Best Colleges in Minnesota

Today’s college students are in a tough spot. Tuition keeps getting more expensive, but the importance of a degree in our technology-focused economy keeps growing too. In a situation like this, it’s important to do your research. You need to make sure that you find the college that’s right for you, in terms of academics and student life, as well as finances. So if you’re considering going to college in Minnesota, then you’ve come to the right place.

It’s a great state to be looking into, whether you’re a native to the state or looking to come from elsewhere. For one, Minnesota has been ranked as one of the most well-run states in the country due to its economic health and functional governance. Part of that success in administration can be seen in its focus on education. The state has put a high priority on getting a college education for as many state residents as possible, with a special emphasis on poor and minority students.

Minnesota is really a place for everyone and anyone, and the state has a lot to offer. While they tragically lost Minneapolis native Prince last year, native son Bob Dylan just won a Nobel Prize for Literature. If you’re a fan of Garrison Keillor and his Lake Wobegon (sadly, not a real place), then you’ll know it’s set in Minnesota. And their state fair is really something to behold—almost one-quarter of state residents go every year. And, of course, Minnesota is home a number of high-quality colleges and universities, from public research universities to private liberal arts schools.

What are the best colleges in Minnesota?

We’ve ranked the best colleges in Minnesota according to a composite score that takes into account a variety of factors. One of the most important factors is academic quality – the caliber of student getting, the school’s resources that enable cutting-edge research to take place, and institutional reputation. But we also consider student body diversity, as well as return on investment. Our return on investment ranking is a weight of cost – tuition, fees, room and board – against the early career pay for graduates. That way you will know not only that your education is of excellent quality, but also that you won’t be mired in too much debt once you graduate. Our data comes from the IPEDS database of the National Center for Education Statistics.

1

Carleton College

College Choice Score: 100

Average Net Price: $32,017

School Website

Overview

Carleton College was founded in 1866 by Charles M Goodsell and the General Conference of the Congregational Churches of Minnesota in rural Northfield, Minnesota. The Northfield campus is about 40 miles from the twin cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul. Since its founding, the college has moved towards a non-denominational affiliation. The college is no stranger to taking the road not taken, they were one of the first colleges to accept a Japanese-American from the intern camp Nisei. In 1949, the college celebrated the graduate of the first black students.

Features

Carleton College has over 1040 acres that includes an 880-acre arboretum. The campus fosters a close-knit community with over 2000 students, an average class size of 16, 170 student organizations, sports events and a student-faculty ratio of 9:1. Popular majors among over 30 programs include:

  • Biology & Chemistry
  • Computer science
  • Economics
  • Mathematics & Statistics
  • Psychology

Notables

Carleton College is the 4th oldest private institution in Minnesota. It has a treasured history of football events – including the famed 1977 game against St. Olaf -, building the first college-owned wind turbine in the US in 2004, and creating the Lyman lakes in 1916. But the traditions are priceless, you will always see the plaster bust of German poet Friedrich Schiller appear in random places and events.

2

Macalester College

College Choice Score: 93.16

Average Net Price: $27,999

School Website

Overview

Macalester College was founded in 1874 in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was founded by Reverend Edward Duffield Neill. He was a chaplain in the Civil War, held positions in 3 presidential administrations and worked in various church and higher education schools. Armed with all this experience, the college opened in 1885 and has grown steadily since then. The namesake of the college is Charles Macalester who was a Philadelphia Businessman and philanthropist who initiated the donations for the school.

Features

Today, there are 2108 students studying at this urban campus in 63 different areas of study. The small average class size of 17 and the 10 to 1 student to faculty ratio assists in making these students successful. According to US News, it is #7 in the nation for a strong commitment to teaching. Top majors include:

  • Biology
  • Economics
  • Political Science & Government
  • Psychology
  • Mathematics & Statistics

Notables

As you walk on campus you can see the rich history of bagpipes on the campus including their presence at major events. Macalester is known for early cultural acceptance including the following individuals. Their first African American graduate was in 1915, her name was Catharine Deaver Lealtad – she went on to be a physician. In 1942, the college welcomed Japanese-American Esther Torri Suzuki from an internment camp due to the war.

