Attending a community college, in addition to being less expensive than four-year colleges, allows you to transfer your credits to a bachelor’s degree program. The state of Minnesota has several of these colleges but figuring out which one is right for you can be difficult.
We have put together a list of the best community colleges in Minnesota to make your search easier. If you are interested in distance learning, then the best online community colleges in Minnesota included in this article are definitely worth considering.
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How Many Community Colleges Are in Minnesota?
There are 26 community colleges in Minnesota. These colleges are all part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, which also has 7 universities. A total of 54 campuses spread across Minnesota host programs offered by these community colleges.
How Many Community College Districts Are in Minnesota?
There aren’t community college districts in Minnesota. All 26 community colleges are part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
What Is the Biggest Community College in Minnesota?
The biggest community college in Minnesota in terms of the student population is Normandale Community College. The college has 9,420 students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
What Are the Best Community Colleges in Minnesota?
|Ranking||Community College||Graduation Rate||Student-to-Faculty Ratio|
|1||Alexandria Technical and Community College||62%||20:1|
|2||Central Lakes College||48%||19:1|
|4||Minnesota State Community and Technical College||44%||24:1|
|5||Northland Community and Technical College||43%||18:1|
|6||Riverland Community College||42%||23:1|
|7||Minnesota West Community and Technical College||41%||20:1|
|8||South Central College||30%||16:1|
|9||Inver Hills Community College||24%||22:1|
|10||Anoka-Ramsey Community College||24%||27:1|
The Best Community Colleges in Minnesota: Explained
The best community colleges in Minnesota include community colleges that offer affordable tuition, good student-to-faculty ratio, and solid programs. Some of these colleges include Alexandria Technical and Community College, Ridgewater College, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, and South Central College. The list below explores them in more detail.
Alexandria Technical and Community College has 44 programs for prospective students to choose from. In addition to $300,000 worth of scholarships awarded annually, students have several options they can use to pay for their education. Students can transfer credits to a four-year institution. Also, with a 98 percent job placement rate, it’s evident students are equipped with relevant job skills at the college.
Alexandria Technical and Community College Overview
- Tuition: $176.43/credit hour
- Student Population: 2,549
- Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 88%
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
- Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A
Best Alexandria Technical and Community College Programs
- Surgical Technology. This program trains students to become surgical technologists who assist surgeons during surgeries. Students are trained to be effective members of a medical team, gaining expertise in the use of different surgical instruments.
- Accounting. The accounting program prepares students to take up roles in management. Students learn about taxation, financial accounting, fund accounting, auditing, and more.
- Computer Information Systems. This Associate of Science program is a great fit for students interested in computer science. The program equips students with knowledge of hardware systems and software applications.
- Carpentry. The carpentry program provides hands-on training on the fundamentals of carpentry. Students participate in shop classes, which are usually focused on woodworking projects.
- Medical Laboratory Technician. Students looking to work in a clinical or medical laboratory will find this program a great fit. With a 100 percent job placement rate, students can kickstart successful careers after graduation.
Founded in 1958, Central Lakes College offers technical education and liberal arts and science programs to over 4,000 students. In addition to these programs, the college has a host of work-study jobs, serving as financial aid for its students.
Central Lakes College Overview
- Tuition: $174.68/credit hour
- Student Population: 4,491
- Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 88%
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
- Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A
Best Central Lakes College Programs
- Business Management. This Associate of Applied Science program equips students with relevant skills in business management. Focusing heavily on hands-on training, the program prepares students to take up financial management tasks.
- Criminal Justice. In this two-year program, students learn about the criminal justice system, courts, and law enforcement. Graduates can go on to pursue careers as police officers, corrections officers, or state patrol officers.
- Graphic Design. The graphic design program prepares students to create and execute relevant graphic design solutions. Students are brought to speed on the latest technology in design for television, print media, and videos.
- Nursing. Offered at both campuses of the college, the nursing program is a traditional Associate of Applied Science program. Graduates can pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree for higher-level roles as registered nurses.
- Healthcare Accounting. This two-year AAS program teaches the fundamentals of accounting and financial management in healthcare institutions and facilities.
