Best Private Colleges in Minnesota 2022

Best Private Colleges in Minnesota 2022

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in Minnesota.

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

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 19 private universities in Minnesota. To be included in the list below of the best private universities in Minnesota, schools must be fully accredited, private, non-profit institution, and must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.

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Best Private Colleges in Minnesota

  1. #4

    Hamline University

    Saint Paul , MN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/22

    Hamline University’s Online Degrees

    Bachelor of Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. #10

    St. Catherine University

    Saint Paul , MN

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1175/24

    St. Catherine University’s Online Degrees

    BS Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Business Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Healthcare Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1113/23

    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota’s Online Degrees

    BS Nursing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #12

    Bethel University

    Saint Paul , MN

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/24

  5. Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1220/24

  6. #15

    North Central University

    Minneapolis , MN

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1077/21

  7. Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/23

    What is Bethany Lutheran College known for?

    Bethany Lutheran College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. Tuition + fees

    $24K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Dunwoody College of Technology known for?

    Dunwoody College of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. Tuition + fees

    $24K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Concordia University, St. Paul known for?

    Concordia University, St. Paul’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #19

    Crown College

    Saint Bonifacius , MN

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    47%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/20

    What is Crown College known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

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Minnesota’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Carleton College
  2. Macalester College
  3. St. Olaf College
  4. Hamline University
  5. College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University
  6. Gustavus Adolphus College
  7. University of St. Thomas
  8. Augsburg University
  9. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
  10. Concordia College
  11. Bethel University
  12. St. Catherine University
  13. Concordia University, St. Paul
  14. University of Northwestern – St. Paul
  15. College of St. Scholastica
  16. Dunwoody College of Technology
  17. Bethany Lutheran College