3

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

College Choice Score: 88.62

Average Net Price: $15,589

School Website

Overview

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities was founded in 1851 to be a public, flagship land-grant institution. Between 1947 and 2006, four additional campuses joined the University of Minnesota higher education system. This campus is in the area of the Twin Cities, otherwise known as Minneapolis and St. Paul. It has over 30,000 undergraduate students and over 16,300 graduate students studying at this campus. With such a large population, most schools would be a primary commuter campus. Not U of M – Twin Cities. Over 80% of the students choose to stay on school-owned or sponsored living communities.

Features

At the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, students can study over 150 undergraduate degrees and 200 graduate degrees and participate in over 800 student groups in this 1204-acre campus. Over 75% of students live off campus. The student-faculty ratio is 17 to 1. Top majors include:

  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • Rhetoric and Composition
  • Biology
  • Mathematics & Statistics

Notables

The university has provided the opportunity for students to study at one of the 200 other campuses as part of the National Student Exchange program or University’s internal global studies program. The University has a free tuition guarantee after students sign up for 13 credit hours. The average student takes 15 to 16 credit hours each semester.

4

St. Olaf College

College Choice Score: 82.70

Average Net Price: $28,019

School Website

Overview

St. Olaf College was founded in 1874 by Norwegian Lutheran Immigrants lead by Pastor Bernt Julius Muss, Rev. N. A. Quammen and H. Thorson. The college is named after King Olaf II of Norway and Patron Saint in Northfield, Minnesota southeast of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Since its founding, St. Olaf has grown to about 700 acres that is includes to 325 acres of restored wetlands, woodlands and prairies; a utility-grade wind turbine, and 40 acres of solar panel farm. The college is now 100% carbon-free electrical power.

Features

St. Olaf has over 85 majors and concentrations for the students with a healthy 12 to 1 student-faculty ratio. These 3,046 undergraduate students study their programs on a campus of 300 acres. There is no Greek system at this school, but it has over 250 student clubs. Over 1/3 of the campus is involved in the music program in some way. Popular majors include:

  • Biology & Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • Mathematics & Statistics
  • English

Notables

St. Olaf has earned its strong reputation for academic preparation. The National Science Foundation Survey of Earned Doctorates ranks St. Olaf as #12 of 267 4-year colleges with the number of graduates that earn doctoral degrees. St. Olaf earned the top ten in Mathematics & Statistics, Religion & Theology, Education, Life Sciences, Chemistry, and Biological Sciences.

5

University of Minnesota Morris

College Choice Score: 75.53

Average Net Price: $14,397

School Website

Overview

University of Minnesota – Morris has a unique history. The property originally was used as a Native American boarding school by the Sisters of Mercy. In 1909, the Sisters relinquished ownership to the State of Minnesota with the clause that all Native Americans that attend must receive a free education. In the 1960s, the State of Minnesota decided to phase out the high school element of the school and turn the school into a small, residential public liberal arts college. Today, the Morris campus seeks to be a national leader in becoming a carbon-neutral campus pursuing green initiatives.

Features

Today, over 1900 students study at this 130-care location. Students enjoy the athletic and student life activities, small classes and the 13 to 1 student-faculty ratio. Top majors include

  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Business
  • English
  • Economics

Notables

Over 18% percent of body is Native American students that represent over 50 federally recognized American Native tribes, Alaskan Native Villages, and Canadian First Nations. It is located about 150 miles from Six Native Nations and the Twin-Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Students can enjoy a green campus with wind turbines, heating and cooling systems.

6

Saint John's University

College Choice Score: 74.71

Average Net Price: $24,333

School Website

Overview

Saint John’s University was founded in 1857 by the monks of St. John’s Abby to be a Benedictine men’s college preparing individuals for priesthood as well as professions. Over time, Saint John University (SJU) for Men and College of Saint Benedict (CSB) for women began a strong partnership to offer co-ed classes for their students. SJU is located on 3,300 acres of words and lakes about an hour from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Features

Between SJU and CSB over 4,000 students are enrolled. SJU contributes over 1,700 to that number. Almost all students live on campus so that there is a close-knit learning community. SJU has 36 undergraduate majors and 100 student organizations to join. On the Saint John’s Campus, there is an average class size of 19 students with a 12 to 1 student-faculty ratio. Top Majors include:

  • Global Business Leadership
  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Communication

Notables

The SJU campus is surrounded by Saint John’s Abby Arboretum. It includes over 2,500 acres of savanna, forest, prairie, wetlands and lakes. The property includes spaces for Nordic Skiing, hiking, and wandering around Lake Sagatan and one of the largest solar fields at the Saint John’s Abbey Energy Farm.

