Best Colleges in Minnesota for Associate, Bachelor’s & Master’s

Minnesota College Guide – What You Need to Know

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Colleges and Universities in Minnesota rank among the best in the United States of America. The state has a robust public university system that ensures a top-notch, affordable education, and there are some top private schools, as well.

In late 2018, economists were warning of a coming economic slowdown. They based their projection on the sense that there weren't enough workers to fill the state's jobs. However, there are still opportunities for those with a degree.

What are the most popular bachelor's degrees offered in Minnesota?

When you head to college, one of the first things people will ask you is: what do you plan to study?

While you don't have to know immediately, it is good to at least have some general idea. That is, are you more attracted to hard sciences like Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics or social sciences such as Economics, Psychology, or Sociology. You could also study a subject in the humanities, such as Philosophy, English Literature, Foreign Language, History, or Political Science.

The majority of popular bachelor's degrees offered in Minnesota happen to fall under the realm of business. Minnesotans also gravitate towards Health Sciences, and Criminal Justice. While you are sure to find excellent instruction and expertly-designed curriculum in the top degree programs, you will likely find the same in other departments. That is to say that when you go to college, consider the fields that appeal to you the most.

Here is a list of Minnesota's most popular bachelor's degrees:

Education Level & National Average Median Compensation


NO FORMAL EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA ASSOCIATE DEGREE BACHELOR’S DEGREE MASTER’S DEGREE DOCTORAL DEGREE
$30,784* $38,792* $46,124* $64,896* $77,844* $96,772*

Best Associate Degrees in Minnesota


The state of Minnesota offers a wide variety of diverse two-year associate degree programs that can meet the needs of students interested in any career field. With some of the best associate degrees to choose from, you can earn credits quickly and affordably. Graduates will have the knowledge and skills necessary to enter the workforce right away, as well as the credits needed to transfer to a four-year institution in the future.

Alexandria Technical & Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,591
Graduation Rate
61%
Net Price
$12,976
Grads Salary
$38,500
Dakota County Technical College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,433
Graduation Rate
47%
Net Price
$10,567
Grads Salary
$38,500
Northland Community and Technical College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,220
Graduation Rate
43%
Net Price
$10,243
Grads Salary
$39,400
Anoka Technical College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,838
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$13,362
Grads Salary
$40,400
Hibbing Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,034
Graduation Rate
43%
Net Price
$8,370
Grads Salary
$35,400
St. Cloud Technical and Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
4,134
Graduation Rate
34%
Net Price
$8,680
Grads Salary
$39,100
Minnesota State Community and Technical College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
5,757
Graduation Rate
42%
Net Price
$10,233
Grads Salary
$36,200
Minnesota West Community and Technical College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,421
Graduation Rate
45%
Net Price
$10,849
Grads Salary
$34,700
Inver Hills Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
4,192
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$10,699
Grads Salary
$41,500
Lake Superior College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
5,230
Graduation Rate
40%
Net Price
$13,737
Grads Salary
$38,100
Full Ranking Report

Best Bachelor's Degrees in Minnesota


Are you interested in a career that requires a four-year bachelor’s degree? Or maybe you need to meet certain academic requirements before enrolling in an advanced degree program or earning certification in your field? Consider applying for one of these great bachelor’s degree programs available in the state of Minnesota. These top institutions can provide you with the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to achieve all your career goals, no matter what your preferred field of study is.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
51,327
Graduation Rate
84%
Net Price
$17,729
Grads Salary
$75,300
St. Olaf College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,072
Graduation Rate
85%
Net Price
$27,838
Grads Salary
$73,700
Carleton College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,115
Graduation Rate
94%
Net Price
$30,843
Grads Salary
$72,500
University of St. Thomas-St Paul
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
9,824
Graduation Rate
80%
Net Price
$31,799
Grads Salary
$74,900
The College of Saint Scholastica
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,906
Graduation Rate
69%
Net Price
$23,215
Grads Salary
$70,600
Saint Johns University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,727
Graduation Rate
74%
Net Price
$28,128
Grads Salary
$73,000
University of Minnesota-Morris
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,499
Graduation Rate
60%
Net Price
$11,147
Grads Salary
$62,000
Gustavus Adolphus College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,237
Graduation Rate
78%
Net Price
$26,701
Grads Salary
$69,000
St. Catherine University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,401
Graduation Rate
64%
Net Price
$18,912
Grads Salary
$67,000
Saint Cloud State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
11,841
Graduation Rate
45%
Net Price
$13,697
Grads Salary
$70,600
Full Ranking Report

