Minnesota’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

The best community colleges provide an effective springboard into higher education, offering students high-quality two-year degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The top-rated community colleges in Minnesota offer a broad selection of associate’s degrees, affordable tuition rates, and strong partnerships with public four-year schools so that students can easily transfer their credits into accredited bachelor’s degree programs.

Minnesota’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Minnesota

One of largest public higher education institutes in the country, the University of Minnesota has main campuses in both of the Twin Cities, Saint Paul and Minneapolis. This school costs about $15,000 in tuition, and provides its students with competitive programs in fields like nursing, education, economics, and psychology. And the options don’t stop there. There are more than 20 schools in the state with religious affiliations, including larger schools like the University of St. Thomas, which campuses in both Twin Cities, and smaller schools like Oak Hills Christian College in Bemidji.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

For students striving to keep costs low in a smaller school environment, Southwest Minnesota State University offers tuition below the national average and serves about 3,500 students. Additionally, those on track to become a teacher or health care provider may be eligible for one of Minnesota’s loan forgiveness programs after graduation. Minnesota also boasts a large network of private colleges, two of which, Walden University and Capella University, primarily cater to online students.

Ever heard the phrase, There’s an app for that? Well, in Minnesota they say something similar, There’s a festival for that. This fun state doesn’t hold back when it comes to celebrating. With events like the Grumpy Old Men Festival, World Festival, and the Perham Turtle Fest, students earning their degrees at one of Minnesota’s more than 70 colleges won’t miss out on a good time.

Discover some of Minnesota’s top programs and learn how you can earn your associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree while cashing in on some of this state’s unique experiences.


What are Minnesota’s Colleges & Universities?

Minnesota’s Best Overall


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How do we determine Minnesota' best community colleges?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.


We’ve identified 29 community colleges in Minnesota. The following list shows the best community colleges in the state.

Best Community Colleges in Minnesota

  1. #1

    Mesabi Range College

    #13861 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    <1K

    Virginia, MN

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    What is Mesabi Range College known for?

    Mesabi Range College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Leech Lake Tribal College

    #8771 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    <1K

    Cass Lake, MN

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    What is Leech Lake Tribal College known for?

    Leech Lake Tribal College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
  3. #3

    Vermilion Community College

    #8609 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Vermilion Community College known for?

    Vermilion Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Education
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Dakota County Technical College

    #8573 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    2K

    Rosemount, MN

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    What is Dakota County Technical College known for?

    Dakota County Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
  5. #5

    Riverland Community College

    #6751 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    2K

    Austin, MN

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    What is Riverland Community College known for?

    Riverland Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    South Central College

    #12572 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    2K

    North Mankato, MN

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    What is South Central College known for?

    South Central College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    Minnesota West Community and Technical College

    #10409 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    2K

    Granite Falls, MN

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    What is Minnesota West Community and Technical College known for?

    Minnesota West Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Lake Superior College

    #9630 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    3K

    Duluth, MN

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    What is Lake Superior College known for?

    Lake Superior College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
  9. #9

    Minnesota State Community and Technical College

    #8238 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    4K

    Fergus Falls, MN

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    What is Minnesota State Community and Technical College known for?

    Minnesota State Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Communications
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Hibbing Community College

    #8410 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    <1K

    Hibbing, MN

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    What is Hibbing Community College known for?

    Hibbing Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #11

    Northwest Technical College

    #11826 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    <1K

    Bemidji, MN

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    What is Northwest Technical College known for?

    Northwest Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Medical
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #12

    Normandale Community College

    #6264 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    7K

    Bloomington, MN

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    What is Normandale Community College known for?

    Normandale Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Religious Studies
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #13

    Minneapolis Community and Technical College

    #7833 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    17%

    Student body

    5K

    Minneapolis, MN

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    What is Minneapolis Community and Technical College known for?

    Minneapolis Community and Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Nursing
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #14

    Anoka-Ramsey Community College

    #9016 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    5K

    Coon Rapids, MN

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    What is Anoka-Ramsey Community College known for?

    Anoka-Ramsey Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Chemistry
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    Hennepin Technical College

    #9177 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    3K

    Brooklyn Park, MN

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    What is Hennepin Technical College known for?

    Hennepin Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #16

    Century College

    #4751 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    6K

    White Bear Lake, MN

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    What is Century College known for?

    Century College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Earth Sciences
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #17

    Minneapolis Business College

    #8672 institution's historical influence
    What is Minneapolis Business College known for?

    Minneapolis Business College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
  18. #18

    Itasca Community College

    #8890 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    <1K

    Grand Rapids, MN

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    What is Itasca Community College known for?

    Itasca Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #19

    Inver Hills Community College

    #11824 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    3K

    Inver Grove Heights, MN

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    What is Inver Hills Community College known for?

    Inver Hills Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #20

    Central Lakes College

    #13287 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    3K

    Brainerd, MN

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    What is Central Lakes College known for?

    Central Lakes College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. #21

    North Hennepin Community College

    #8647 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    17%

    Student body

    4K

    Brooklyn Park, MN

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    What is North Hennepin Community College known for?

    North Hennepin Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. #22

    Northland Community & Technical College

    #15176 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    2K

    Thief River Falls, MN

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    What is Northland Community & Technical College known for?

    Northland Community & Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  23. #23

    Saint Paul College

    #13045 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    4K

    Saint Paul, MN

    View profile

    What is Saint Paul College known for?

    Saint Paul College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Sociology
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  24. #24

    Anoka Technical College

    #11349 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    1K

    Anoka, MN

    View profile

    What is Anoka Technical College known for?

    Anoka Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Medical
  25. #25

    St. Cloud Technical and Community College

    #14030 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    3K

    Saint Cloud, MN

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    What is St. Cloud Technical and Community College known for?

    St. Cloud Technical and Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  26. #26

    Rainy River Community College

    #17732 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    <1K

    International Falls, MN

    View profile

    What is Rainy River Community College known for?

    Rainy River Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
  27. #27

    Alexandria Technical and Community College

    #15211 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    2K

    Alexandria, MN

    View profile

    What is Alexandria Technical and Community College known for?

    Alexandria Technical and Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  28. #28

    Minnesota State College Southeast

    #17571 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    1K

    Winona, MN

    View profile

    What is Minnesota State College Southeast known for?

    Minnesota State College Southeast’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  29. #29

    Pine Technical and Community College

    #14862 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    17%

    Student body

    <1K

    Pine City, MN

    View profile

    What is Pine Technical and Community College known for?

    Pine Technical and Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Business
    • Nursing

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