7

Concordia College at Moorhead

College Choice Score: 74.43

Average Net Price: $22,827

School Website

Overview

Concordia College is in Fargo-Moorhead, Minnesota. Concordia was founded in 1891 by Norwegian settlers with the aid of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Since then, the college maintains close relationships with the ELCA congregations in Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana. It is well known for its graduates to continue with their education. It is in the top 13% of colleges whose graduates earn research doctorates.

Features

At the Moorhead, suburban campus, there are over2,100 students that study over 70 programs. Students will have over 60% of their classes with less than 20 students and have a faculty-student ratio of 11 to 1. Over 60% of the students live on campus enjoying the 100+ student groups, campus life and athletic events. Top majors include:

  • Biology
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Nursing
  • Psychology

Notables

Concordia is part of the NCAA III sports teams but they play St. Olaf annually for a unique Troll-phy. Other unique traditions include “The Beanie” and living in the Concordia Language Villages. No matter if you are looking to pursue an advanced degree or be immersed in another culture, there is something at Concordia for everyone.

8

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

College Choice Score: 73.60

Average Net Price: $21,123

School Website

Overview

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota was founded in 1912 by Bishop Patrick R. Heffron of the De La Salle Christian Brothers located in Winona, Minnesota. There are only 5 other Lasallian institutions in the US and 60 others throughout the world. In addition to the main campus, Saint Mary’s offers courses at two other sites and online.

Features

Saint Mary’s has over 5900 students including undergraduate, bachelor completion, masters and doctoral students between all campuses. At the main campus, there 1,171 undergraduates studying over 58 majors in 120 different programs and can be involved in over 60 student organizations and athletics. Average class size is 16 and the student-faculty ratio is 13 to 1. Popular majors include:

  • Marketing
  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Psychology
  • Human Resources Management

Notables

The Lasallian brotherhood was created by Saint John Baptist de La Salle, a priest, educational innovator and patron Saint of Teachers in 17th century France. Their goal is faith expressed through service. So, what does that mean today? Well in response to the growing need for primary care doctors, especially in the rural areas, Saint Mary’s is partnering with the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota Rochester to create a 3+2 Physician Assistant Program starting in 2017 pending accreditation.

9

College of Saint Benedict

College Choice Score: 73.06

Average Net Price: $25,559

School Website

Overview

College of Saint Benedict (CSB) was founded in 1887 by the Benedictine Sisters to provide Benedictine education for women. It is the only Benedictine College for women in the United States. It coordinates classes with Saint John’s University (SJU) But the main CSB main campus is in the city of St. Joseph, Minnesota – 75 miles from Minneapolis.

Features

Between CSB and SJU campuses, 4,000 students can attend co-ed classes. There are over 100 student organizations and athletic groups to join at the 315-acre campus. The top five majors include:

  • Global Business Leadership
  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Communication

Notables

The CSB and SJU is home to the Saint John’s Bible. The bible is the first complete hand-written and hand-illustrated Benedictine Abbey Bible after the printing press invention. It was started in 1998 and completed in 2011. The calligraphy and illustrations were done in a way that mirrored other ancient texts in the Abbey.

10

Hamline University

College Choice Score: 72.56

Average Net Price: $21,849

School Website

Overview

Hamline University was founded in 1851 by the territorial authorities and sponsored by the United Methodist in St. Paul, Minnesota. It has become to be known as the first university in Minnesota, one of the first co-educational schools in the United States and the only United Methodist University located in Minnesota. In 1973, it added a Phi Beta Kappa Chapter.

Features

Hamline is home to 40 undergraduate degrees and 11 graduate degrees. Students at this University complete over 150,000 hours of community service annually. There are over 80 student organizations and athletic teams to join. In the classroom over 50% of the classes have less than 20 students and the student-faculty ratio is 13:1. Top majors include:

  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Paralegal & Legal Studies
  • Criminal Justice
  • English

Notables

Hamline University has a rich history of military service, sports and academics. They strive to continue that history by supporting the students the best they can with a four-year graduation assurance: you can earn your bachelor degree in four years or they pay the difference. All students will complete an internship, collaborative research, a service learning project or field-based research.

