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Accredited Online Colleges in Minnesota: What Are the Best Virtual Schools in Minnesota?

Shodipe-Dosunmu Ademilade - June 26, 2022


Online learning is becoming more accessible, and there are a wealth of accredited online colleges in Minnesota. In fact, according to data from the Distance Education State Almanac 2017, the percentage of Minnesota college students that took all their classes through an online learning program was nearly double the national average even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

This article will go over everything prospective students need to know about online schools in Minnesota, a state with many accessible and affordable schools. This includes everything from tuition rates to degree requirements, accreditation, advanced degrees, and everything else that will help you in your search for the best virtual schools in Minnesota.

Fully Accredited Online Colleges in Minnesota: Two Types of Accreditation

Accredited online colleges receive accreditation from third-party agencies, based on a set of general standards. Accreditation exists for schools from the elementary education level to the graduate level. There are two types of accreditation, regional accreditation and national accreditation.

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Regionally Accredited Online Colleges

Regional accreditation is done by regulatory bodies that preside over certain regions of the country. There are six such bodies in the US. These are the HLC, the MSCHE, the NECHE, the NWCCU, the SACSCOC, and the WSCUC. The Higher Learning Commission, or HLC, presides over Minnesota.

Regional accreditation usually focuses on non-profit schools with a focus on academic teaching and research. This could be any private school or a public institution that offers postsecondary education within the region the accrediting body oversees. Regional accreditation is often more well-received and well-established than national accreditation.

Nationally Accredited Online Colleges

National accreditation agencies serve the entire country and even a few institutions outside of it. They mainly focus on for-profit schools or those more focused on vocational learning or career training than research and academia.

In addition to this, some national accreditation agencies also accredit specific programs and individual courses within a college or institution. This is an indication that the program meets the standards set by those in that field. Program-specific accreditation is usually only offered to institutions that are already fully accredited.

Why Is Accreditation Important for College?

Accreditation is important for college because it allows for a universal standard that transcends a single institution or program. This allows for credits to count at other schools in the case of a transfer or when graduates apply for graduate studies. It can also affect career opportunities. This is very important for those taking online courses to consider.

Accreditation is more than just a matter of transferring credits. It is also a sign that a school offers good education. While accreditation is not directly done by government agencies, accreditation agencies are themselves accredited by the government. Each one represents a baseline standard that every institution must meet.

How to Find an Accredited Online College in Minnesota

You can find out whether an online college in Minnesota is accredited by checking accreditation records. School rankings don’t usually include information on accreditation, so to find accredited colleges in the area you will need to check the official databases of the Department of Education or the HLC. This section below further explains how to find accredited online colleges.

Check the US Department of Education’s Database

The US Department of Education has a Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (DAPIP). This database contains both institutional and program-based accreditation records. This works best if you have a school in mind that you want to ascertain the status of before filling out an application.

To use DAPIP, type in the name of the school you’re looking for and hit search. Go through the results of the school search, then find and click on the name of the school you have in mind. The next page will display the accreditation.

Search for Colleges on the Regional Accrediting Agency’s Website

Minnesota and most surrounding states are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission , as specified by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The agency’s online platform has a database of all accredited colleges in the state, including those that employ a physical, online, or hybrid program.

The Higher Learning Commission’s website allows you to either search for a particular school or generate a list of accredited schools in a specific state . You can scroll through the list or search for a school directly.

Furthermore, while not considered a regional accreditation, the Distance Education Accreditation Institution is the main body that approves legitimacy on distance learning across the US, including colleges in Minnesota.

Visit the School’s Official Website

Accreditation is an important part of deciding on a place to study for many people. As such, many universities will proudly display their accreditation status on their website. Simply navigate to the About section of most school websites and you’re likely to find a paragraph or link to that school’s accreditation status as well as the agency responsible.

