Best Value Colleges in Minnesota

The state of 10,000 lakes is not only a beauty to behold, it’s a great place to get your college degree without breaking the bank. With over 32 public institutions and 20 private colleges, Minnesota has a diverse offering of higher education institutions. Using PayScale’s College ROI report, you can research the best college in Minnesota ranked according to the highest 20-year net ROI, which is the amount of money you can expect to earn 20-years post-graduation. Here are the schools with the best bang for your buck in the state of Minnesota.

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Rank 
School Name 
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
Total 4 Year Cost
 
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Total 4 Year Cost
 
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Graduation Rate
 
% of full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students who began their studies at the given school and graduate within 6 years. Source: IPEDS
Typical Years to Graduate
 
# of years it takes for at least 65 percent of graduates from a given school to receive their diplomas. Source: IPEDS
Average Loan Amount
 
Received by full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students, multiplied to represent amount over four years. Includes all Title IV loans and all institutionally- and privately-sponsored student loans. Source: IPEDS
% Grant Money Received
 
% of full-time, first-time undergrads who received local, state, federal, or institutional grant aid in the 2012-2013 academic year. Source: IPEDS
18.7%8.7%10.9%10.9%$449,000$449,000$484,000$484,000$104,000$104,00078%4$30,60019%
1University of Minnesota-Twin Cities(In-State)
Annual ROI8.7%
Annual ROI8.7%
Annual ROI10.9%
Annual ROI10.9%
20 Year Net ROI$449,000
20 Year Net ROI$449,000
20 Year Net ROI$484,000
20 Year Net ROI$484,000
Total 4 Year Cost$104,000
Total 4 Year Cost$104,000
Grad Rate78%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$30,600
Grant Money Received19%
27.3%7.3%8.9%8.9%$418,000$418,000$452,000$452,000$136,000$136,00078%4$30,60019%
2University of Minnesota-Twin Cities(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI7.3%
Annual ROI7.3%
Annual ROI8.9%
Annual ROI8.9%
20 Year Net ROI$418,000
20 Year Net ROI$418,000
20 Year Net ROI$452,000
20 Year Net ROI$452,000
Total 4 Year Cost$136,000
Total 4 Year Cost$136,000
Grad Rate78%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$30,600
Grant Money Received19%
35.6%5.6%9.5%9.5%$405,000$405,000$511,000$511,000$205,000$205,00079%4$34,70023%
3Saint Johns University(Private)
Annual ROI5.6%
Annual ROI5.6%
Annual ROI9.5%
Annual ROI9.5%
20 Year Net ROI$405,000
20 Year Net ROI$405,000
20 Year Net ROI$511,000
20 Year Net ROI$511,000
Total 4 Year Cost$205,000
Total 4 Year Cost$205,000
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$34,700
Grant Money Received23%
45.2%5.3%7.9%8.0%$357,000$359,000$436,000$439,000$203,000$200,00076%4$43,70016%
4University of St Thomas (Minnesota)(Private)
Annual ROI5.2%
Annual ROI5.3%
Annual ROI7.9%
Annual ROI8.0%
20 Year Net ROI$357,000
20 Year Net ROI$359,000
20 Year Net ROI$436,000
20 Year Net ROI$439,000
Total 4 Year Cost$203,000
Total 4 Year Cost$200,000
Grad Rate76%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$43,700
Grant Money Received16%
57.7%7.7%9.8%9.8%$323,000$323,000$353,000$353,000$94,700$94,70059%5$31,00024%
5University of Minnesota-Duluth(In-State)
Annual ROI7.7%
Annual ROI7.7%
Annual ROI9.8%
Annual ROI9.8%
20 Year Net ROI$323,000
20 Year Net ROI$323,000
20 Year Net ROI$353,000
20 Year Net ROI$353,000
Total 4 Year Cost$94,700
Total 4 Year Cost$94,700
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$31,000
Grant Money Received24%
68.5%8.5%10.2%10.2%$320,000$320,000$340,000$340,000$77,700$77,70045%6$31,20039%
6Saint Cloud State University(In-State)
Annual ROI8.5%
Annual ROI8.5%
Annual ROI10.2%
Annual ROI10.2%
20 Year Net ROI$320,000
20 Year Net ROI$320,000
20 Year Net ROI$340,000
20 Year Net ROI$340,000
Total 4 Year Cost$77,700
Total 4 Year Cost$77,700
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate6
Loan Amt$31,200
Grant Money Received39%
76.4%6.4%8.9%8.9%$319,000$319,000$368,000$368,000$130,000$130,00052%4$32,30044%
7Concordia University-Saint Paul(Private)
Annual ROI6.4%
Annual ROI6.4%
Annual ROI8.9%
Annual ROI8.9%
20 Year Net ROI$319,000
20 Year Net ROI$319,000
20 Year Net ROI$368,000
20 Year Net ROI$368,000
Total 4 Year Cost$130,000
Total 4 Year Cost$130,000
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$32,300
Grant Money Received44%
88.5%8.7%10.2%10.5%$309,000$312,000$328,000$331,000$74,900$72,00051%6$32,80030%
8Minnesota State University-Mankato(In-State)
Annual ROI8.5%
Annual ROI8.7%
Annual ROI10.2%
Annual ROI10.5%
20 Year Net ROI$309,000
20 Year Net ROI$312,000
20 Year Net ROI$328,000
