2022 Top Public Colleges and Universities in Minnesota

Public colleges and universities are often the most affordable option for students pursuing higher education, but it’s not just affordability that makes these institutions attractive. Public colleges and universities also rank highly among the best institutions in many states, Minnesota included.

Public institutions receive state and federal funding. Although they generally have larger class sizes than private institutions, they also tend to offer a wide variety of academic programs, diverse student bodies, and prestigious research opportunities.

2022 Best Public Colleges and Universities in Minnesota

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

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    #1

    University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

    Minneapolis, MN

    Graduation Rate

    84%

    Enrollment

    52,017

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13318

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31616

    Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities operates as a public institution. Learners take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. According to the institution, 80% of students receive aid and 37% receive loans. The public institution reports a 84% graduation rate. The admission rate for applicants is 70%. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #2

    University of Minnesota-Morris

    Morris, MN

    Graduation Rate

    60%

    Enrollment

    1,339

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12324

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14378

    From its campus in Morris, Minnesota, University of Minnesota-Morris enrolls students in programs as a public institution. Graduates leave the school prepared for the workforce. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The institution reports that students receive an average aid award of $13459, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $11147. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. University of Minnesota-Morris is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #3

    Minnesota State University-Mankato

    Mankato, MN

    Graduation Rate

    51%

    Enrollment

    14,761

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7504

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15922

    From its campus in Minnesota, Minnesota State University-Mankato enrolls students in 262 programs. Degree-seekers enroll in rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 22-to-1. At the institution, 99% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. The public institution reports a 51% graduation rate. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates on the job market. The school offers experiential learning in the form of internships, research opportunities, and practicums. Hopeful learners can expect admission rates of 67%. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission.

    #4

    Alexandria Technical & Community College

    Alexandria, MN

    Graduation Rate

    61%

    Enrollment

    2,549

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5038

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5038

    A public institution in Alexandria, Minnesota, Alexandria Technical & Community College offers a variety of degree and certificate programs. Learners study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. At the institution, 91% of students receive aid and 24% receive loans. The school reports a 61% graduation rate. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Applicants can reach out to the admission department to learn more about enrolling. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #5

    Dakota County Technical College

    Rosemount, MN

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    2,319

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5298

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5298

    A public institution in Rosemount, Minnesota, Dakota County Technical College offers a variety of degree and certificate programs. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. Students who complete an academic or technical program enter the workforce or pursue a bachelor's degree. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, enrollees qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports that 95% of students receive financial aid and 32% take out loans. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 47%. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements. Dakota County Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #6

    University of Minnesota-Duluth

    Duluth, MN

    Graduation Rate

    61%

    Enrollment

    10,275

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12194

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17394

    University of Minnesota-Duluth, located in Duluth, Minnesota, welcomes students with 174 program options. The institution's rigorous programs rank among the best in the nation. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 17-to-1. The institution reports that 90% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a graduation rate of 61%. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. Learners participate in internships, research projects, and other forms of experiential learning. Applicants can expect admission rates of 79%. Some programs waive the test score requirement for qualified applicants.

    #7

    Winona State University

    Winona, MN

    Graduation Rate

    61%

    Enrollment

    7,106

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7712

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13903

    From its campus in Winona, Minnesota, Winona State University grants degrees as a public institution. The school grants accredited degrees that prepare learners for the workforce. The institution offers affordable programs that do not sacrifice academic rigor. Many of the school's degrees make national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Students receive $ 4802 in aid on average, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $ 17185. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Winona State University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #8

    University of Minnesota-Crookston

    Crookston, MN

    Graduation Rate

    51%

    Enrollment

    2,530

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10438

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10438

    A public institution, University of Minnesota-Crookston enrolls students on its campus in Crookston, Minnesota. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that allows students to bolster their knowledge. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. These policies make it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with academic help and career services. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #9

    Minnesota State University Moorhead

    Moorhead, MN

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    5,547

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7632

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15264

    From its campus in Moorhead, Minnesota, Minnesota State University Moorhead enrolls students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps students reach their professional goals. During a bachelor's degree, students take lower-division and upper-division coursework. Students also complete general education credits. Upper-division classes emphasize advanced concepts within the major. The school supports students with tutoring and career services. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. The accredited institution qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Minnesota State University Moorhead holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #10