Top 10 Accredited Online Colleges in Minnesota: Overview

Ranking Online College Accreditation Graduation Rate
1 University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Higher Learning Commission (regional) 80%
2 Bethel University Higher Learning Commission (regional) 71%
3 Winona State University Higher Learning Commission (regional) 65%
4 Concordia University-Saint Paul Higher Learning Commission (regional) 62%
5 Metropolitan State University Higher Learning Commission (regional) 57%
6 Crown College Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation (national)
Higher Learning Commission (regional)
55%
7 Bemidji State University Higher Learning Commission (regional) 50%
8 Saint Cloud State University Higher Learning Commission (regional) 50%
9 Southwest Minnesota State University Higher Learning Commission (regional) 49%
10 Walden University Higher Learning Commission (regional) 27%

How We Ranked the Best Accredited Online Colleges in Minnesota

We ranked the best accredited online colleges in Minnesota by looking at the graduation rates of various institutions that offer fully online degree programs. The information in the table above comes from the schools’ official websites, the US Department of Education’s database of accredited schools, and the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard tool.

Best Accredited Online Colleges in Minnesota: Deep Dive

This section expands on what the schools in the table above have to offer online learners. These school profiles cover details like tuition costs, student outcomes, whether or not online learners need to attend certain campus classes, the best academic programs, and more.

1

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Higher Learning Commission

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities’s online program is a joint effort between all five physical campuses at the University of Minnesota. The school offers online programs ranging from undergraduate certificates to graduate programs. This allows remote students to reap the benefits of one of the best and most prestigious universities in Minnesota .

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Fully Online Enrollment: 52% (undergraduate); 24% (graduate)
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 80%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $61,201

Top Accredited Online College Degrees and Certificate Programs at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting. This program gives students the fundamental skills they need to be financial, forensic, or tax accountants. It also offers opportunities for students to earn professional certifications to help graduates stand out in the industry.
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management. This online program equips students with skills in information system management, network administration, and development of applications. The curriculum prepares students for financial management positions with an IT focus.
  • Bachelor of Manufacturing Management. This is a career-focused program that teaches the ins and outs of all aspects of manufacturing, including management, human resources, and budgeting. This program is aimed at professionals who are seeking career advancement.
  • Master of Science in Computer Science. This program covers theoretical and applied computer science at a graduate level. In addition to this, it also offers many research opportunities to suit any interest.
  • Master of Business Administration. This program mixes core business courses and industry-specific electives. It also offers graduate students networking opportunities and career counseling services.

2

Bethel University

Higher Learning Commission

Bethel University is a private Christian college that identifies with the evangelical denomination. It offers many online programs, with a focus on subjects that are useful to aspiring ministers and church administrators. It also offers programs that qualify students for more secular work, such as social work and eldercare, all geared towards working adults.

Bethel University Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Fully Online Enrollment: 12% (undergraduate); 70% (graduate)
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 71%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $55,159

Top Accredited Online College Degrees and Certificate Programs at Bethel University

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. This program covers topics like social psychology, psychopathology, and research methods in psychology. It is designed to serve both transfer students with transferable credits and those who are seeking to start from the beginning.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. This program is specially accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Students get the opportunity to complete fieldwork and research, and all graduates are eligible to be licensed social workers.
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management. This program instills business skills, analytical ability, and techniques for team management. It offers concentrations in management, data analytics, and senior care leadership and administration.
  • Master of Arts in Teaching. This program gives students both the skills and the support needed to enter the teaching workforce in Minnesota. It also fulfills the Minnesota licensure requirements for teaching.
  • Master of Social Work. This is an advanced program in social work that is delivered in two separate ways. The advanced standing path is designed for those with a Bachelor’s in Social Work from an accredited program, while the full program path is for graduate students from other disciplines. Both paths teach advanced skills in social work.

3

Winona State University

Higher Learning Commission

Winona State University has multiple online programs that serve a wide range of applicants, from enrolled undergraduates to new graduate applicants. The school ensures that all remote students have access to the resources they need to succeed, including tutoring and counseling services.