Ridgewater College has over 100 programs that prepare students for a bachelor’s degree or career training. Degrees offered include Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science. The college also offers diploma and certificate programs.
Ridgewater College Overview
- Tuition: $176.25/credit hour
- Student Population: 3,176
- Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 79%
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
- Minimum GPA Requirement: Varies by program
Best Ridgewater College Programs
- Electrician. This program is offered as either a certificate program or an Associate of Applied Science program. There are two tracks available for this program, which include a daytime arrangement and an evening schedule.
- Art. This program awards an Associate of Arts degree. Courses teach students about photography, painting, drawing, and other forms of art. Students can choose to take the program online or at one of the school’s two campuses.
- Music. With this program, students can take classes on various musical instruments and participate in active voice training. The college has a fine arts club that provides a wonderful environment for learning music.
- History. Learning about the past and present is a core part of history. This program provides students the opportunity to learn about world history, American history, and western civilization. Students can take online classes if they desire.
- Physical Education. As one of the online programs offered at the college, students can gain helpful skills in wellness, weight training, first aid, and injury prevention.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College is one of the largest colleges in Minnesota, with four campuses and extensive online program offerings. Hosting the Workforce Development Solutions on its campuses, the college provides more than 100,000 hours of workplace-oriented training to its students every year.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College Overview
- Tuition: $5,742/year
- Student Population: 5,757
- Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 90%
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 24:1
- Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A
Best Minnesota State Community and Technical College Programs
- Civil Engineering Technology. This program prepares students for roles as civil engineering technicians. Students will learn advanced surveying techniques, graphic skills, and several engineering technologies.
- Cosmetology. This diploma program has 58 credits in total and prepares students for careers in beauty care. Students can complete the 1,550 hours of clinical practice required by the Board of Cosmetologists for licensing.
- Dental Hygiene. The dental hygiene program awards an Associate of Applied Science. Graduates of the program can provide dental hygiene services in various healthcare settings and communities.
- Radiologic Technology. In an Associate of Applied Science degree program, radiologic technology prepares students to assist in different radiologic procedures as radiologic technologists.
- Paralegal. This 60-credit program teaches civil law, criminal law, real property law, and family law. Graduates of the program are equipped with the required legal knowledge to work in law offices under supervision.
Northland Community and Technical College has four campuses, in addition to its online classes. The college has Workplace Development Solutions that provide career training programs, preparing students for rewarding careers. With regularly-updated course offerings, the college continually provides solid programs for its students.
Northland Community and Technical College Overview
- Tuition: $181.18/credit hour
- Student Population: 2,962
- Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 86%
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
- Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A
Best Northland Community and Technical College Programs
- Automotive Service Technology. This 73-credit program, offered at the Thief River Campus, awards students an Associate of Applied Science. With enough liberal arts courses included in the program, students can meet the transfer requirement for many public universities in Minnesota.
- Animal Science. This animal science program is a 60-credit program that awards an Associate of Applied Science. The program places an emphasis on livestock, training students on how to ensure a safe and affordable food supply.
- Early Childhood and Paraprofessional. This early childhood and paraprofessional program offers two pathways. One awards a certificate and the other awards an Associate of Applied Science.
- Criminal Justice — Law Enforcement. This program is offered by the law and public safety department and has three pathways, which include a certificate, diploma, and Associate of Applied Science degree.
- Aviation Maintenance Technology. Interested in the aerospace industry? Then you can take the diploma pathway of this program or the Associate of Applied Science pathway.
Riverland Community College has provided post-secondary education to southeast Minnesota for more than eight decades. The college’s value revolves around encouraging excellence in students through innovation, collaboration, service, and respect. It offers several two-year programs that award associate degrees.
Riverland Community College Overview
- Tuition: $202.03/credit hour (on campus); $229.03/credit hour (online students)
- Student Population: 3,494
- Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 93%
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 23:1
- Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.0
Best Riverland Community College Programs
- Biotechnology. This 60-credit program runs over four semesters and awards an Associate of Science degree. Graduates can find employment as research assistants in laboratories or work in the pharmaceutical or chemical industries.