    University of Minnesota-Rochester

    Rochester, MN

    Graduation Rate

    54%

    Enrollment

    632

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12194

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $12194

    University of Minnesota-Rochester, located in Rochester, Minnesota, grants degrees and certificates as a public institution. Learners take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. At the institution, 93% of students receive aid and 54% receive loans. The public institution reports a graduation rate of 54%. The admission rate is 74% for hopeful students. Contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. University of Minnesota-Rochester has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #11

    Metropolitan State University

    Saint Paul, MN

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    7,552

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7136

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14560

    A public institution located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Metropolitan State University offers multiple programs. Enrollees earn an accredited degree that prepares them for the workforce. Learners benefit from the school's academic rigor and affordable tuition rate. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $ 7073, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $ 15941. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Metropolitan State University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #12

    Bemidji State University

    Bemidji, MN

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    4,577

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7976

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7976

    From its campus in Bemidji, Minnesota, Bemidji State University awards degrees and certificates as a top school. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for learners with a variety of professional goals. Academic programs can take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete, depending on degree or certificate type. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. The admissions department can help students complete the process. Learners at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover educational costs. Bemidji State University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #13

    Southwest Minnesota State University

    Marshall, MN

    Graduation Rate

    48%

    Enrollment

    7,259

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7837

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7837

    From its Marshall, Minnesota campus, Southwest Minnesota State University enrolls students in 71 programs. Learners enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 16-to-1. The institution reports that approximately 99% of enrollees receive financial aid. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 48%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates become more competitive in the job market. Prospective enrollees can expect an 81% admission rate. Some programs offer test-optional admission policies. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #14

    Ridgewater College

    Willmar, MN

    Graduation Rate

    44%

    Enrollment

    3,176

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5316

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5316

    Ridgewater College, which operates a campus in Willmar, Minnesota, often ranks as a top school. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school's academic and technical tracks help students meet diverse career goals. Completing a program can take anywhere from a few months to seven years depending on degree or certificate type and whether the student chooses part-time or full-time enrollment. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The admissions department can help students apply to the school. Financial aid helps students cover the cost of their degree or certificate. Ridgewater College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #15

    Riverland Community College

    Austin, MN

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    3,494

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5162

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5162

    From its campus in Austin, Minnesota, Riverland Community College offers academic programs as a public institution. The school offers programs that prepare learners for the workforce. Learners benefit from the school's academic rigor and affordable tuition rate. Many of the school's degrees make national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. The institution reports that students receive an average aid award of $5118, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $9032. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Riverland Community College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #16

    Minnesota State Community and Technical College

    Fergus Falls, MN

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    5,757

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4965

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4965

    From its campus in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Minnesota State Community and Technical College offers programs as a public institution. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that allows students to strengthen their skills. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Minnesota State Community and Technical College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #17

    Anoka Technical College

    Anoka, MN

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    1,683

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5237

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5237

    A public institution located in Anoka, Minnesota, Anoka Technical College educates students through multiple programs. Enrollees complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Current students receive an average aid award of $3241, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $13362. The school offers both academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #18

    Minnesota West Community and Technical College

    Granite Falls, MN

    Graduation Rate

    45%

    Enrollment

    3,253

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5300

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10600

    Minnesota West Community and Technical College, a public institution in Granite Falls, Minnesota, enrolls learners in multiple programs. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that allows students to strengthen their skills. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. These policies make it easier to enroll. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #19

    Central Lakes College-Brainerd

    Brainerd, MN

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    4,491

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4989

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4989

    Located in Minnesota, Central Lakes College-Brainerd enrolls students in 76 programs. The institution's many rigorous academic programs rank among the best in the nation. The school reports a 19-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The institution reports that 96% of students receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a graduation rate of 42%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates become more competitive in the job market. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs no longer require standardized tests for admission. Prospective students can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #20

    Hibbing Community College

    Hibbing, MN

    Graduation Rate

    43%

    Enrollment

    913

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4944

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6179

    From its campus in Hibbing, Minnesota, Hibbing Community College educates college students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. The school provides support such as tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs such as the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #21

    Northwest Technical College

    Bemidji, MN

    Graduation Rate

    36%

    Enrollment

    825

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5415

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5415

    A public institution, Northwest Technical College enrolls students from its campus in Bemidji, Minnesota. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs for students planning to enter the workforce or pursue further studies. The school's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. According to the institution, 90% of students receive aid and 38% receive loans. The public institution reports a 36% graduation rate. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying. Northwest Technical College has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #22