Winona State University Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Fully Online Enrollment: 4% (undergraduate); 31% (graduate)
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 65%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $51,346

Top Accredited Online College Degrees and Certificate Programs at Winona State University

  • Health & Wellness Management Online Degree Completion Program. This is a completion program for health and wellness undergraduates focusing on lifestyle, medicine, and leadership. It equips students with the tools to help patients enact healthy lifestyle changes. It also guides industry-relevant certifications.
  • Business Administration Online Degree Completion Program. This program is aimed at business admission students who have completed the first two years of an undergraduate program. It teaches business management skills like leadership and communication with an emphasis on practical experience.
  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication. This equity-focused MA program trains students in responsible and inclusivity-minded communication, a skillset that is sorely needed in the modern workforce. Students will take classes from industry experts and learn the ins and outs of modern communication tools and resources.
  • Master of Professional Accounting. This program primes accountants for the workforce. It waives the Graduate Management Test requirement for students with qualifying levels of experience. This MPA program further minimizes financial barriers by offering graduate students one of the lowest tuition rates in the state.
  • Doctor of Education. This program is for tenured educators looking to specialize in one aspect of education. It trains students in leadership, communication, and team management, as well as the particular skills and academic knowledge needed for their chosen specification.

4

Concordia University-Saint Paul

Higher Learning Commission

Concordia University hosts an online liberal arts program that serves a wide group of people, including students in STEM fields or the social sciences. Concordia serves nontraditional students by allowing for transferable credits and accelerated courses. The school also prides itself on offering financial aid opportunities and an affordable tuition rate.

Concordia University-Saint Paul Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Fully Online Enrollment: 35% (undergraduate); 90% (graduate)
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 62%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $53,164

Top Accredited Online College Degrees and Certificate Programs at Concordia University-Saint Paul

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. This program gives students the technical skills and knowledge required for software development and computer programming. It also teaches web and UX design, online security, and object-oriented programming.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Digital Marketing. This project-based program gives students the practical skills needed for a career in digital marketing. The program includes training on social media, email marketing, and tools like Google Analytics. It also allows transfer students to transfer up to 90 units of credits.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management. This program provides a well-rounded education in HR management that enables students to enter any business sector after graduation. It covers strategy, organizational development, and good business ethics and aims to create effective and well-spoken industry leaders.
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. The MFA in Creative Writing program is a practical program meant for writers who want to take their fiction writing and literary analysis skills to the next stage. Students study the practical application of creative theory in addition to completing a full-length manuscript of their own work.
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity. This program is geared towards cyber security professionals looking to advance their careers and learn new skills. Students of this program will be prepared for the Certified Information Security Manager exam.

5

Metropolitan State University

Higher Learning Commission

Metropolitan State University prides itself on the flexibility of its programs and has a majority of its online offerings in the business management and administration field. It offers a few program completion options for those with transferable credits at the undergraduate level.

Metropolitan State University Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Fully Online Enrollment: 82% (undergraduate); 68% (graduate)
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $56,402

Top Accredited Online College Degrees and Certificate Programs at Metropolitan State University

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. This degree program prepares students for an ever-changing business world and gives them foundational management and communication skills. The program covers concepts like organizational structure, effective communication, and networking.
  • Bachelor of Science in Finance. This program is for undergraduates looking to kickstart their careers in corporate finance, investment services, or any other related field. It is also structured to prepare students for further academic training and leadership positions down the line.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. This undergraduate program gives students a foundational education in criminal justice. It covers a wide range of topics, from the functions of various criminal justice institutions to the analysis of crime-related issues. The school also offers many related minors, from psychology to violence prevention.
  • Master in Public Administration. This program prepares students for promotions, leadership, and management positions, and other opportunities for advancement in public administration. It is NASPAA compliant, ensuring that all graduates are either on par or above the industry standard for higher-level positions.
  • Master of Science in Management Information Systems. The MS in Management Information Systems program is aimed at helping tech professionals gain the required managerial skills needed to deal with information systems in modern companies. It offers multiple concentration areas, from business analytics to systems development.

6

Crown College

Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation, Higher Learning Commission

Crown College is a Christian university that offers a range of religiously oriented programs in addition to programs in business, cultural and global studies, and the humanities. It also has a strong online program for undergraduates, and its graduate program is made up exclusively of distance learners.