- Cyber Security. In an Associate of Applied Science program, cyber security educates students in the design and maintenance of security software and hardware. Graduates can find jobs in the IT field, which continues to need cyber security experts.
- Massage Therapy. The massage therapy program is a certificate program that equips students with the right skills and knowledge to run a massage therapy clinic post-completion. Students will take courses in physiology, anatomy, kinesiology, and pathology.
- Nursing (RN Track). This nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The program is offered in partnership with Winona State University as a dual admission program, leading to a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
- Supervisory Management. The program equips students with relevant leadership and management skills. A perfect fit for working professionals, it allows evening and online classes.
Minnesota West Community and Technical College offers affordable tuition rates and financial aid to make community college education accessible. The college offers a large selection of campus-based programs and online courses through the D2L Brightspace.
Minnesota West Community and Technical College Overview
- Tuition: $188.35/credit hour (on campus); $200.85/credit hour (online)
- Student Population: 3,253
- Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 85%
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
- Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A
Best Minnesota West Community and Technical College Programs
- Administrative Assistant. This program offers an Associate of Applied Science and prepares students to work as administrative assistants in various industries. There’s also an administrative assistant program leading to the award of a certificate.
- Cosmetology. This cosmetology program awards a diploma on completion. In addition to coursework, students gain practical training in cosmetology via the campus clinic.
- Environmental Science. Offered as a liberal arts degree, the environmental science program prepares students for a bachelor’s degree in the arts or sciences. The program has 60 credits in total.
- Medical Assistant. This program trains students to work as medical assistants to physicians in healthcare facilities. Offered as an Associate of Applied Science program, graduates are equipped to perform both clinical and clerical duties.
- Nursing. This Associate of Science program trains students to become registered nurses (RN). Graduates of the program are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam.
South Central College boasts industry experts as instructors for its more than 50 programs. The college employs a personalized approach to ensure each student gets focused care during learning. The classes are small to ensure students don’t get lost in the crowd.
South Central College Overview
- Tuition: $176.99/credit hour (on campus); $211.49/credit hour (online)
- Student Population: 2,653
- Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 95%
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
- Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A
Best South Central College Programs
- Family Services. If you’re looking to work in family and child care services, then this Associate of Science program is for you. Upon completion of this program, you can transfer to a four-year college and earn a bachelor’s degree.
- Accounting. Getting an associate degree from a two-year school like this prepares you for higher education at a four-year university. In addition, graduates can work as accountants and auditors for various industries.
- Civil Engineering Technology. This Associate of Applied Science program teaches students how to plan, build, and maintain different types of infrastructural projects. Graduates can go on to become civil engineering technologists.
- Medical Laboratory Technician. With experience in STEM, this program becomes an easy way to work as a medical laboratory technician. You’ll gain hands-on experience working in the laboratory, supervised by a physician or a medical technologist.
- Mechatronics. This program allows you to study mechanics and electronics at the same time. You’ll earn an Associate of Applied Science upon completion of the program, with courses in robotics, fluid power, automation, and more.
Inver Hills Community College provides two-year technical education to the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The college’s over 40 programs prepare students for credit requirements in four-year schools. This outstanding college is definitely an excellent place to get a community college degree.
Inver Hills Community College Overview
- Tuition: $187.73/credit hour
- Student Population: 4,071
- Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 70%
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22:1
- Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A
Best Inver Hills Community College Programs
- Emergency Medical Services. This program has six different tracks. Depending on the track, students earn an associate degree (traditional track), associate degree (accelerated), paramedic diploma, emergency medical technician certificate, or a community paramedic certificate.
- Engineering Fundamentals. This program prepares students to solve real-world problems using engineering theories and various scientific/mathematical applications. Students earn an associate degree upon completion.
- Social Justice. Want to create positive social change in Inver Grove Heights and around the world? Then this social justice program, leading to the award of a certificate or an Associate of Arts degree, is an excellent choice.
- Information Technology. The program leads to the award of various degrees and certificates. They include an Information Technology Support AAS, Network Technology and Security AAS, Advanced Cyber Security Infrastructure Certificate, or an IT Helpdesk and Cybersecurity Operations Certificate, among others.
