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.

Showing 30 schools

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

    Minneapolis, MN

    Graduation Rate

    83%

    Enrollment

    51,327

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $15027

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $33325

    From its Minneapolis, Minnesota campus, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities offers 520 program options for students. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. Information on the student-to-instructor ratio is unavailable. Information on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. The public institution reports a 83% graduation rate. Experiential learning opportunities help graduates on the job market. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements.

    #2

    University of Minnesota-Morris

    Morris, MN

    Graduation Rate

    58%

    Enrollment

    1,499

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13578

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15632

    From its campus in Minnesota, University of Minnesota-Morris administers 36 total programs. The institution offers top-ranked programs that provide a rigorous course of study. The average student-to-faculty ratio is currently unknown. The amount of aid students receive on average is not currently known. The school reports a 58% graduation rate. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #3

    Minnesota State University-Mankato

    Mankato, MN

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    14,325

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8438

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16730

    Minnesota State University-Mankato, a public organization located in Mankato, Minnesota, offers multiple programs. 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 attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The institution offers both academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #4

    Alexandria Technical & Community College

    Alexandria, MN

    Graduation Rate

    58%

    Enrollment

    2,591

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5565

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5565

    Located in Alexandria, Minnesota, Alexandria Technical & Community College is a public institution that offers multiple programs. The school's programs help graduates launch or advance professional careers. The institution offers an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. 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.

    #5

    Dakota County Technical College

    Rosemount, MN

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    2,433

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5864

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5864

    From its campus in Rosemount, Minnesota, Dakota County Technical College offers programs as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing degree- or certificate-specific coursework. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Learners at this accredited school also qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #6

    University of Minnesota-Duluth

    Duluth, MN

    Graduation Rate

    62%

    Enrollment

    10,858

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13680

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $18880

    A public institution located in Duluth, Minnesota, University of Minnesota-Duluth enrolls learners in multiple programs. Students leave the school with experience and credentials that prepare them for the workforce. The programs offer an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners at the school choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, enrollees complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. University of Minnesota-Duluth is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #7

    Winona State University

    Winona, MN

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    7,605

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9666

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15766

    Winona State University, a public institution in Winona, Minnesota, enrolls learners in multiple programs. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. Students gain knowledge and skill specific to their field by completing their program's coursework requirements. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs. Winona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #8

    University of Minnesota-Crookston

    Crookston, MN

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    2,768

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12116

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $12116

    Located in Crookston, Minnesota, University of Minnesota-Crookston enrolls students as a public institution. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The public institution reports a 50% graduation rate. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements. University of Minnesota-Crookston has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #9

    Minnesota State University Moorhead

    Moorhead, MN

    Graduation Rate

    53%

    Enrollment

    5,747

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8954

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16586

    Minnesota State University Moorhead, located in Moorhead, Minnesota, welcomes students with 136 program options. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. The average student-to-instructor ratio is currently unknown. The average amount of aid awarded to students is unknown. The school reports a 53% graduation rate. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs waive the test score requirement for qualified applicants. Prospective applicants can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #10

    University of Minnesota-Rochester

    Rochester, MN

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    572

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12944

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $12944

    University of Minnesota-Rochester, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Rochester, Minnesota. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help students meet their career goals. Enrollees earn their degree or certificate in as little time as a few months or as much time as seven years depending on program type and enrollment status. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. Financial aid provides options for degree-seekers to pay for their education. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #11

    Metropolitan State University

    Saint Paul, MN

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    7,592

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8114

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15428

    Metropolitan State University, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for students with a variety of professional goals. Academic programs can take as little as a few months or as many as seven years to complete, depending on the degree or certificate type and the student's enrollment status. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT. Test-optional policies make it easier to apply. The admissions department can provide additional resources on applying. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #12

    Bemidji State University

    Bemidji, MN

    Graduation Rate

    48%

    Enrollment

    4,897

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8940

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8940

    Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minnesota, often ranks as one of the best schools. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help learners reach a variety of career goals. Typical time for program completion ranges from a few months to seven years depending on the type of degree or certificate offered. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. The admissions department can provide additional resources on applying. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #13

    Southwest Minnesota State University

    Marshall, MN

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    7,058

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8874

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8874

    A public institution located in Marshall, Minnesota, Southwest Minnesota State University enrolls students in several programs. Graduates leave the school prepared for the workforce. Degree-seekers benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Learners at the institution choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Southwest Minnesota State University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #14

    Ridgewater College

    Willmar, MN

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    3,255

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5939

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5939

    Located in Willmar, Minnesota, Ridgewater College educates students as a public institution. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. Students gain knowledge and skill specific to their field by completing their program's coursework requirements. 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 is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited school often fund their education with federal aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Ridgewater College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #15

    Riverland Community College

    Austin, MN

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    3,475

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5732

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5732

    Riverland Community College enrolls learners from its Austin, Minnesota campus. Students study with experts in many different fields. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. Typical time for program completion ranges from a few months to seven years depending on the type of degree or certificate offered. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. The admissions staff can provide more information on the process. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Riverland Community College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #16

    Minnesota State Community and Technical College

    Fergus Falls, MN

    Graduation Rate

    41%

    Enrollment

    6,086

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5560

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5560

    From its campus in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Minnesota State Community and Technical College offers multiple programs as a public institution. The school offers accredited programs that prepare students for a successful career. The institution offers affordable programs that do not sacrifice academic rigor. Many of the school's degrees make national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Minnesota State Community and Technical College has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #17

    Anoka Technical College

    Anoka, MN

    Graduation Rate

    49%

    Enrollment

    1,838

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5734

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5734

    A public institution located in Anoka, Minnesota, Anoka Technical College offers a variety of programs. The school's accredited programs prepare learners for the workforce. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school offers nationally ranked programs in diverse fields. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners at the institution choose from 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.