Crown College Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, Association for Biblical Higher Education Commission on Accreditation
  • Fully Online Enrollment: 51% (undergraduate); 100% (graduate)
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $39,890

Top Accredited Online College Degrees and Certificate Programs at Crown College

  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. This program enables students to critique complex issues in the field of criminal justice from a nuanced perspective. It covers social causes, ethical concerns, and systemic reform. A BS in Criminal Justice can be combined with a BS in Psychology or Counseling to make a double major.
  • Bachelor of Science in General Studies. The BS in General Studies program is an all-encompassing liberal arts program. It is helpful for students that are unsure of their interests or that require a broader education to meet their goals. This uniquely flexible program is open to transfers from any field.
  • Bachelor of Science in Business. This program infuses a fundamental education in business with Crown’s religious perspective, putting a sharp focus on ethical practices and decision-making. Business professionals are also on board to lend their practical knowledge and experience to the students.
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Services. This relatively new program is a one-stop destination for students looking to start careers as caseworkers, counselors, or other helping professions. It bolsters knowledge and skills needed in the field of social work as well as more specified fields like crisis counseling and victim advocacy.
  • Bachelor of Science in Global & Cultural Studies. This is a great program for international professionals. It covers anthropology and cross-cultural communication through a religious, global-minded framework. This program teaches students to interact with other cultures in an ethical, culturally conscious light.

7

Bemidji State University

Higher Learning Commission

Ranked as one of the 100 most affordable online colleges in the US by Great Value Colleges, Bemidji State University offers accredited courses at a reasonable price. With both fully online and hybrid options for distance learners, this is one of the more accessible online schools in Minnesota.

Bemidji State University Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Fully Online Enrollment: 21% (undergraduate); 81% (graduate)
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $46,619

Top Accredited Online College Degrees and Certificate Programs at Bemidji State University

  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Bemidji State is the only online university in Minnesota with an online degree program specifically for sociology. This program focuses on social justice and diversity issues and it aims to provide students with an understanding of how social structures shape human behavior.
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting. This program offers a foundational education in accounting, as well as multiple career advancement and professional development opportunities. Students will be given the tools they need to advance in accounting, from internships to CPA certification exams.
  • Bachelor of Science in Economics. This program equips students with critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are invaluable in the field of macro or microeconomics. This versatile program allows students to seek further education or enter the workforce at will.
  • Master of Science in Environmental Studies. This is an interdisciplinary graduate program hosted by the Center for Sustainability Studies at Bemidji. It centers on the study of the natural and social sciences. Students of this program will also collaborate with members of the local community to develop solutions to environmental issues.
  • Master of Arts in English. This is a graduate degree program for students that have a deep interest in analyzing, teaching, or writing literature. Students can present either a standard academic thesis or a creative thesis. A creative thesis requires approval from the English graduate committee.

8

Saint Cloud State University

Higher Learning Commission

Saint Cloud State University works hand in hand with partner programs in addition to its own resources to facilitate its online programs. It offers degree paths in the liberal arts and sciences and facilitates networking and collaborative work opportunities for students.

Saint Cloud State University Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Fully Online Enrollment: 4% (undergraduate); 24% (graduate)
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $51,372

Top Accredited Online College Degrees and Certificate Programs at Saint Cloud State University

  • Professional Communications. This program equips students with strategic skills in verbal, written, and even online communication. The program provides a foundational education in the theory and ethics of communication and a skillset that is highly valued by employers.
  • Geography. This program covers multiple facets of geography, from cartography to the use of cutting-edge geographic software. As the working world becomes increasingly globalized, more and more companies are valuing skills in geography. 94 percent of this program’s graduates are employed in geography or related fields.
  • Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis. This graduate program teaches advanced knowledge and frameworks for behavior analysis. Focuses of the program include autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, and program evaluation and organizational development.
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. This industry-focused program provides students with hands-on, practical experience in electrical engineering. It gives them the knowledge needed to innovate in fields like networking or signal processing as well as the opportunity to develop leadership skills by working with undergraduates.
  • Professional Science Masters in Software Engineering. This program gives students the tools and skills they need to work with software and software systems. These include design tools, management techniques, technical skills related to creating and maintaining said systems, and knowledge of emergent technologies in the field.

9

Southwest Minnesota State University

Higher Learning Commission

Southwest Minnesota State University is well known for charging in-state rates for all online students, lowering costs that might otherwise affect them. As such, it offers great value to many students. Southwest Minnesota State’s Mustang Promise assures that all students will find employment within six months of graduation.