- Accounting. This Associate of Science program is designed to allow graduates of the program to easily transfer to Minnesota state universities. In addition, graduates can take up roles as paraprofessionals in accounting.
With a large student population, Anoka-Ramsey Community College provides several two-year programs leading to the award of an associate degree. The college partners with Anoka Technical College to serve more than 16,000 students in Minnesota. It has locations in Cambridge and Coon Rapids.
Anoka-Ramsey Community College Overview
- Tuition: $159.15/credit hour (on campus); $196.95/credit hour (online)
- Student Population: 8,482
- Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 93%
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 27:1
- Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.5
Best Anoka-Ramsey Community College Programs
- Biomedical Technology. This two-year program serves as an entry route into roles in biomedical industries. Graduates can also transfer to a four-year degree college. Students gain pertinent knowledge in the field that prepares them for a wide range of career opportunities.
- Creative Writing. The Associate of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program is a two-year program with a 60-credit requirement. It also includes general education courses, which count toward the fulfillment of transfer requirements.
- Music. The learning goals of this music program include demonstrating a high level of technical proficiency in musical instruments and good musical competence.
- Human Resource Management. The human resource management degree offers an Associate of Science to students who complete the program. Graduates can find entry-level positions in the human resources world or transfer to a bachelor’s degree program.
- Sales Management. This program prepares students for sales management positions. In addition to learning sales theory and other fundamentals, students learn practical information on how to deliver sales results in real-world situations.
Best Online Community Colleges in Minnesota
- Normandale Community College. Normandale Community College offers online programs in business and liberal education. Students can earn Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science degrees, in addition to certificates. The college uses the D2L Brightspace system to deliver courses to its students.
- Lake Superior College. Lake Superior College has offered elearning to students for more than 20 years. It has a track record that makes it great for professionals with a busy work schedule who want to get a degree. There are over 20 degree programs that are completely online.
- Saint Paul College. Using the D2L Brightspace portal, Saint Paul College delivers different online formats, including synchronous, asynchronous, hybrid, and HyFlex courses.
Best Online Associate Degrees
Other Minnesota Community College Rankings
There are different criteria for ranking the best Minnesota community colleges. Some prospective students prefer to look at the best community colleges for transfers, others would prefer a college that ranks highly in the most popular subjects in Minnesota. Let’s take a look at some of the best schools using these ranking criteria.
Best Community Colleges in Minnesota for Transfer
- Ridgewater College. Ridgewater Colleges offers transfer pathways to different universities. This college partners with Bemidji State University, Metropolitan State University, Southwest Minnesota State University, St. Cloud State University, and Winona State University.
- South Central College. South Central Colleges has different transfer pathways for several programs. For example, the business transfer pathway allows you to transfer to any Minnesota state university.
- Dakota County Technical College. You can transfer to a college or university for an advanced degree after completing a program at Dakota County Technical College. Partner institutions for transfer include Concordia University-Saint Paul, Winona State University, University of Wisconsin-Stout, and Minnesota State University-Moorhead.
Best Community Colleges for Accounting in Minnesota
- Minneapolis Community and Technical College. The accounting program at this college has three pathways, including an Associate of Science degree, a certificate, and a diploma. Students who complete the associate degree program can transfer to any of Minnesota state’s seven universities.
- Pine Technical and Community College. Pine Technical and Community College in Pine City offers a 30-credit certificate program and a 60-credit Associate of Applied Science in Accounting degree.
- Rochester Community and Technical College. Rochester Community and Technical College’s accounting program includes an accounting clerk diploma program and an accounting transfer pathway Associate of Science program.
Best Minnesota Community Colleges That Offer Bachelor’s Degrees
- Ridgewater College. Ridgewater College offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN), making it a top choice for many prospective nursing students.
- Northland Community and Technical College. Through the NorthernConnect Dual Admission program, this college offers dual programs with partner institutions, such as Bemidji State University and Minnesota State University-Crookston. Some of these programs lead to a bachelor’s degree.