Best Master's Degrees in Minnesota


While not all fields require an advanced degree, many employers give preference to candidates who have one. Those who choose from the master’s degrees available in Minnesota are more likely to receive higher salaries, more promotional opportunities, and better job security. This is because graduate and doctoral degree programs help graduates gain highly developed skills in analysis and critical thinking, attributes that are extremely desirable in every career field. Another option is an MBA program in Minnesota, which is also an advanced degree that helps graduates develop additional needed skills.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
51,327
Graduation Rate
84%
Net Price
$17,729
Grads Salary
$75,300
Saint Cloud State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
11,841
Graduation Rate
45%
Net Price
$13,697
Grads Salary
$70,600
The College of Saint Scholastica
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,906
Graduation Rate
69%
Net Price
$23,215
Grads Salary
$70,600
St. Catherine University-St. Paul
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,401
Graduation Rate
64%
Net Price
$18,912
Grads Salary
$67,100
University of Minnesota-Duluth
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
10,858
Graduation Rate
61%
Net Price
$18,211
Grads Salary
$66,300
Minnesota State University-Mankato
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
14,325
Graduation Rate
51%
Net Price
$15,201
Grads Salary
$67,100
Saint Johns University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,727
Graduation Rate
74%
Net Price
$28,128
Grads Salary
$73,000
University of St. Thomas-St Paul
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
9,824
Graduation Rate
80%
Net Price
$31,799
Grads Salary
$74,900
Concordia University-Saint Paul
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
5,585
Graduation Rate
48%
Net Price
$16,521
Grads Salary
$70,000
Concordia College at Moorhead
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,042
Graduation Rate
68%
Net Price
$24,096
Grads Salary
$69,000
Full Ranking Report

Cost of Minnesota College Education & Salaries


A bachelor's degree is not a cheap proposition. No matter which way you approach your post-secondary education, you will find that it comes with a hefty price tag. Before you get discouraged, consider that there are many ways to approach college costs. One way is to apply for as many scholarships as you can. This will be all the easier if you know what field you wish to pursue. For instance, engineering students can find many scholarships for their field, as can budding accountants and teachers.

Keep in mind that most scholarships will only cover a portion of your costs. Some will only cover your books. However, scholarships have a value that goes beyond the short-term ability to pay a bill. They are considered achievements and should be added to your resume. While they may only pay $500 today, and be helpful paying for that accounting textbook, they will pay off later when hiring executives are impressed with your tenacity in pursuing scholarships.

You can also cut costs by staying in state. In-state tuition is always far less than what non-residents pay. Since Minnesota has so many great schools, this shouldn't be much of a problem. Yet another way to cut in-state costs even further is to complete your first two years in a community college. Make sure your credits will transfer to your first-choice four-year university, however, as you don't want to have to re-take courses or make up any shortfalls.

Your cost analysis should also look at your potential salary after graduation. If you take loans, you will have to start paying those back approximately six months after graduation. Thus, you want to make sure that you're ready to start paying on them immediately. However, there are programs now that allow you to defer your loans altogether. If you apply your knowledge and skills to a non-profit or governmental position, and you work there for approximately ten years, you may be able to avoid all loan payments. While your paychecks might be lower, don't forget that you won't have to pay student loans from your salary. Further, you will emerge from this period with great experience.