11

Augsburg College

College Choice Score: 71.38

Average Net Price: $18,460

School Website

Overview

Augsburg College was founded in 1869 by the Norwegians attending The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to train ministers, theologians and the individuals for local businesses. The first faculty were recruited from Norway to come to the Minneapolis, Minnesota campus. By 1922, the college became co-ed in the city’s urban environment. The college has expanded since its founding to include a satellite location in Rochester, Minnesota. In September 2017, the college name will change to Augsburg University.

Features

The Augsburg College 3,537 students can enjoy Murphy Square, the oldest park in the city while they pursue their chosen educational plan. Of the 3,537 students, there are 2550 undergraduates and 987 graduates attending coursework towards one of the 9 graduate degrees and 50 undergraduate degrees. The average class size is 16 with a student-faculty ration of 12: 1. Popular majors include:

  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Marketing
  • Computer Science
  • Exercise Science

Notables

Augsburg is one of the most accessible campuses in the region. A skyway, tunnel and elevator system connects all twelve buildings so that students can attend classes without going outside. It is currently creating “The Auggie Plan”, a guaranteed educational program for community college students to transfer general education coursework to Augsburg College.

12

The College of Saint Scholastica

College Choice Score: 70.69

Average Net Price: $22,124

School Website

Overview

The College of Saint Scholastica was founded in 1912 by the Catholic Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota, to be a residential junior college for the northern areas. It quickly changed to a four-year institution due the needs in the area. Today, the Monastery is separate institution from the college; however, it shares the campus grounds with the College of Saint Scholastica.

Features

The College of Saint Scholastica is best known for its academic rigor in their healthcare programs that support the local community and beyond. Over 4,400 student study at one of the 13 College of Saint Scholastica locations. At the main campus, nearly 90% of the student live on the 186-acre main-campus attending classes, enjoying the 15:1 student-faculty ratio, or participating in one of the 70+ student organizations. Top Majors include:

  • Nursing
  • Business
  • Social Work & Youth Services
  • Psychology
  • Medical Records Administration

Notables

Duluth, Minnesota, is located on the banks of Lake Superior and is considered the “Mecca of the Midwest”. Duluth Harbor is the only US port that has access to both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is also an Outdoorsman’s paradise with plenty of wild game, rich natural resources and innovative transportation.

13

St. Catherine University

College Choice Score: 69.44

Average Net Price: $22,146

School Website

Overview

St. Catherine University was founded by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet in 1911. The school is affectionately known as St. Kate or Katies, named after St. Catherine of Alexandria, the 4th century Egyptian Philosopher martyred for her faith. The university is comprised of two campuses: St. Paul, Minnesota and Minneapolis Minnesota. The St. Paul campus has 110 wood acres in the Highland Park neighborhood in-between St. Paul and Minneapolis. The Minneapolis campus is the urban, healthcare and human services program campus on the west bank of the Mississippi River just 2 miles east of downtown Minneapolis. In 1937, St. Kate’s became the first catholic college to have a Phi Beta Kappa Chapter.

Features

Today, St. Kate has over 4,700 students enrolled. Over 3,000 of these students are undergraduate students. The average undergraduate course size is 17 and the student-faculty ratio is 11 to 1. Top majors include:

  • Nursing
  • Public Health
  • Social Work
  • Business
  • Psychology

Notables

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet not only founded St. Kate, but were avid contributors to the local community in terms of healthcare, nursing, and support of local division college students. St. Kate has had 11 presidents – all of them have been women.

14

University of St. Thomas

College Choice Score: 68.76

Average Net Price: $30,606

School Website

Overview

The University of St. Thomas was founded in 1885 by Archbishop John Ireland. His focus was to create a values-based education and career preparation. The site was chosen due to the central location to the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. His goal was to solve community concerns by providing education and ambitious service-learning volunteer opportunities. The university accepted its first black student in 1888 and became co-ed in 1977.

Features

Today, the university is the largest independent higher education institution. St. Thomas has over 6,000 undergraduate students and 4,000 graduate students on its 78 acres in St. Paul. Students can study over 90 majors, perform over 44,000 volunteer hours and enjoy over 150 student organizations. The average class size is 21 students but the student-faculty ratio is 14 to 1. Top majors include:

  • Business & Marketing
  • Biology
  • Social Sciences
  • Communication & Journalism
  • Engineering

Notables

The University of St. Thomas is named after Thomas Aquinas, a medieval catholic theologian and philosopher. He is also known as the patron saint of students. As the school developed, it also served as the area’s military school at the start of the 20th century. St Thomas and the military academy separated in 1915 but still has close ties with the academy.