- South Central College. South Central College offers many transfer pathway programs, which lets you begin your bachelor’s degree at the college and then complete it at a partner university. The programs let you complete general education classes needed for the transfer.
Best Associate Degrees
Best Community College Programs in Minnesota
The best community college programs in Minnesota include health sciences, nursing, accounting, agricultural sciences, and computer science. These programs are often offered via different pathways, preparing students for a lifetime career in the field or for further education in the form of a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree.
You can study health sciences and earn an associate degree, diploma, or certificate. In addition to extensive coursework, students gain enough clinical experiences to prepare them for roles in different healthcare and care management settings
Earning a nursing degree prepares you to work as a registered nurse (RN). The most common nursing degree awarded at a community college is the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN). You can complete a bachelor’s degree at a university and set yourself up for more rewarding and higher-paying career opportunities.
Earning a degree in accounting in community college prepares you for a career as an accountant and auditor. Studying accounting at South Central College, for example, awards you an Associate of Applied Science degree, a diploma, or a certificate. The active learning environment with incredible people and faculty makes the program easier to go through.
Agricultural sciences programs are offered as Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, and certificate programs. Students learn relevant skills for jobs in agriculture and related fields.
A computer science program teaches students the fundamentals of computer science, including hardware systems and software applications. Graduates of the program can find employment in a computer-related field or continue their education at a university. The average review of computer science programs is always favorable.
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Minnesota Community College Admission Requirements
Minnesota community college admission requirements include submitting an admission application and proof of a high school diploma or GED. Some colleges might have technical requirements for specific programs.
Minnesota Community College GPA Requirements
Most community colleges in Minnesota have an open admission policy with no minimum GPA requirement. Typically, students are required to have a high school diploma or GED to be considered for admission into a community college.
However, high school students can also get into a community college through the Post-Secondary Education Options (PESO) program. The GPA requirements for this program vary by high school grade level and school. For example, Central Lakes College requires a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher for 12th graders and a GPA of 3.0 or higher for 11th graders.
Residency Requirements for Community Colleges in Minnesota
The best community colleges in Minnesota do not require students to be residents of Minnesota to pay standard tuition. That means the tuition rates for both Minnesota residents and non-residents are the same. However, the rates for distance learning students may differ.
For example, Alexandria Technical and Community College offers the same annual tuition for residents and non-residents. The technical college’s tuition per credit is $176.43 for in-person students, but $205.15 per credit for online students.
Minnesota Community College Age Requirements
The minimum age to be admitted into a Minnesota community college is 18. However, some schools might lower the age to 17, providing that the applicant has completed high school.
Minnesota Community College Admission Requirements: A Summary
- High school diploma or GED
- Be at least 18 years old
- Completed admission application
- Placement tests (for some colleges)
Why Study in Minnesota?
You should study in Minnesota because of the state’s robust and diverse economy, high quality of life, and global market talent. Below, we look at these factors in greater detail.
A Robust Economy
Minnesota ranked number one in Fortune 500 companies per capita. It has 18 reputable Fortune 500 companies in the state, contributing to the $374 billion Gross State Product (GSP) of Minnesota. There’s also a wealth of foreign investment in the state, with more than 900 foreign-owned companies. So, if you’re looking to land employment post-graduation, you’ll have a good chance in Minnesota.
Quality of Life
Minnesota is an excellent place to start your career and raise a family. It is ranked as the best state in the United States to raise a family, so you won’t have to look for a new state to reside in after you complete your program. In addition, the city boasts incredible infrastructure and top-tier healthcare systems. You never have to worry about your quality of life.
Global Talent Market
If you are looking to start a business after graduation, then you never have to worry about finding the right talent pool to get you started. Minnesota has a talented and creative workforce, and as the 10th best-educated state in the country, that’s no surprise.
Minnesota Employment Outlook for Community College Students
Minnesota has a civilian labor force of 3,080,100, and total employment of 3,012,500, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That shows an employment percentage of 97.8 percent. So, community college graduates don’t need to worry about finding employment.
