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2021 Best Colleges for the Money (With Aid) in Minnesota

33 Colleges
$24,227 Avg Cost (With Aid)*
4.2 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

With all of the options you have for higher education today, it can be tough to choose which direction to take. At College Factual, we're committed to helping you make that decision by providing information such as that found in our Best Minnesota Schools For The Money For Those Getting Aid ranking.

Our analysis looked at 33 schools to determine which ones were the best for overall value for the money with aid in Minnesota. It's important to note that this isn't just a listing of colleges and universities with the lowest sticker price. Instead, this ranking identifies schools that offer a high quality educational experience at a lower-than-expected price. Because of this, it is possible for one college to rank better than another, even if the latter college has a lower average cost.

Get more details on our ranking methodology.

When determining average cost, we look at total expenses, such as tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and board, and other living expenses, and then deduct the average amount of financial aid awarded to a student. This estimate is meant to give you a better picture of how much money you'll have to pay each year, either through self-pay, loans, or external scholarships.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location and field of study as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors, such as those of importance to veterans and returning adults or those seeking diversity and overall quality.

One of our other unique offerings is College Combat. This tool lets you build your own customized comparisons utilizing the factors that are most important to you. If you're torn between two schools, you can use it to help you see how they stack up against one another!

Top Colleges for the Money (With Aid) in Minnesota

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

University of Minnesota - Morris

Morris, Minnesota

Our analysis found University of Minnesota - Morris to be the best school for overall value for the money with aid in Minnesota in this year’s ranking. Located in Morris, Minnesota, the small public school handed out 385 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At UMN Morris, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $13,126 for students who receive aid. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UMN Morris is $55,654. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

Full University of Minnesota - Morris Report

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#2

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, Minnesota

A rank of #2 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Minnesota list means University of Minnesota - Twin Cities is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. This large public school is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and it awarded 8,988 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at UMN Twin Cities graduates in less than 4.2 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $19,732 for students who receive aid. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UMN Twin Cities be around $83,072. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

With a freshman retention rate of 93%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, UMN Twin Cities is ranked #3 for overall quality in Minnesota.

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#3

University of Minnesota - Rochester

Rochester, Minnesota

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend University of Minnesota - Rochester. The school came in at #3 in Minnesota on this year’s best value ranking. Located in Rochester, Minnesota, the small public school handed out 84 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at UMN Rochester is 4.1 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $17,420 for students who receive aid. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UMN Rochester is $71,945. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.2%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%.

Full University of Minnesota - Rochester Report

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#4

Winona State University

Winona, Minnesota

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Winona State University. The school came in at #4 in Minnesota on this year’s best value ranking. Winona, Minnesota is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,822 students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at Winona State to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $17,113 for students who receive aid. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Winona State is about $76,666. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.5%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%.

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#5

Martin Luther College

New Ulm, Minnesota

A rank of #5 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Minnesota list means Martin Luther College is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. MLC is a small private not-for-profit school situated in New Ulm, Minnesota. It awarded 190 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at MLC is 4.4 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $19,221 for students who receive aid. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from MLC is about $85,341. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The student loan default rate at the school is 1.2%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

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#6

University of Minnesota - Duluth

Duluth, Minnesota

University of Minnesota - Duluth ranked #6 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Minnesota list. UMN Duluth is a fairly large public school situated in Duluth, Minnesota. It awarded 2,162 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at UMN Duluth graduates in less than 4.5 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $18,333. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from UMN Duluth is about $81,949. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The low student loan default rate of 3.0% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%.

Full University of Minnesota - Duluth Report

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Minnesota State University - Mankato landed the #7 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Minnesota ranking. Minnesota State University - Mankato is a fairly large public school situated in Mankato, Minnesota. It awarded 2,479 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Minnesota State University - Mankato about 4.6 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $15,807 for students who receive aid. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University - Mankato is about $72,554. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.5%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

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#8

Bemidji State University

Bemidji, Minnesota

Bemidji State University ranked #8 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Minnesota list. This small public school is located in Bemidji, Minnesota, and it awarded 1,036 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Bemidji State University is 4.4 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $15,793 for students who receive aid. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Bemidji State University is $69,489. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.6%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

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#9

University of Minnesota - Crookston

Crookston, Minnesota

University of Minnesota - Crookston landed the #9 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Minnesota ranking. University of Minnesota - Crookston is a small public school located in Crookston, Minnesota that handed out 448 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at UMN Crookston graduates in less than 4.1 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $16,147 for students who receive aid. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UMN Crookston be around $66,364. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#10

Saint Cloud State University

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Saint Cloud State University ranked #10 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Minnesota list. St. Cloud State University is located in Saint Cloud, Minnesota and has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 2,065 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes the average student at St. Cloud State University about 4.7 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $15,909 for students who receive aid. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University is $74,295. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The low student loan default rate of 4.6% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%.

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Minnesota State University - Moorhead landed the #11 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Minnesota ranking. Located in Moorhead, Minnesota, the medium-sized public school handed out 1,242 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Minnesota State University - Moorhead graduates in less than 4.4 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $18,099 for students who receive aid. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University - Moorhead be around $79,998. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The low student loan default rate of 4.9% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%.