Southwest Minnesota State University Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Fully Online Enrollment: 7% (undergraduate); 28% (graduate)
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $43,800

Top Accredited Online College Degrees and Certificate Programs at Southwest Minnesota State University

  • Bachelor of Arts in English, Creative Writing Emphasis. This liberal arts program complements general coursework with a focus on creative writing. Its flexible curriculum allows students to select courses based on their career paths, whether they’re looking to apply their writing skills to journalism, teaching, or freelance work.
  • Bachelor of Arts in History. This program helps students develop skills in writing and critical thinking through historical study and analysis. Southwest Minnesota offers both a BA in History and a Social Science Teaching Licensure in Secondary Education through this program.
  • Master of Business Administration. This graduate program is designed to impart the mindset needed to succeed in the global business economy. Students in this program learn critical thinking, managerial, and strategy skills that they can then apply to their future career fields.
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity. This program is designed to be accessible to graduates from any discipline, not just computer science. It covers the development, maintenance, and analysis of secure software and systems.
  • Master of Science in Physical Education: Coaching of Sports. This program is tailor-made for students that want to pursue or further a career in coaching. The program includes practicum experiences and is fully compliant with National Association of Sport and Physical Education standards.

10

Walden University

Higher Learning Commission

A fully online institution, Walden University has a singular focus on providing adult learners a comprehensive and convenient education. Walden is fully equipped and staffed to give the best in adult education and its unique tempo system is designed to give students increased convenience and control.

Walden University Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Fully Online Enrollment: 100% (undergraduate); 100% (graduate)
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 27%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $53,448

Top Accredited Online College Degrees and Certificate Programs at Walden University

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This undergraduate program for registered nurses aims to improve the entire field in line with the goals outlined in the Future of Nursing 2020–2030 report . It equips nurses with leadership skills and practical experience through a specialized simulation.
  • Bachelor of Science in Communications. This program builds strong foundational communication skills with universal applicability. Students can also pick one of three concentrations to better refine the tools picked up in the core coursework.
  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management. This program is for healthcare professionals looking to improve their skills and the field of healthcare as a whole. The program offers many interdisciplinary minors that pair well with the major. It also features an option for an accelerated master’s degree.
  • Master of Science in Higher Education. This degree program prepares educators for roles in postsecondary education and training. Students choose between seven areas of specialization, including adult learning, college teaching, global higher education, and more.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology. This PhD program course equips students with a skillset that’s up to date with the ever-evolving field of clinical psychology. It is academically focused and has faculty at the ready to help students transition from coursework to research work.

What Is the Easiest Online College That Is Accredited in Minnesota?

The easiest online college that is accredited in Minnesota is the University of Minnesota, as demonstrated by its graduation rate of 80 percent. In addition to the quality of education offered, the University of Minnesota also offers comprehensive support across all programs and disciplines. This support includes specialized aid for coursework and career planning.

What Is the Cheapest Accredited Online College in Minnesota?

Rasmussen University is the cheapest accredited online college in Minnesota. Some of its graduate degree programs are priced at as little as $125 per credit . In addition, the school offers many discounts and financial aid options, including a discount for active military students.

Are There Free Accredited Online Colleges in Minnesota?

No, there aren’t any truly free accredited colleges in Minnesota. Accreditation is an expensive process, and can’t be undertaken by a school without significant resources. Furthermore, it’s difficult for schools without significant resources to meet the standards set by many accrediting bodies.

While there are no free online colleges in Minnesota, there are other affordable options. Many online colleges have affordable tuition or offer a significant tuition discount that you may be eligible for. Students enrolling in an online program can apply for federal aid by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Furthermore, Minnesota has many programs in place that can help low-income students afford college.

Why Choose an Accredited Online College in Minnesota?

You should choose an accredited online college in Minnesota because the state is home to some of the most affordable and high-quality online institutions in the country. Furthermore, the number of institutions available means there is a choice for students at all levels and of all disciplines, which is important when making educational decisions.

Affordability

If you’re wondering how you can afford your degree , it’s worth noting that online courses end up being significantly cheaper overall than in-person programs. Online courses also remove the need for a commute or relocation. Furthermore, Minnesota has many financial aid programs and schools with tuition and fee waivers.

Convenience

An online learning environment allows for a degree of convenience that physical classes just can’t match. From easily accessible learning materials to special programs to allow for time and resource management, many of the online colleges in Minnesota are designed for student convenience.