15

Gustavus Adolphus College

College Choice Score: 67.35

Average Net Price: $25,064

School Website

Overview

Gustavus Adolphus College was founded by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in St. Peter, Minnesota, to train pastors and teachers. It located in the scenic Minnesota River Valley in a town called St. Peter and about 70 miles southwest of the Twin Cities. It is named for Swedish King Gustav II Adolf. Today it is s highly selective, private, co-ed liberal arts college that places their values in excellence, community, justice, service and faith.

Features

Gustavus Adolphus College is a Phi Beta Kappa chapter school. There are 2,210 undergraduates that enjoy a class size average of 15 and a 11 to 1 student-faculty ratio. There are over 120 special interest groups that students can join to either further their education or have fun. Top majors include:

  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Economics

Notables

Gustavus Adolphus College has had direct exchange relationships with the following higher education institutions in Sweden since the early 1980s: Uppsala University, Växjö University/Linnaeus University and Mora Folk University. Some students can exchange for several semesters or they can take advantage of the 4-1-4 academic terms by taking only the 1-month course in Sweden.

16

University of Northwestern-St. Paul

College Choice Score: 65.44

Average Net Price: $24,448

School Website

Overview

University of Northwestern – St. Paul was founded in 1902 by Dr. William Bell Riley and the First Baptist Church of Minneapolis. It is located on 107 acres near the shores of Lake Johanna in the St. Paul suburbs of Roseville and Arden Hills Minnesota. In 2013, started its rebranding to University of Northwestern – St. Paul.

Features

Northwestern has over 3,000 students studying over 70 undergraduate and 6 graduate areas. The average class size is 22. The student-faculty ratio is 14 to 1. But outside the classroom, students are able to participate in student groups, ministry and athletics. Top majors include:

  • Psychology
  • Theological and ministerial studies
  • Business
  • Kinesiology & exercise science
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities

Notables

University of Northwestern – St. Paul is just minutes from downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis. The vibrant culture of the Twin Cities is enough to keep everyone occupied during the school year with its restaurants, cultural activities and hockey. As for the university, it has had several campus presidents over the years. The most famous institutional president was Dr. Billy Graham – a man known for evangelism, large crusades and reaching the world for Christ.

17

Crown College

College Choice Score: 65.00

Average Net Price: $21,840

School Website

Overview

Crown College was founded in 1916 by the Christian Missionary Alliance (C&MA) denomination in St. Boniface, a suburb in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. It located just 30 minutes west of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, with 215 beautiful acres of oaks, hills, lakes and walking trails. They offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs both online and on campus.

Features

Crown College is the only C&MA higher education institution with a football team. But for those who do not have a passion for football, they have an 18-hole disc golf course and countless walking and running trails in the area. There are 1,300 students studying 40 different majors here. Students have small classes and close relationships with their faculty 18 to 1 ratio. Top majors include:

  • Religious Education
  • Biblical Studies
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Nursing

Notables

Crown College and their alumni serve throughout the world. IT might be a small college; but, according to the website, they cost 20-40% less than the other Christian colleges in the area and ranked among the “Best Midwest Regional Colleges” by US News & World Report. It also mentions that it is a recognized “Military Friendly School” by G.I. Jobs.

18

Bethel University

College Choice Score: 64.39

Average Net Price: $26,624

School Website

Overview

Bethel University was founded by former sea Captain John Alexis Edgren in 1871 in Chicago, Illinois. Later, the Baptist General Conference (now called Converge worldwide) took ownership of the growing school and it was moved to St. Paul Minnesota to be closer to the immigrants it was looking to serve. The initial purposes was to train pastors to serve the incoming Swedish Baptist immigrants fleeing religious persecution in Europe.

Features

Today, Bethel University has over 6,000 students enrolled in over 100 degree options at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. Students engage in subjects ranging from art to biochemistry to business. The main campus in suburban St. Paul includes 289 acres, over 50 student groups and athletic events. In the classroom, the average class size is 21 and a student faculty ratio is 12 to 1. Top majors include:

  • Nursing
  • Business
  • Education
  • Psychology & Organizational Behavior Studies
  • Theological and Ministerial Studies

Notables

The founder, John Alexis Edgren might have been a sea captain, he was also a scholar that knew 30 languages. It was this love for learning that drew him to founding Bethel so that the next generation of scholars could love God with their minds and be able to work in all fields with a solid faith. Students are focused on developing not only their future career path but also able to serve in whatever capacity of their gifts.