Full Minnesota State University - Moorhead Report

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#12

Gustavus Adolphus College

Saint Peter, Minnesota

Gustavus Adolphus College came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Minnesota ranking. Gustavus Adolphus is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Saint Peter, Minnesota. It awarded 621 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.0 years for the average student at Gustavus Adolphus to complete their degree, and it costs students who receive aid about $31,332 per year to attend the school. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus be around $125,955. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 89%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Gustavus Adolphus not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #5 on our Best Colleges in Minnesota list.

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#13

Concordia College at Moorhead

Moorhead, Minnesota

Concordia College at Moorhead came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Minnesota ranking. Concordia College at Moorhead is a small private not-for-profit school located in Moorhead, Minnesota that handed out 540 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Concordia College Moorhead graduates in less than 4.1 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $30,026 for students who receive aid. This means that the average student pays around $122,206 to get a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College Moorhead. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The low student loan default rate of 2.4% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%.

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#14

Bethany Lutheran College

Mankato, Minnesota

Bethany Lutheran College landed the #14 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Minnesota ranking. Mankato, Minnesota is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 135 students in 2018-2019.

At BLC, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $21,294 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from BLC is $88,796. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors.

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#15

St Olaf College

Northfield, Minnesota

St Olaf College landed the #15 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Minnesota ranking. St Olaf College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Northfield, Minnesota that handed out 920 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At St. Olaf, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.0 years, and it costs students who receive aid about $32,599 per year to attend the school. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf is $132,026. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 0.5%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. St. Olaf also took the #4 spot in our Best Colleges in Minnesota rankings.

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#16

College of Saint Benedict

Saint Joseph, Minnesota

College of Saint Benedict landed the #16 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Minnesota ranking. Located in Saint Joseph, Minnesota, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 419 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at CSB about 4.1 years to graduate, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $32,173. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from CSB is about $132,231. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The low student loan default rate of 1.0% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%. CSB also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges in Minnesota list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

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#17

Saint Johns University

Collegeville, Minnesota

Saint Johns University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Minnesota ranking, coming in at #17. Located in Collegeville, Minnesota, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 410 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at SJU to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $32,414 for students who receive aid. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from SJU be around $133,546. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 1.3%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. On top of its placing in our value rankings, SJU also did well on our Best Colleges in Minnesota list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#18

Southwest Minnesota State University

Marshall, Minnesota

Southwest Minnesota State University ranked #18 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Minnesota list. Southwest Minnesota State University is a medium-sized public school located in Marshall, Minnesota that handed out 484 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.3 years for the average student at Southwest Minnesota State University to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $15,845 for students who receive aid. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Minnesota State University is about $68,926. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.8%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

Full Southwest Minnesota State University Report

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#19

Macalester College

Saint Paul, Minnesota

With a ranking of #19, Macalester College did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Minnesota list. Macalester is located in Saint Paul, Minnesota and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 679 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Macalester to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $36,306. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Macalester is $147,402. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 93%. Macalester not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #2 on our Best Colleges in Minnesota list.

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#20

Carleton College

Northfield, Minnesota

Carleton College landed the #20 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Minnesota ranking. Carleton is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Northfield, Minnesota. It awarded 512 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Carleton, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.1 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $37,962. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Carleton is $154,126. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 96%. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, Carleton is ranked #1 for overall quality in Minnesota.

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#21

St Catherine University

Saint Paul, Minnesota

St Catherine University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Minnesota ranking, coming in at #21. Saint Paul, Minnesota is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 597 students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at St. Kate’s about 4.2 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $27,980 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from St. Kate’s is $118,635. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.4%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

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Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota ranked #22 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Minnesota list. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in Winona, Minnesota that handed out 375 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at SMU MN graduates in less than 4.1 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $27,285 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from SMU MN is $112,141. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The low student loan default rate of 3.6% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%.

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#23

Bethel University Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Bethel University Minnesota did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Minnesota ranking, coming in at #23. Bethel University Minnesota is a small private not-for-profit school located in Saint Paul, Minnesota that handed out 831 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Bethel University Minnesota to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $33,296 for students who receive aid. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Bethel University Minnesota be around $137,180. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The low student loan default rate of 2.4% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%.

Full Bethel University Minnesota Report

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#24

Dunwoody College of Technology

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dunwoody College of Technology ranked #24 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Minnesota list. Dunwoody College of Technology is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 63 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes about 4.0 years for the average student at Dunwoody College of Technology to complete their degree, and it costs students who receive aid about $28,390 per year to attend the school. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Dunwoody College of Technology is $113,560. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#25

The College of Saint Scholastica

Duluth, Minnesota

The College of Saint Scholastica landed the #25 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Minnesota ranking. The College of Saint Scholastica is a small private not-for-profit school located in Duluth, Minnesota that handed out 902 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at St. Scholastica is 4.1 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $32,063 for students who receive aid. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from St. Scholastica is $132,741. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The low student loan default rate of 2.8% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • For our state-specific rankings, we use in-state tuition to calculate average cost. For our national and regional rankings, we use a weighted average of in-state and non-resident tuition.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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