Variety of Learning Styles

There is an ample variety of learning styles in Minnesota online schools. Fully online programs, hybrid programs, synchronous and asynchronous learning, and many other styles of learning are available at any number of online schools in the state. Finding a school that suits your unique style is easy.

Most Affordable Accredited Online Colleges in Minnesota

It is important to consider affordable accredited online colleges in Minnesota, as finances can make or break your final academic decision. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the cheapest online schools in Minnesota.

  1. Riverland Community College | Tuition: $229/Credit. Riverland Community College has online associate degrees and certification programs in various finance, accounting, and management fields.
  2. Metro State University | Tuition: $276/Credit. Metro State offers both undergraduate and graduate programs with a focus on topics in business management and administration.
  3. Rasmussen University | Tuition: $310/Credit. This institution offers courses at every level of higher education. This includes associate’s degrees, diplomas, certificate courses, bachelor’s, and graduate degrees.
  4. Capella University | Tuition: $357 – $415/Credit. Capella offers programs in social work, healthcare, accounting, and more. These range from certificate to doctoral programs .
  5. Concordia University-Saint Paul | Tuition: $420/Credit. Concordia offers undergraduate and graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, from creative writing to computer science.

Best Online Accredited Colleges in Minnesota That Accept Financial Aid

There are many affordable accredited colleges in Minnesota, supplemented by the number of financial aid opportunities available in the state. This section will go over some of the best schools that offer financial aid.

  1. Concordia University-Saint Paul | Tuition: $420/Credit. Concordia University offers students a diverse range of options for interested students, in addition to being very compatible with financial aid. 100 percent of Concordia students receive financial aid.
  2. Bethel University | Tuition: $430/Credit. Bethel is an evangelical school that takes a compassionate view on financial aid. 99 percent of Bethel students receive financial aid.
  3. Metropolitan State University | Tuition: $276/Credit. Metropolitan offers a wide selection of finance and business programs, so financial matters are at the forefront of their educational philosophy. 99 percent of Metropolitan State students receive financial aid.
  4. Winona State University | Tuition: $268/Credit. Winona State goes the extra mile to ensure that students get their money’s worth by providing access to lots of online resources and financial aid.  94 percent of Winona State students receive financial aid.
  5. The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities | Tuition: $521/Credit. The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities’s online programs have a wide range of financial requirements in addition to the baseline tuition. 82 percent of the school’s students receive financial aid.

Best Online Schools in Minnesota by Popular Subjects

While there are many metrics to judge prospective schools by, a list of best online schools in Minnesota depends on the subject a student has in mind. Some institutions don’t offer certain courses, while others have them available through one or more concentrations. Consequently, the next section will cover some of the best schools based on various subjects.

1

Best Accredited Online Colleges for Computer Science in Minnesota

  1. Rasmussen University. The undergraduate computer science program at Rasmussen University was crafted and refined by industry professionals with vast experience at the best tech companies. Students will learn cutting-edge industry skills in software engineering through a program that is well-structured for online delivery.
  2. Saint Cloud University. Saint Cloud University offers a course in software engineering at the professional graduate level. This program is fine-tuned to bring students up to speed with the latest methodologies and innovations to keep them relevant and advancing in the industry.
  3. North Hennepin Community College. The Associate of Science in Computer Science degree program at North Hennepin equips students with the foundational knowledge they need for entry-level work. Students can proceed from the associate degree program to a bachelor’s degree program at other schools in the state almost uninterrupted.

2

Best Accredited Online Colleges for Nursing in Minnesota

  1. Capella University. This school has nursing programs at all levels of postsecondary education. These range from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program to the Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs at the graduate level.
  2. St. Catherine University. St. Catherine University offers the standard RN to BSN pathway online. It also offers two separate master’s level nursing programs, the Master of Science in Nursing Informatics and the Master of Science in Nursing Education.
  3. Bethel University. Bethel University offers an MS in Nursing program in addition to an RN to BSN program. What sets these programs apart is their focus on research skills. This allows students to perpetually stay aware of new developments and best practices and effectively integrate them into their caring practice.