20 Year Net ROI$331,000
Total 4 Year Cost$74,900
Total 4 Year Cost$72,000
Grad Rate51%
Time to Graduate6
Loan Amt$32,800
Grant Money Received30%
96.9%6.9%8.6%8.6%$307,000$307,000$337,000$337,000$110,000$110,00059%5$31,00024%
9University of Minnesota-Duluth(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.9%
Annual ROI6.9%
Annual ROI8.6%
Annual ROI8.6%
20 Year Net ROI$307,000
20 Year Net ROI$307,000
20 Year Net ROI$337,000
20 Year Net ROI$337,000
Total 4 Year Cost$110,000
Total 4 Year Cost$110,000
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$31,000
Grant Money Received24%
106.7%6.7%7.8%7.8%$288,000$288,000$309,000$309,000$109,000$109,00045%6$31,20039%
10Saint Cloud State University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROI7.8%
Annual ROI7.8%
20 Year Net ROI$288,000
20 Year Net ROI$288,000
20 Year Net ROI$309,000
20 Year Net ROI$309,000
Total 4 Year Cost$109,000
Total 4 Year Cost$109,000
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate6
Loan Amt$31,200
Grant Money Received39%
116.7%6.8%7.8%8.0%$278,000$281,000$298,000$301,000$105,000$102,00051%6$32,80030%
11Minnesota State University-Mankato(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROI6.8%
Annual ROI7.8%
Annual ROI8.0%
20 Year Net ROI$278,000
20 Year Net ROI$281,000
20 Year Net ROI$298,000
20 Year Net ROI$301,000
Total 4 Year Cost$105,000
Total 4 Year Cost$102,000
Grad Rate51%
Time to Graduate6
Loan Amt$32,800
Grant Money Received30%
125.0%4.9%8.7%8.7%$274,000$273,000$358,000$358,000$167,000$168,00061%4$33,50027%
12Saint Mary's University of Minnesota(Private)
Annual ROI5.0%
Annual ROI4.9%
Annual ROI8.7%
Annual ROI8.7%
20 Year Net ROI$274,000
20 Year Net ROI$273,000
20 Year Net ROI$358,000
20 Year Net ROI$358,000
Total 4 Year Cost$167,000
Total 4 Year Cost$168,000
Grad Rate61%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$33,500
Grant Money Received27%
137.2%7.2%8.3%8.3%$254,000$254,000$271,000$271,000$84,900$84,90059%6$37,50024%
13Winona State University(In-State)
Annual ROI7.2%
Annual ROI7.2%
Annual ROI8.3%
Annual ROI8.3%
20 Year Net ROI$254,000
20 Year Net ROI$254,000
20 Year Net ROI$271,000
20 Year Net ROI$271,000
Total 4 Year Cost$84,900
Total 4 Year Cost$84,900
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate6
Loan Amt$37,500
Grant Money Received24%
143.5%N/A7.9%N/A$251,000N/A$394,000N/A$254,000N/A92%4$18,80016%
14Carleton College(Private)
Annual ROI3.5%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI7.9%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$251,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$394,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$254,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate92%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$18,800
Grant Money Received16%
155.9%5.9%6.8%6.8%$232,000$232,000$248,000$248,000$107,000$107,00059%6$37,50024%
15Winona State University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI5.9%
Annual ROI5.9%
Annual ROI6.8%
Annual ROI6.8%
20 Year Net ROI$232,000
20 Year Net ROI$232,000
20 Year Net ROI$248,000
20 Year Net ROI$248,000
Total 4 Year Cost$107,000
Total 4 Year Cost$107,000
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate6
Loan Amt$37,500
Grant Money Received24%

* N/A indicates school does not have an on campus living option.

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus is a small campus located in the bustling metro of St. Paul and is known for producing exceptional students majoring in areas like food safety, agricultural and natural resource sciences. Students who choose to make the St. Paul campus their home enjoy being close to the Minnesota State Fair, which happens to be the largest running state fair in the US.

In the private school category, Saint John’s University is a worthwhile option. The private school, located in Collegeville, is unique in that it is part of two campuses. Saint John’s University is for men, and the College of Saint Benedict is for women, although they both have equal access to each other’s resources and campuses. The two campuses share 3,500 acres of beautiful prairies and forests. Another perk of attending this small private college is the beauty that comes from the surrounding arboretum which covers over 2,500 acres around the campus.

While most colleges in Minnesota fall under the University of Minnesota college system, there are more public colleges to choose from in the area. Saint Cloud State has an enrollment of over 15,000 students, and has produced nearly 110,000 alumni. Unique to Saint Cloud, it is the only school in Minnesota that offers an accreditation board for engineering and technology. Students who choose to spend their college years at Saint Cloud enjoy living in the largest populated city within central Minnesota.


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