5 In-Demand Minnesota Jobs
The top most in-demand Minnesota jobs include accountants and auditors, registered nurses, computer programmers, graphic designers, and animal scientists. You may need to transfer to a four-year university and earn a bachelor’s degree to qualify for some of these jobs.
Registered nurses provide nursing care to patients with a variety of health problems. They need to be licensed to practice in their respective states. Community college students need to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which is a requirement to get the job.
Animal scientists primarily conduct research on the growth, nutrition, and other aspects of domestic animals. Working as an animal scientist requires you to have a bachelor’s degree, so attending a four-year college is required for a community college student.
Accountants and auditors are responsible for examining, analyzing, and explaining different accounting and financial records. This job requires you to have a bachelor’s degree, so community college students would need to transfer to a four-year college and earn one.
Graphic designers create designs used in various media to communicate an idea or promote content. Getting a job in a professional workplace requires a bachelor’s degree, but substantial experience can replace that. However, community college students interested in a graphic design career should consider a bachelor’s degree from a university.
Computer programmers build computer applications for a variety of uses. A bachelor’s degree is generally required for this role, although some employers may accept a wealth of experience instead.
What Community Colleges in Minnesota Have Dorms?
Community colleges in Minnesota that have dorms include Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Itasca Community College, Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Rainy River Community College, and Hibbing Community College.
Living on campus saves you some money in the long run. In addition, you get to interact with fellow students. Also, you get easy access to an excellent library. However, you may not get the space you would if you were living off campus.
Minnesota Community Colleges With Dorms
- Minnesota State Community and Technical College
- Itasca Community College
- Minnesota West Community and Technical College
- Rainy River Community College
- Hibbing Community College
What Community Colleges Offer Winter Intersession in Minnesota?
There aren’t any community colleges in Minnesota that offer winter intersession. Winter intersession is a break between traditional academic sessions, usually between the Fall and Spring semesters, where courses are offered to interested students. Students typically enroll for winter intersession to gain more credits and graduate faster than scheduled.
What Community Colleges in Minnesota Have Summer Classes?
Community colleges in Minnesota that have summer classes include Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Riverland Community College, Inver Hills Community College, and Anoka-Ramsey Community College. Summer classes come with smaller class sizes for better one-on-one interaction and offer students the opportunity to complete courses they couldn’t during the standard school year.
Minnesota Community Colleges With Summer Classes
- Anoka-Ramsey Community College
- Inver Hills Community College
- Minneapolis Community and Technical College
- Riverland Community College
How to Apply to Community College in Minnesota
You can apply to community college in Minnesota by completing an online application, submitting your high school transcripts, and registering for courses. Below are the steps you need to take to apply to community colleges in Minnesota.
Minnesota Community College Application Steps
- Complete the application online.
- Pay the application fee (if applicable).
- Submit your high school transcripts or GED (if applicable).
- Wait for the acceptance email.
- When accepted, register for courses.
Cost of Community Colleges in Minnesota
The cost of community colleges in Minnesota is $5,566 on average, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This cost covers the tuition and required fees for two-year associate degree programs.
Are Community Colleges Ever Free in Minnesota?
Yes, some students can attend community colleges for free in Minnesota. The state of Minnesota provides 100 percent tuition and fee coverage for students from low-income families enrolled in two-year public colleges in the state. Eligible students can also make use of Pell Grants to pay for college.
Which Community Colleges Are Free in Minnesota?
There are no free colleges in Minnesota. However, students can qualify for different grants based on specific eligibility criteria. Students enrolled in any public Minnesota community college can apply for the Minnesota State Grant, which covers varying percentages of tuition and fees, depending on the income bracket a student falls under.
Who Qualifies for Free Community College in Minnesota?
For the Minnesota State Grant, dependent students from families in the lowest income bracket qualify for a 100 percent tuition coverage. In addition to tuition, it covers related fees, such as books, facility fees, and other related expenses.
How to Apply for Free Community College in Minnesota
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
- Wait for an email informing you of the amount awarded to you.
- Formally accept the awarded aid.