3

Best Accredited Online Colleges for Occupational Therapy Degrees in Minnesota

  1. St. Catherine University. St. Catherine offers its esteemed and accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant program online. It prepares students to directly enter the workforce through a curriculum of 80 percent coursework and 20 percent fieldwork and personalized lab instruction.

4

Best Accredited Online Colleges for Education Degrees in Minnesota

  1. Walden University. Walden University has almost 100 programs among its education degree offerings. These cover everything from certifications to specialized undergraduate degrees to multiple doctorates in education. All these are offered completely online.
  2. Winona State University. Winona State has several certificate courses and specialized bachelor’s and master’s programs for aspiring educators. The school even offers a doctorate in education as a capstone to the student’s own education.
  3. Martin Luther College. Martin Luther College offers a program in early childhood education at the undergraduate level, as well as graduate-level courses in education and educational administration.

5

Best Accredited Online Colleges for Social Work in Minnesota

  1. Capella University. Capella University offers multiple social work graduate programs that cover the skills needed to be a generalist practitioner in the field. These programs cover the ethical and community-based aspects of advanced social work as well as management and leadership skills.
  2. Bethel University. Bethel University offers a BA in Social Work program that integrates a faith-based perspective. Students get hands-on experience through practicum study and gain the critical and research skills needed for graduate-level social work.
  3. St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. St. Mary’s offers a Bachelor of Science in Social Work that’s primarily intended for those with credits in the program already. It aims to help these students finish their programs and gain all the tools they need to meet the industry’s expected growth in demand.

6

Best Accredited Online Colleges for Criminal Justice in Minnesota

  1. Crown College. Crown College offers both an Associate’s and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, as well as a minor for students taking on other programs. The skills imparted in this program are useful and applicable across several disciplines, including social work and ministry.
  2. Metro State University. Metro State offers a Criminal Justice BA for those interested in learning the institutions and processes that make up our justice system. It gives students the tools they need to understand and reform the criminal justice system.
  3. Ridgewater College. Ridgewater College offers an online Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice designed for students looking to earn a criminal justice bachelor’s degree. It also serves those that want to get entry-level employment in applicable fields like crime prevention or community counseling.

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Best Accredited Online Colleges for Accounting in Minnesota

  1. Lake Superior College. Lake Superior College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Accounting program designed for busy professionals that require more flexibility as they learn the fundamentals of accounting.
  2. Herzing University. Herzing University offers accounting programs at all levels, including graduate-level certificates. This allows students to seamlessly go from the undergraduate level to high-ranking positions in the industry, all while learning and working in tandem.
  3. Minnesota State University Mankato. MSU Mankato offers graduate degrees and certificates in accounting, as well as a BS in Accounting program that prepares students for the state CPA or CMA exams.

Best Accredited Online Colleges With Associate Degree Programs in Minnesota

Most of the accredited online colleges that feature associate degree programs are community colleges. This is because associate programs are usually the mainstay of on-campus education at these institutions. This section covers some worthwhile associate degree programs that can be earned online.

  1. Concordia University, St. Paul | Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education. This course prepares students to educate young children. It imparts the skills and knowledge required to effectively communicate and care for kids. The program also adheres to Child Development Associate National Credentialing standards.
  2. Crown College | Associate of Science in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Crown’s TEFL program covers concepts like cross-cultural communication, global ethics, and teaching the English language in person and online. This program awards an internationally recognized TEFL certificate as well as an associate degree.
  3. Anoka Ramsey | Associate of Science in Human Resources. This program is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in human resource management. Students can transfer their credits in part or whole to an undergraduate program.
  4. Lake Superior College | Associate of Applied Science in Computer and Web Programming. This associate degree program teaches students the fundamentals of programming in addition to other web design skills. This program can serve as a gateway into a computer science undergraduate program.
  5. Northland Community and Technical College | Associate of Applied Science in Digital Marketing. This program combines theoretical and practical approaches to digital marketing. Students gain an understanding of social and digital marketing as well as skills in management, communication, and sales.

Best Online Associate Degrees

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Best Accredited Online Colleges With Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Minnesota

Most accredited online colleges offer bachelor’s degrees, as they are standard for postsecondary education. This section will outline some bachelor’s degree programs that can be taken online in Minnesota.

