Online Colleges in Minnesota

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It’s known as “The Land of 10,000 Lakes,” but Minnesota has just as much to boast about on dry land!

The northern state offers top-notch colleges and universities, generous grant and scholarship programs, and is ahead of the nation when it comes to online learning opportunities.

Overview of Higher Education in Minnesota

In Minnesota, there are 88 degree-granting institutions, according to a 2018-2019 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Of those, 44 are public, 34 are non-profit, and 10 are for-profit.

To attend one of the state’s 4-year public institutions, NCES reports that residents will pay approximately $11,381. Nonresidents will pay closer to $22,780, which is far below the national average of $26,382.

Fellow Midwesterners may get a bit of a discount, thanks to Minnesota’s partnership with the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP). MSEP offers a tuition reciprocity program that allows students to enroll at public colleges and universities in participating states while paying no more than 150% of the in-state tuition rate.

About Online Colleges in Minnesota

2018 data by the NCES stated that 31.4% of college students in Minnesota were enrolled exclusively in online courses, which is more than twice the national average. On top of that, an additional 16.1% were participating in a hybrid of online and on-campus courses.

One of the state’s top online colleges, University of Minnesota, offers multiple certificates, as well as undergraduate, graduate and doctorate degrees online. Some programs, such as Psychology, Information Technology Management, Accounting, Marketing and many more, are available in a fully online format. Others may be offered through partially online formats, where 50-80% of the instruction is online.

Likewise, Minnesota State University offers bachelor’s degree completion programs, undergraduate certificates and graduate programs through fully online formats.

Private schools like Concordia University and Bethel University also offer online learning opportunities.

And in fact, two of the largest regionally accredited online colleges in the country, Walden University and Capella University, are located in Minnesota.

A number of tools exist to help support online learners in the state. Distance Minnesota is a partnership between 4 schools, providing online coaching, faculty development and 24/7 support for students. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education is an agency that helps students locate credible online programs, and understand and procure financial aid, among other things.

Scholarships and Financial Aid in Minnesota

If you plan to pursue a degree from a college or university in Minnesota, the first thing you should do is complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is how you access federal, state and private financial aid.

Since financial aid is usually awarded on a first come first served basis, it’s important that you apply as soon as possible. The FAFSA becomes available on October 1st of each year.

Filling out the FAFSA application is quite simple. You will need to include you and your parents’ financial information (unless you’re considered “independent”). This information will help calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and from there determine how much and what type of financial aid you are offered.

College grants for Minnesota students

The best types of financial aid are grants and scholarships, as these do not have to be repaid.

The state of Minnesota offers a number of grants and scholarships to help residents afford higher education. Two of the most far-reaching state programs include:

The state also administers the following aid programs for students with special circumstances:

Additionally, Minnesota offers a number of loan forgiveness programs to those in the healthcare field who agree to serve in specific areas for a certain period of time.

The programs listed above are funded by the state, but there are many more financial assistance opportunities available to Minnesotans. Here are just a few:

Scholarship Name Details Scholarship amount
Minnesota Masonic Charities Scholarships Variety of programs with different GPA and Varies
Page Education Foundation Grant For students of color who agree to complete annual service projects with children $2500
Robert Yourzak Scholarship Must be pursuing graduate or undergraduate degree in Project Management or related field Up to $2000
Linden Scholarship Need based; For high school seniors who reside in Ramsey, Washington or Dakota Counties; Must be an active volunteer in the community $1500 for 2-year college, $3000 for 4-year college

 Even more scholarships can be found using online scholarship search sites such as There, you can enter some basic information about yourself and be matched with scholarships available locally and nationally.

You should also check with the colleges and universities you’re considering. Each one will offer its own financial assistance programs, and can help you determine what you may qualify for and how to apply.

List of Online Colleges in Minnesota

Online Colleges in Minnesota Location Annual Tuition Accreditation Application Fee
Northwest Technical College Bemidji, Minnesota  $5,428  Regional  $20
University of Minnesota – Crookston Crookston, Minnesota  $11,700  Regional  $30
Minnesota State University – Mankato Mankato, Minnesota  $7,858  Regional  $20
Capella University Minneapolis, Minnesota  $13,998  Regional  $50
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Minneapolis, Minnesota  $14,142  Regional  $55
Walden University Minneapolis, Minnesota  $12,075  Regional  $0
University of Minnesota Morris, Minnesota  $12,846  Regional  $25
Crown College Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota  $24,700  Regional  $25
Hamline University Saint Paul, Minnesota  $39,181  Regional  $0
University of St. Thomas Saint Paul, Minnesota  $39,594  Regional  $0
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Winona, Minnesota  $32,575  Regional  $25


Minnesota is a land of 10,000 opportunities!

The northern state has a number of excellent institutions, many of which offer fully or partially online degree programs. And residents can review dozens of grants and scholarships to help ease the financial burden.

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Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.