Scholarships for Community Colleges in Minnesota
Students can find various scholarships for community colleges in Minnesota, including Minnesota Achieve Scholarship, Minnesota Indian Scholarship, and different federal scholarships. Completing the FAFSA form is required.
How to Get a Scholarship for Community Colleges in Minnesota
- Search for available scholarships in Minnesota and your college.
- Determine if you qualify for any scholarships in Minnesota by reading through the eligibility requirements.
- Complete the FAFSA form.
- Submit relevant documents, if required.
Minnesota Community College Scholarships List
- Minnesota Achievers Scholarship | Amount: $1,200. The scholarship is awarded to high school graduates who completed any of four programs of study classified as “rigorous.” It is a one-time award to students who qualify.
- Minnesota Indian Scholarship | Amount: $4,000. Students who are able to demonstrate financial need qualify for this scholarship. Another key eligibility criterion is having one-fourth or more Native American ancestry.
Other Minnesota Community College Financial Aid Options
Other Minnesota community college financial aid options include federal grants, Minnesota state grants, student loans, private scholarships, college foundation scholarships, and work-study programs..
Students can apply for different federal grants, none of which need to be repaid. A popular example is the Pell Grant, which awards aid to students with an income of less than $30,000, annually. Other grants include Federal Academic Competitiveness Grants and Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants.
Minnesota State Grants
Minnesota state grants are awarded to students from moderate-to-low-income families. The amount awarded varies according to the annual earnings of the student’s family. For example, 29 percent of students who got Minnesota state grants in 2020 were from families with income below $20,000, while 32 percent were from families with income above $50,000.
Students can also take out student loans to fund their community college schooling. Most colleges require students to complete a FAFSA application, which provides a way for them to access federal student loans to cover their tuition costs. In addition, students can also apply to different private loans to fund their college careers.
Some colleges offer work-study programs to allow students to pay off their tuition by working. These programs are different from career programs, which prepare students for employment post-graduation. If you attend an amazing school, you will be able to successfully balance your work and education.
College Foundation Scholarships
Many community colleges in Minnesota offer foundation scholarships to help students fund their college education. For example, Riverland Community College Foundation offers over 500 scholarships in partnership with several scholarship-awarding institutions. You can talk with student services to find out more about foundation scholarships and how to apply for them.
The Best Financial Aid for Your Situation
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What Are the Financial Aid Requirements for Community Colleges in Minnesota?
The financial aid requirements for community colleges in Minnesota include a completed FAFSA form, proof of financial need, enrollment in a Minnesota community college, and Minnesota residency. It’s important to mention that the financial aid requirements may vary by the type of financial aid that you are applying for.
Minnesota Financial Aid Requirements: Overview
- Complete FAFSA form
- Provide proof of financial need
- Enroll in a Minnesota community college
- Be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Be a Minnesota resident
Should You Attend Community College in Minnesota?
Yes, you should attend a community college in Minnesota. You will find solid community colleges with extensive programs that prepare students for rewarding careers in their chosen fields or for transfer to bachelor’s degree programs at four-year universities. In addition to the quality of schools in Minnesota, the state boasts a diverse and flourishing economy that makes finding a job easier.
Minnesota Community College Rankings: Methodology
Our ranking of Minnesota community colleges is based mainly on graduation rate. If graduation rate statistics were not available, we used data on student-to-faculty ratios to rank the remaining schools. These figures, sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), best reflect a student’s chances of getting the education and help they need to succeed.
Best Accelerated Degrees
Best Minnesota Community Colleges FAQ
The primary source of funding for Minnesota community colleges is provided by the state government. In addition, the colleges get substantial funding from student tuition, fees, and donations.
No, you can’t get a bachelor’s degree at a community college in Minnesota. However, you can find bachelor’s programs offered in partnership with four-year universities. Community colleges offer two-year associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates.
No, you cannot transfer your Minnesota community college credits to just any university. You should check with your community college partner schools for a transfer. Bachelor’s degree-awarding universities have transfer requirements that you must meet before you can transfer and complete a bachelor’s program.
Yes, you can find accelerated associate degree programs at community colleges. However, in Minnesota, most accelerated associate degree programs are offered at four-year universities.
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