  1. University of Minnesota | Bachelor of Manufacturing Management. This program teaches the managerial skills that are most desirable in the manufacturing industry. This includes other useful skills like budget management, reporting, and more.
  2. Bethel University | Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. This specially accredited program teaches the basics of social work to allow students to practice as soon as they graduate.
  3. Winona State University | Bachelor of Applied Science in Healthcare Leadership. Perfect for industry professionals, this program gives students the tools needed for career advancement. It focuses on ensuring better outcomes for everyone involved in the healthcare cycle.
  4. Concordia University, St. Paul | Bachelor of Arts in Digital Marketing. This program allows students to acquire the skills needed to successfully market to any audience using modern means like social media and web interactions. It is a futureproof marketing education.
  5. Metro State University | Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. This program teaches students the basics of criminal justice. It also goes further, allowing students to query the existing systems and the ethics involved.

Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees

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Best Accredited Online Colleges With Master’s Degree Programs in Minnesota

This section will discuss some accredited online colleges in Minnesota that offer graduate programs. Each entry will also include a specific master’s degree program that properly encapsulates the school’s quality.

  1. University of Minnesota | Master of Business Administration. This MBA degree program creates industry-ready graduates through a curriculum that is focused on management and leadership skills.
  2. Bethel University | Master of Social Work. This graduate program prepares both those interested in social work and those already in the field for more advanced service. It also has two distinct learning paths for both cases which ensures that no student gets left behind.
  3. Winona State University | Master of Arts in Strategic Communication. This graduate program uses a focus on social justice and equity to teach advanced techniques in strategic communication.
  4. Concordia University, St. Paul | Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. This program teaches the application of writing and literary analysis skills. It aims to better students’ understanding of the creative writing process.
  5. Metro State University | Master in Public Administration. This industry-focused course covers topics like management of human resources and policy analysis. It is a solid choice for anyone seeking promotion or lateral career change in the public administration field.

Best Online Master’s Degrees

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Why You Should Attend an Accredited Online College in Minnesota

You should attend an accredited online college in Minnesota because many online schools in the state offer both quality and convenience. Minnesota is ranked as one of the overall best states by US News & World Report and has a strong job market. Attending an accredited online college in Minnesota can allow you to work and learn without sacrificing your peace of mind.

Accredited Online Colleges in Minnesota FAQ

Why aren’t all colleges accredited?

Not all colleges are accredited because some schools cannot meet the financial requirements for accreditation. These institutions want to maintain affordable tuition rates and cannot raise the capital needed for the accreditation process. Some schools use unorthodox teaching methods for nontraditional students that might not fit into the accrediting body’s template.

However, this isn’t the case for all schools. Some schools simply do not meet the standards required for accreditation. Such a school shouldn’t even be considered among the options for students.


Is there ever a reason to go to an unaccredited school?

Yes, there are a few reasons to go to an unaccredited school. Some schools do not seek accreditation for financial reasons, or because they prefer unconventional methods or cater to nontraditional learners. If such a school has a good reputation and you only require knowledge and not a certification, this can be a good way to learn a new skill at a lower cost.

What is the best way for online students to fund their undergraduate education?

The best way for online students to fund their undergraduate education is to seek out financial aid opportunities. Minnesota offers many opportunities for aid for low-income families . In addition to this, some institutions have automatic merit-based scholarships.

Can you continue a degree program you started on campus online?

Yes, you can continue a degree you started on campus online. Distance students can transfer credits from a previous institution if the accreditation is the same type. If both institutions are accredited, and within the same region, this should be stress-free.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Shodipe-Dosunmu Ademilade

About the author: Ademilade is a content writer, ghostwriter, and mentor based in Lagos, Nigeria. He is currently finishing his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Lagos. He holds a Scrum Master Basic Certification and has completed a course on Intermediate Python Programming. Ademilade has ghostwritten over 10 books on topics like space travel, technology, cryptocurrency, and business. Along with his technical writing experience, he has also mentored many writers through their careers. At Career Karma, Ademilade wants to use his knowledge to impact a wide audience of students. His goal is to one day create an academy for budding writers to help them start their careers. When he’s not writing, you can find him playing his favorite FPS game (Valorant) or watching a movie with a friend.

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