    Hennepin Technical College

    Brooklyn Park, MN

    Graduation Rate

    29%

    Enrollment

    4,094

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4914

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4914

    From its campus in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, Hennepin Technical College enrolls students as a public institution. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution reports that 89% of students receive aid, and 25% receive loans. Enrollees graduate from the school at a rate of 29%. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. Hennepin Technical College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #23

    Northland Community and Technical College

    Thief River Falls, MN

    Graduation Rate

    43%

    Enrollment

    2,962

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5176

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5176

    From its campus in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, Northland Community and Technical College grants college degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. Students strengthen their knowledge of the field by completing coursework. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. This makes it easier to enroll. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs. Northland Community and Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #24

    South Central College

    North Mankato, MN

    Graduation Rate

    31%

    Enrollment

    2,653

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4835

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4835

    Located in North Mankato, Minnesota, South Central College grants college degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #25

    Lake Superior College

    Duluth, MN

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    4,762

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4549

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4549

    Located in Duluth, Minnesota, Lake Superior College educates students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. Students gain knowledge and skill specific to their field by completing their program's coursework requirements. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT scores. These policies make it easier to apply. Learners receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The school's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #26

    Normandale Community College

    Bloomington, MN

    Graduation Rate

    22%

    Enrollment

    9,420

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4990

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4990

    A public institution, Normandale Community College grants degrees from its campus in Bloomington, Minnesota. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to gain relevant knowledge and skills. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. These policies make it easier to apply. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. Normandale Community College has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #27

    St Cloud Technical and Community College

    Saint Cloud, MN

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    3,931

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4984

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4984

    St Cloud Technical and Community College, located in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, often ranks as one of the best schools. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help students meet their professional goals. Visit the program's website to find information on the typical timeline for completion. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. These policies make it easier to enroll. The admissions department can provide additional resources on applying. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. St Cloud Technical and Community College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #28

    Anoka-Ramsey Community College

    Coon Rapids, MN

    Graduation Rate

    25%

    Enrollment

    8,482

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4546

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4546

    From its campus in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, Anoka-Ramsey Community College offers academic programs as a public institution. Graduates leave the school prepared for the workforce. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Students receive $3170 in aid on average, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $11982. The institution offers both academic and technical programs. Students complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements depending on their program. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #29

    Saint Cloud State University

    Saint Cloud, MN

    Graduation Rate

    45%

    Enrollment

    11,841

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7505

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15921

    Located in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Saint Cloud State University operates as a public institution. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, degree-seekers qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports that 93% of students receive financial aid and 37% take out loans. Enrollees graduate from the school at a rate of 45%. The admission rate for prospective students is 73%. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. Saint Cloud State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #30

    Itasca Community College

    Grand Rapids, MN

    Graduation Rate

    30%

    Enrollment

    1,058

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4944

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6179

    Itasca Community College enrolls students at its Grand Rapids, Minnesota campus as a public institution. Learners take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution reports that 98% of students receive financial aid and 28% take out loans. The public school reports a graduation rate of 30%. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. Itasca Community College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    Why Choose a Public College or University in Minnesota?

    Minnesota is home to 12 public four-year colleges and universities, including the University of Minnesota. This university system oversees campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and Twin Cities.

    Students can find some of the best colleges in Minnesota in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The school with the largest enrollment — the University of Minnesota Twin Cities (UMN) — spans both cities. It is also one of the leading public research institutions in the U.S. and the only land-grant university in Minnesota.

    Minnesota also offers more than 30 private nonprofit four-year colleges and universities. There are several differences between private vs. public colleges. For example, students who enroll at public institutions in Minnesota can take advantage of lower tuition rates and an abundance of extracurricular activities and programs. On the other hand, private schools may offer smaller class sizes and a close-knit community.

    The Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP) is a multi-state tuition reciprocity program that allows residents of eight states, including Minnesota, to attend specific public colleges and pay no more than 150% of in-state tuition. A few participating states include Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

    Additionally, some of the best online colleges in Minnesota do not charge out-of-state residency fees. Before you decide on a school, learn more about how to choose the right college for you.

    Pros and Cons of Attending a Public College or University in Minnesota

    Pros

    • Check Circle
      Public colleges and universities in Minnesota generally charge lower tuition rates than private institutions.
    • Check Circle
      Minnesota offers hundreds of programs at its 12 public, four-year institutions, enabling students to choose the right college size and academic program.
    • Check Circle
      Some public universities in Minnesota offer advanced research facilities.

