Best Public Colleges in Minnesota 2023

Best Public Colleges in Minnesota 2023

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in Minnesota provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

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.

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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 public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 11 public universities in Minnesota. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in Minnesota, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

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Best Public Colleges in Minnesota 2022

  1. Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/24

  2. Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    48%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    2K

    What is University of Minnesota Crookston known for?

    University of Minnesota Crookston’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1018/20

    What is Southwest Minnesota State University known for?

    Southwest Minnesota State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

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Minnesota’s Best Public College in Your Area of 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 utilized 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. University of Minnesota
  2. University of Minnesota Morris
  3. University of Minnesota Duluth
  4. Southwest Minnesota State University
  5. Minnesota State University, Mankato
  6. Winona State University
  7. University of Minnesota Crookston

Check out our directory of public colleges throughout the U.S. for a look at the top public colleges in every state.