19

University of Minnesota Duluth

College Choice Score: 63.75

Average Net Price: $15,681

School Website

Overview

In 1895, Minnesota Legislature created a new school for teachers in Duluth, Minnesota. The goal was to train more teachers in the norther parts of the state. Since then, the name has changed numerous times. In 1947, it joined the University of Minnesota education network as a branch campus.

Features

Today undergraduate students can choose from over 84 majors. If students choose to continue, there are over 25 different graduate programs including doctoral programs. While not all University of Minnesota high level graduate courses may not be taught on campus, there are alternative learning environments in place for students to learn the same material being taught in the Twin Cities. Top undergraduate majors include:

  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Biological & Biomedical Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Psychology

Notables

The University of Minnesota was created to provide an alternative to the large research university and the small liberal arts colleges. It provides the best elements of both higher education environments in the city of Duluth. The City of Duluth is located on the shores of Lake Superior and houses the only port that has connections with the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. For those who love the outdoors, it is an Outdoorsman’s paradise. However, there are plenty to be seen indoors: the only freshwater aquarium in the US, museums and plenty of shopping.

20

University of Minnesota Crookston

College Choice Score: 62.13

Average Net Price: $13,055

School Website

Overview

The University of Minnesota – Crookston campus location was well over 100 years in the making. In 1851, the idea of creating a higher learning school was approved by legislature. By the late 1800s, several experimental research farms were created to teach agriculture and conduct additional research into agricultural and technical fields. The program was mostly certificates and 2-year programs. It wasn’t until 1992, that the school had approval to give 4-year degrees.

Features

Today, there are over 2,000 students studying one of the 34 bachelor programs either on campus or online. If you are on the 237 acres, you will see 41 building, over 40 student organizations, athletic fields and conservation research areas. In the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 16 to 1. Top majors include:

  • Business
  • Health Professions
  • Multi- or Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Natural Resources Conservation
  • Animal Services and Husbandry

Notables

The University of Minnesota – Crookston was one of the original laptop universities that provided a full-time student with a laptop or notebook computer so that they could study where they wanted, not in designated computer labs. Also, in late 2005, University of Minnesota – Crookston formalized an international partnership with the Zhejiang Economic and Trade Polytechnic (ZETP) in Hangzhou, China. This allowed faculty to work collaboratively with international counterparts as well as opportunities for students to either travel abroad or work with international teams.

21

Concordia University-Saint Paul

College Choice Score: 60.75

Average Net Price: $18,677

School Website

Overview

Concordia University -Saint Paul was founded in 1893 by the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod to train young men who wanted to become professional ministers in the Lutheran Church. In 1921, they became accredited to become a 2-year institution. The school became co-ed in 1950. In 1967, Concordia became a 4-year institution. Concordia is in St Paul, Minnesota, less than 10 minutes from downtown St. Paul or Minneapolis.

Features

Today, there are over 2,600 undergraduate and over 1,800 graduate students studying one of 80 different programs at their respective levels. Classes tend to have less than 20 students and student-faculty ratio is 16 to 1. Outside of the classroom, students participate in volunteering, student organizations, the arts and athletic events. Top majors include:

  • Business
  • Parks, Recreation, Leisure and Fitness Studies
  • Education
  • Homeland Security & Law Enforcement
  • Psychology

Notables

Concordia University- St. Paul is one of ten-member Concordia University System that is operated by the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. LCMS is the second-largest Lutheran Church body in the United states. This university system allows them to do several firsts in Minnesota. It is the first private college in Minnesota to offer an accelerated adult student completion program starting in 1985. It is also the first private, four-year institution in Minnesota to provide a laptop to all full-time students.