College Cost Analysis - Minnesota vs National


Average Minnesota Tuition & Fees at 4 Year Public Schools

In-State Tuition - $11,381

National Average – $9,580

Out-of-State Tuition – $22,780

National Average – $27,437

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid

Minnesota is slightly under the national averages for percentage of students receiving federal grants and the dollar amount loaned per student.

Financial Aid Minnesota Nationally
Received Federal Grants 36% 37.7%
Average $ per Recipient $9,689 $10,927

* Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a postsecondary institution.
* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Best Scholarships for Minnesota


WEBSF

William E. Barto Scholarship Fund

https://www.dsacommunityfoundation.org/william-e-barto-scholarship-fund?tt=0
Amount: $500-$2,000
Deadline: March
High School seniors in Duluth and Superior, MN who intend to major in the arts are welcome to apply to this scholarship opportunity. To apply, you must be in the top 25% of your graduating class, submit transcripts, one recommendation, and provide proof of financial need. Awards range from $500 to $2000 and are given annually.

ANSF

Anderson Niskanen Scholarship Fund

https://www.dsacommunityfoundation.org/anderson-niskanen-scholarship-fund?tt=0#.UJfmPcXA-WY
Amount: $1,000-$2,000
Deadline: March 1
Duluth-area high school seniors are welcome to apply to this scholarship. This a scholarship for general studies, not a specific major, yet it is only open to students intending to study at the University of Minnesota-Duluth or University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. To apply, submit complete transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, a letter of recommendation, and a statement of financial need.

ABMLESTF

Allen Butler Minority Law Enforcement Scholarship Temporary Fund

https://www.dsacommunityfoundation.org/allen-butler-minority-law-enforcement-scholarship-temporary-fund?tt=0#.UJfoL8XA-WY
Amount: $500-$1,000
Deadline: Varies
If you are a person of color and wish to study law enforcement at the post-secondary level, this is the fund for you. The scholarship states that the maximum award is $500, but some past winners have won $1000. Regardless, this scholarship will certainly ease the financial burden of college and will bring a level of prestige to your post-college resume.

UM_logo

UM

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Maroon and Gold Leadership Award

http://www.ohe.state.mn.us/spages/scholarshipsInfo.cfm?instID=416
Amount: $12,000 (for four years)
Deadline: December 15
This scholarship awards $12,000 per year for four years to Minnesota residents who show outstanding academic achievement, community service activities/awards, are first-generation college students, among other qualifying factors. Like many scholarship funds, the Maroon and Gold Leadership Award looks for high GPAs, top class ranks, and stellar ACT/SAT scores.

MSPE_logo

MSPE

Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers

https://www.mnspe.org/page/Scholarships
Amount: Varies
Deadline: October 26
If you are a full-time engineering student at the sophomore level, you should apply to this scholarship. Your program should be one of the many ABET-accredited programs in Minnesota, including, but not limited to: Twin Cities Engineering, University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota-Duluth, Winona State University, University of St. Thomas.

ACEC_logo

ACEC

American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota

https://www.acecmn.org/scholarships-2/
Amount: $28,000 (Split between 11 scholarships)
Deadline: October 26
If you are pursuing an engineering degree through an ABET-accredited institution in Minnesota and need help paying for your education, the ACEC-MN is there for you. In previous years, they have disbursed up to $28,000 to help students advance their education, and thus the engineering community. To qualify, you must be at least at the Junior year. Graduate students are also encouraged to apply.

AICPA_logo

AICPA

AICPA Accountemps Student Scholarship Award

https://www.thiswaytocpa.com/education/scholarship-search/scholarship-minority-accounting-students/
Amount: $10,000 (4 Awards)
Deadline: March 1
If you are a top accounting student in Minnesota, this scholarship can help pay up to $10,000 of your tuition bill. The funds will disburse directly to your student account to cover tuition and associated fees only. The selection committee is looking for students they feel will be outstanding CPAs. Given that that AICPA is the preeminent CPA association, this will be a very high-status scholarship. With this award on your resume, you will have your pick of accounting jobs.

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