Updated on May 23, 2024
Edited by Evelyn Keener
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Saint Cloud State University (SCSU) is a public institution located in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Founded in 1869, it is one of the largest academic schools in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Overview of Saint Cloud State University (SCSU)

The institution’s mission is to prepare individuals for the challenges of the 21st century workforce. To this end, Saint Cloud State University provides individualized support combined with a world-class education that equips graduates with the tools and skills needed to succeed in today’s ever-changing world. It strives to offer rigorous and relevant academic experiences with engaged, active learning opportunities in an intellectually vibrant, inclusive, and diverse campus community.

The student population is 10,774, with 8,956 pursuing undergraduate degrees. Saint Cloud State University employs 374 full-time and 196 part-time faculty members, all of whom provide instructional support. This makes the student-to-faculty ratio 16:1, which is better than the national average. The average college class size is 22, meaning that students enrolled at this university are likely to receive more individualized academic assistance. There are also 14 graduate assistants on campus providing instructional support.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Small
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 16:1
Graduation Rate 47%
Year Founded 1896

Student Enrollment

Total Students10,774


Undergraduate Student

Male 4,120
Female 4,836

Graduate Student

Male 836
Female 982

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SCSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 1,907
Female 2,321


Male 1,774
Female 2,228

Acceptance Rate94%

Male 93%
Female 96%

Enrollment 835

Male 426
Female 401
Application Fee NA
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Considered But Not Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline August 15
Common Application Accepted No

SCSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The cost of attending Saint Cloud State University varies depending on residency and the type of degree sought. The institution charges a flat-rate tuition for full-time undergraduate students taking between 12 and 18 credits, but fees vary at different course loads. For the 2022-2023 academic year, tuition and fees for Minnesota residents are estimated to be $5,059 per semester or $10,118 per year.

Saint Cloud State University provides a ‘Be A Husky’ Award to every undergraduate student admitted from out-of-state. This financial award automatically reduces the tuition costs for non-residents. The value varies depending on residency, but always results in a significant discount. Instead of paying thousands of dollars more than in-state students, non-resident students end up paying approximately $5,059 per semester or $10,118 per year as well.

Graduate students are charged at a different rate. Those enrolled in six credits per semester will be responsible for paying $6,784 per academic year.

Students are also responsible for other expenses such as housing, meals, books, supplies, insurance, and transportation. Saint Cloud State University estimates books and supplies will cost between $600 and $700 per semester. Additionally, all undergraduate and graduate students living on campus with meal plans should anticipate paying an additional $5,214 per semester.

To offset these costs, Saint Cloud State University encourages the use of financial aid. All students can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is used to determine financial need and aid eligibility. Assistance may be available in the form of federal grants, loans, and work-study. During the 2020-2021 academic year, 90% of beginning students entering postsecondary education at the institution for the first time received some form of financial assistance. While the majority received grants and/or scholarships, approximately 49% still required some student loans. However, that means that more than 50% of students didn’t need to use student loans.

Average net price 2020-2021
Net Price $13,615
Average Total Aid $6,233
Students Receiving Financial Aid 90%
Room & Board $9,347

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $9,170
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $18,010
  • Books and Supplies - $1,200
  • Room & Board - $9,347
  • Other - $2,600


Saint Cloud State University puts learners first by providing hands-on, real-world experience that aligns with individual needs, goals, values, and perspectives. The institution has redefined what it means to be a state school and has made bold changes, resulting in a richer, rewarding, and more holistic learning experience. With numerous majors and one-on-one instruction from excellent faculty members, those enrolled receive the tools needed to succeed in today’s fast-based, global society.

Students can choose from 200 undergraduate, 60 graduate, and three doctoral degree programs offered by one of the university’s eight colleges and schools:

  • College of Education and Learning Design
  • College of Health and Wellness Professions
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • School of the Arts
  • College of Science and Engineering
  • Herberger Business School
  • School of Public Affairs
  • School of Graduate Studies

The university also offers online degree programs, with hundreds of courses available remotely. The Office of Online and Distance Learning works with various partners to introduce faculty to innovative educational technologies in order to improve the remote learning experience. Students can learn from anywhere on their own time.

As of fall 2020, Saint Cloud State University had first-year, undergraduate retention rate of 62% for full-time students and 40% for part-time students. Notably, this is below the national average of 68%. Still, this indicates that most students enrolled at the university were happy enough with their experiences to return the following year.

The overall graduation rate for first-time students who began their studies in 2015 was 47% with a transfer-out rate of 35%; though a high transfer-out rate can still indicate that those students go on to graduate from programs that aren’t available from this particular institution, the data simply isn’t there to tell us. This data shows how frequently students complete their degrees or certificate programs within 150% of standard time, which is approximately six years. Notably, only 24% of the students considered were able to graduate within four years.

Saint Cloud State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which is recognized by the US Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. It is also a member of many academic and professional associations including the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and Council of Graduate Schools in the United States. Additionally, the institution maintains several programmatic accreditations.

Student Population Total

Student Population 10,774

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 307 Total Graduates / 17%
Business Administration and Management, General 82 Graduates
Finance, General 67 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 48 Graduates
Accounting 41 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 200 Total Graduates / 11%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 106 Graduates
Athletic Training/Trainer 22 Graduates
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist 18 Graduates
Community Health and Preventive Medicine 17 Graduates
All Computer and Information Sciences Majors 190 Total Graduates / 11%
Computer and Information Systems Security/Auditing/Information Assurance 138 Graduates
Computer Science 52 Graduates
All Education Majors 171 Total Graduates / 10%
Elementary Education and Teaching 73 Graduates
Special Education and Teaching, General 25 Graduates
Social Studies Teacher Education 20 Graduates
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 11 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 104 Total Graduates / 6%
Community Psychology 60 Graduates
International/Globalization Studies 44 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 46%

Outcome & Salary

Saint Cloud State University tracks alumni success after graduation using surveys. According to data provided, over 94% of graduates were employed in a related field within one year of graduation.

Some of the top employers reported include:

  • Abbot
  • Allina Health
  • Boston Scientific
  • Capital One
  • CentraCare Health
  • Intermediate District 287
  • Medtronic
  • St. Cloud Area School District 742

Additionally, 14% of graduates were continuing their education within one year of graduation.

Some of the top gaining institutions include:

  • Capella University
  • Century College
  • North Dakota State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of North Dakota
  • University of St. Thomas

It’s also worth noting graduate salary potential. According to PayScale, the average base salary for Saint Cloud State University graduates is $72,000 per year.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $45,400
College Grads Average Salary $72,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $66,600
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $720,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,386,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $54,460
10 Year Projected ROI $665,540
20 Year Projected ROI $1,331,540
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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