    #18

    Minnesota West Community and Technical College

    Granite Falls, MN

    Graduation Rate

    45%

    Enrollment

    3,421

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5846

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $11146

    Located in Granite Falls, Minnesota, Minnesota West Community and Technical College grants college degrees as a public institution. The college offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Students prepare to contribute to their field by completing courses. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. These policies make it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The school's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs. Minnesota West Community and Technical College has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #19

    Central Lakes College-Brainerd

    Brainerd, MN

    Graduation Rate

    44%

    Enrollment

    4,357

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5611

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5611

    A top-ranked school, Central Lakes College-Brainerd enrolls learners in programs from its campus in Brainerd, Minnesota. Students study with experts in many different fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for learners with a variety of professional goals. Academic programs can take as little as a few months or as many as seven years to complete, depending on the degree or certificate type and the student's enrollment status. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. The admissions department provides additional resources on submitting an application. Degree-seekers also use financial aid to cover their educational costs. Central Lakes College-Brainerd holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #20

    Hibbing Community College

    Hibbing, MN

    Graduation Rate

    41%

    Enrollment

    1,034

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5452

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6669

    From its campus in Hibbing, Minnesota, Hibbing Community College enrolls students in 39 programs. Degree-seekers enroll in rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The average student-to-instructor ratio is unavailable. The average amount of aid awarded per student is not available. The school reports a graduation rate of 41%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers stand out. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #21

    Northwest Technical College

    Bemidji, MN

    Graduation Rate

    31%

    Enrollment

    947

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5654

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5654

    From its Minnesota campus, Northwest Technical College offers 78 academic programs. Degree-seekers enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The student-to-teacher ratio is currently unknown. Data on the amount of aid students receive per year on average is unavailable. The school reports a 31% graduation rate. The institution understands that hands-on experience makes graduates more competitive in the job market. The admission rate is unknown at this time. Many schools no longer require test scores for admission. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #22

    Hennepin Technical College

    Brooklyn Park, MN

    Graduation Rate

    29%

    Enrollment

    4,625

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5248

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5248

    From its campus in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, Hennepin Technical College grants degrees and certificates as a top school. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help students meet a variety of professional goals. Visit the program's website to find information on the typical timeline for completion. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. These policies make it easier to apply. The admissions department can provide more information on the process. At the accredited institution, learners also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Hennepin Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #23

    Northland Community and Technical College

    Thief River Falls, MN

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    3,220

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5715

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5715

    A public institution located in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, Northland Community and Technical College enrolls students in several programs. Students complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Northland Community and Technical College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #24

    South Central College

    North Mankato, MN

    Graduation Rate

    27%

    Enrollment

    2,775

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5491

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5491

    From its campus in North Mankato, Minnesota, South Central College enrolls students in 109 programs. Learners enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The student-to-teacher ratio is currently unknown. Data on the amount of aid students receive per year on average is unavailable. The school reports a graduation rate of 27%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements.

    #25

    Lake Superior College

    Duluth, MN

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    5,230

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5334

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5334

    A public institution in Duluth, Minnesota, Lake Superior College offers a variety of degree and certificate programs. Degree-seekers 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 is unknown at this time. Students can fund their education with financial aid such as federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports a graduation rate of 34%. The admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #26

    Normandale Community College

    Bloomington, MN

    Graduation Rate

    26%

    Enrollment

    9,743

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5964

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5964

    Located in Bloomington, Minnesota, Normandale Community College enrolls students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to gain relevant knowledge and skills. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Normandale Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #27

    St Cloud Technical and Community College

    Saint Cloud, MN

    Graduation Rate

    30%

    Enrollment

    4,134

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5538

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5538

    Located in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, St Cloud Technical and Community College grants degrees as a public institution. The school offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that allows students to strengthen their skills. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. These policies make it easier to enroll. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. St Cloud Technical and Community College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #28

    Anoka-Ramsey Community College

    Coon Rapids, MN

    Graduation Rate

    26%

    Enrollment

    8,804

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5207

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5207

    From its Coon Rapids, Minnesota campus, Anoka-Ramsey Community College offers 51 program options for students. Learners benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. Information on the student-to-teacher ratio is unavailable. The average amount of aid awarded to students is unknown. The school reports a 26% graduation rate. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Some programs offer test-optional admission policies. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #29

    Saint Cloud State University

    Saint Cloud, MN

    Graduation Rate

    48%

    Enrollment

    13,049

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8656

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16948

    Saint Cloud State University, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for students with a variety of professional goals. Depending on the program, students can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years earning their degree or certificate. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. Admission advisors can help applicants complete the process. Degree-seekers at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Saint Cloud State University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #30

    Itasca Community College

    Grand Rapids, MN

    Graduation Rate

    36%

    Enrollment

    1,062

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5467

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6684

    Located in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Itasca Community College is a public institution that offers multiple programs. Students complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. Depending on their major, learners complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Itasca Community College is accredited by 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

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

    Cons

    • Due to nonresident fees, out-of-state students may find that tuition costs at public and private colleges are comparable.
    • Many public schools are in larger cities, which may feature a relatively high cost of living.
    • 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.

    Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

    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.