    Cons

    • X Circle
      Due to nonresident fees, out-of-state students may find that tuition costs at public and private colleges are comparable.
    • X Circle
      Many public schools are in larger cities, which may feature a relatively high cost of living.
    • X Circle
      While big public schools can offer a thriving student life, some students prefer smaller student bodies and class sizes.

    Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Universities in Minnesota

    There are significant differences between nonprofit and for-profit colleges. Nonprofit colleges receive funding from the government as well as from tuition, fees, and endowments.

    These colleges are managed by a board of directors whose intent is to provide a quality education for their students. Excess money goes back into the school to improve operations, programs, and student activities.

    For-profit colleges receive funding primarily from tuition and from investors and shareholders who expect to make a return on their investment. While both pros and cons are associated with for-profit colleges, their primary objective is profit.

    There are also 12 four-year for-profit institutions in Minnesota, seven of which are Rasmussen Universities. Students can determine if a school is for-profit by calling the administration office or checking the school’s website.

    How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Public College or University in Minnesota?

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost of tuition and fees for in-state students at Minnesota’s public four-year colleges was $11,748 in 2019-20. The average cost for room and board was $9,863.

    Qualifying for in-state vs. out-of-state tuition can offer significant savings. For example, out-of-state students at Minnesota’s public colleges and universities paid an average of $24,442 in tuition and fees during the 2019-20 school year.

    Students at private institutions in Minnesota paid an average of almost $46,000 in tuition, room, and board in 2019-20. However, there are several misconceptions about paying for college, one of which is that private universities always cost more. For example, private school students who qualify for large financial aid packages may end up paying less in tuition than average public school prices.

    The most expensive public university in the state is UMN, which advertises in-state tuition and fees of $15,626 for 2022-23. Alternatively, Minnesota State University, Mankato offers the lowest tuition, charging about $9,200 per year for in-state learners.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Public Colleges and Universities in Minnesota

    How many public colleges and universities are there in Minnesota?

    There are 12 public four-year universities in Minnesota, including the University of Minnesota and its five campuses. These universities enroll about 125,000 students annually. UMN is the largest school, enrolling over 50,000 learners. In contrast, the University of Minnesota Rochester, which specializes in undergraduate health sciences, limits enrollment to about 1,000 students.

    Minnesota is also home to about 30 community and technical colleges offering vocational instruction and associate programs. Community college students may also complete their general education requirements before transferring to a four-year college.

    What is the most expensive public university in Minnesota?

    The most expensive public university in Minnesota is also the largest. UMN is charging about $15,600 in tuition and fees for residents and $34,600 for nonresidents for the 2022-23 academic year. The university estimates room and board will come to about $11,750.

    Additional costs include books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. The total estimated annual cost comes to more than $32,000 and $53,000 for in-state and out-of-state students, respectively.

    According to the NCES, the national average for tuition and fees at four-year public institutions from 2019-20 was $9,349 for residents and $27,023 for nonresidents. Learn why college is so expensive and how you can make it more affordable.

    What is the least expensive public university in Minnesota?

    Minnesota State University, Mankato, offers the lowest tuition among public universities. In-state students paid $9,146 for tuition and fees for the 2021-22 academic year. The cost for out-of-state students was almost twice as high — $18,200. This school also offers reciprocity and lower tuition costs for residents in MSEP member states.

    Another relatively inexpensive public university in Minnesota is St. Cloud State University. The school charged $9,170 in tuition and fees for residents during the 2021-22 school year and $18,010 for nonresidents.

    What is the biggest public university in Minnesota?

    UMN is the biggest public university in Minnesota and one of the nation’s largest schools. Over 50,000 students attend this school, and its campus encompasses more than 1,150 acres in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

    Because of its size, students can select from hundreds of student organizations and thousands of courses at UMN. It is Minnesota’s only land-grant university, and it is also recognized as one of the top public research institutions in the nation.

    Is a public college or university right for me?

    Public colleges and universities offer several benefits, including lower tuition rates, more degree programs, and some of the top research facilities in the nation. Comparatively, private institutions may provide smaller class sizes, a more intimate college experience, and some of the most prestigious academic programs.

    The right college for you depends on your academic and career goals and the learning environment best suited for your personality. Additional considerations may include your preference for extracurricular activities and college sports. Also, remember that many colleges offer significant financial aid packages that can greatly reduce your out-of-pocket costs.