in Minnesota in the coming years.
|Career Title||Projected Job Growth||Total Employment||Annual Salary|
|Wind Turbine Service Technicians||105.9%||250||$54,740|
|Home Health Aides||30.1%||25,200||$26,390|
|Cartographers and Photogrammetrists||28.7%||250||$66,130|
|Occupational Therapy Assistants||28.7%||500||$47,860|
|Operations Research Analysts||27.7%||2,530||$87,630|
|Therapists, All Other||26.7%||440||$58,920|
|Personal Care Aides||25.8%||67,420||$24,610|
|Physical Therapist Assistants||23.6%||1,450||$52,640|
|Reinforcing Iron and Rebar Workers||23.6%||200||$52,380|
|Forensic Science Technicians||22.8%||50||$55,040|
|Hearing Aid Specialists||20.8%||-||$61,410|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||20.7%||1,080||$49,420|
|Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic||20.1%||4,560||$43,010|
|Ambulance Drivers and Attendants, Except Emergency Medical Technicians||20%||-||$31,940|
|Insulation Workers, Mechanical||19.1%||930||$68,900|
|Diagnostic Medical Sonographers||19%||1,540||$77,680|
|Physical Therapist Aides||19%||320||$37,170|
Financial Aid and Scholarships in Minnesota
Minnesota residents may be eligible for financial aid beyond what's offered by the federal government. State programs include Minnesota State Grants, Postsecondary Child Care Grants, Minnesota GI Bill and the Minnesota Indian Scholarship. The state also maintains a work-study program and offers student loans for those who have exhausted their federal loans or do not qualify for need-based financial aid.
Reapplication required for renewal.
November 15 (Early Action admissions deadline)
Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 3.25 GPA and full-time status.
Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 3.6 GPA.
- Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
- University of Minnesota System
- Minnesota Office of Higher Education
- Minnesota Private College Council
- Minnesota Transfer