22

Minnesota State University-Mankato

College Choice Score: 60.57

Average Net Price: $12,464

School Website

Overview

Minnesota State University – Mankato was founded in 1868 to train teachers. Since that time, it has changed its name several times and slowly became accredited to offer various degrees including associates, bachelors, master and doctoral programs. However, in 1998, it became known as its current name and the first doctorate was conferred in 2009. It is located 85 southwest of the Twin-Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Features

Today, Minnesota State University – Mankato proves more than 15,000 students the opportunity to study more than 130 undergraduate programs and over 75 graduate programs. Over 40 different programs are online. If you come to campus, you will see the Minnesota River Valley in the distance and a beautiful 303-acre property. Students can participate in over 300 different student groups. The student-faculty ratio is 23 to 1. Popular majors include

  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Parks, Recreation and Leisure studies
  • Business
  • Criminal Science

Notables

The institution has a commitment to create a diverse, educational environment for everyone. They continually strive to continue to develop a diverse faculty and staff to serve the population as well as recruit the underrepresented populations. Currently, there are over 1,100 international students from over 90 different countries. There is also over 2,200 students of color.

23

Southwest Minnesota State University

College Choice Score: 59.96

Average Net Price: $14,551

School Website

Overview

Southwest Minnesota State University was founded in 1963 in Marshall, Minnesota. The first class was in 1967. Soon it could grant higher education degrees at all levels. Its current name was established in 2003. The campus has built the campus building to be interconnected with either tunnels or enclosed walkways to provide a controlled environment during the dog days of summer and the frigid winters. The campus states that is virtually barrier free and should be easy access to students in mobility assistance devices like wheelchairs.

Features

Southwest Minnesota State University is in a rural environment of 216 acres. Its current student population is 6,743 students. Less than have of the academic classes have less than 20 students. The student-faculty ratio is 15 to 1. Top majors include:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Parks, Recreation, Leisure and Fitness Studies
  • Public Administration & Social Service Professions
  • Social Sciences

Notables

There are great things to do in Marshall. When you are here you are close to Camden State Park where you can hike, bike or ride horses. Visit the local Brau Brothers Brewery and enjoy a few brews and bison. When it is too cold to venture out, they have local craft fairs, ballgames and several art tours. But I must warn you, most people here love hockey and you could find yourself playing the game in one fashion or another.

24

Winona State University

College Choice Score: 59.31

Average Net Price: $16,773

School Website

Overview

Winona State University was founded in 1858 when the Minnesota State Legislature needed to create several institutions to train teachers for the various state schools. It is the first tax-supported school west of the Mississippi River and located in Winona, Minnesota. Based on the changes in the community needs after World War II, Winona expanded and added several degrees at the associate, bachelor and master’s level. However, by 1975, it was clear that it was needed to change into a University. Today, the original Winona campus and the Winona West campus serve traditional students. But the third campus in Rochester focuses on non-traditional students and graduate programs.

Features

Today Winona State University provides over 80 programs on three different campuses. Today’s undergraduate enrollment is just over 8,000 students and the main urban campus has 125 acres. Inside the classroom, less than a third of the classes have less than 20 students. However, the university has managed to keep the student-faculty ratio 20 to 1. Top Majors include:

  • Business
  • Health
  • Education
  • Parks, Recreation, Leisure and Fitness Studies.

Notables

Winona State University is the oldest higher education institution in Minnesota. It would not have happened if the citizens of Winona had not raised the money necessary to start building. Since then Winona State and the city of Winona have had a close relationship both contributing to various festivals throughout the year: The Great River Shakespeare Festival, Frozen River Film Festival and Minnesota’s Beethoven Festival are just a few of them.

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Bethany Lutheran College

College Choice Score: 59.12

Average Net Price: $18,862

School Website

Overview

Bethany Lutheran College was founded in 1927 by Norwegian immigrants and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) to educate young women. It operated until 1969 as a co-educational high school and junior college. By 1996, the high school had been closed for almost 30 years and the Board of Regents started the paperwork to assist Bethany from a junior college to a 4-year institution.

Features

Today, over 500 students study at Bethany. The student-faculty ratio is 9-1 and the average class size is 20 students. The college offers 24 fields of study, 4 licensures and certifications, 8 pre-professional programs within 11 academic departments. Popular majors include:

  • Business
  • Media Arts
  • Engineering (dual degree program)
  • Mathematics,
  • Biology & Chemistry

Notables

Bethany Lutheran College is in downtown Mankato, Minnesota. Just 80 miles away from Minneapolis-St. Paul. It is a medium sized community with over 50,000 residents. It is a safe, friendly community with a variety of shopping areas and includes a large mall. Thanks to the Verizon Center, they can have indoor attractions such as concerts and sporting events. Outside, there are exciting cultural and wellness opportunities throughout the year.

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