By BVS Staff
Welcome to our best value ranking of online colleges in Minnesota. For a more general look, see our ranking of the best affordable online colleges.
There are nearly 40 different institutions of higher education in Minnesota, although fewer than half offer decent support for distance learners. Of those online-accessible schools, we're bringing you the 10 "best value." These top 10 colleges all earned at least 60 points (out of 100) in our ranking.
Click here to read all about our best value online schools ranking methodology.
10. The College of Saint Scholastica
Where most colleges offer their distance learning programs as a secondary option, the College of Saint Scholastica considers online students every ounce as valuable as traditional students. This is reflected in Scholastica's not one but two online learning options for distance students. Students who opt for an asynchronous online experience will receive their coursework much like other top online college courses in Florida, with multi-media presentations and course discussion boards. Synchronous online students, however, gain access to Scholastica's "virtual classroom," which provides an unparalleled level of student engagement online.
In-State Undergrad Tuition: $33,994/yr
9. Concordia University-Saint Paul
Saint Paul, MN
Founded in 1893, Concordia University-Saint Paul brings over 120 years of "Christ-centered" educational experience to the table. But it's safe to say that Concordia is anything but old-fashioned. In fact, Concordia's online learning program is one of the most robust, affordable online schools in Minnesota, with 19 career-oriented undergraduate programs from which students can choose. From conventional programs like Psychology and Business to more unique degree offerings like Radiologic Science Leadership, Exercise Science, and Pulmonary Science, Concordia Online offers a huge array of potential career trajectories for Christian and secular students alike.
In-State Undergrad Tuition: $20,750/yr
8. Metropolitan State University
Saint Paul, MN
Metropolitan State University is another great choice for remote or working students who are looking to develop their careers. Metropolitan's affordable online degrees in Florida span Business Administration, Finance, Law Enforcement, Marketing, Industrial Management, and more to meet the demands of some of the most vital industries in today's economy. Metropolitan also strives to meet the economic demands of modern working students by offering cut-rate in-state tuition. At just under $8,000, a practical and convenient degree from Metropolitan can be yours for half the price of almost any other school in the state.
In-State Undergrad Tuition: $7,566/yr
7. Crown College
Saint Bonifacius, MN
Crown College combines all the practical attributes of a top online college in Minnesota with the moral and spiritual values of a traditional Christian education. Christian faculty apply a faith-based worldview to the topics and problems discussed in all coursework, enabling online students to develop their spiritual intuitions and grow as followers of Christ – without even stepping foot in a classroom. Crown students who are so inclined can also pursue several Christ-oriented degree programs online, including Biblical Studies, Pastoral Leadership (which doubles as a master's program), Christian Ministry, and Alcohol and Drug Counseling.
In-State Undergrad Tuition: $23,740/yr
6. Southwest Minnesota State University
Southwest Minnesota State University is home to a range of online bachelor's degree programs that are as flexible as they are affordable. With five pre-professional majors that include Exercise Science, Educational Studies, and Management available online for as little as $8,000 a year, it's no wonder that over a third of SMSU's student body are enrolled as distance learners. And even though they will technically be earning their accredited online degree in Minnesota, SMSU students are not restricted by location; students from coast to coast can all enjoy the educational opportunities SMSU provides.
In-State Undergrad Tuition: $8,326/yr
5. Minnesota State University-Mankato
For many top online colleges in Minnesota, simply having a long list of undergraduate majors is their singular advantage over any other school. Unfortunately, many of those programs are so common (Psychology, Business, Nursing, etc.) that they are virtually redundant. Not so with Minnesota State University-Mankato; although its 6 online bachelor's degree options pale in comparison to the exhaustive listings of, say, Concordia, MSU makes up for it by featuring degrees you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Programs like Urban Studies, International Business, and Non-Profit Leadership are what set MSU apart from the pack.
In-State Undergrad Tuition: $7,836/yr
4. Minnesota State University-Moorhead
In many ways, the Minnesota State University satellite at Moorhead is not too different from the outpost nearly 300 miles over in Mankato. In terms of price and online delivery format, for instance, they are almost identical—both offer fully online as well as hybridized learning formats in the neighborhood of $8,000 a year (for in-state students). But where MSU Mankato's affordable online degrees in Minnesota are more rarified and academic, catering to the unique needs of working professionals in specific disciplines, MSU Moorhead is perfect for students who are looking to start a career in Business or Operations/Project Management.
In-State Undergrad Tuition: $8,096/yr
3. Bemidji State University
Bemidji State University has carved out a niche for itself as one of the best online colleges in Minnesota for adult and continuing learners. Since all of Bemidji's online degree programs require the equivalent of 2 years of college experience to begin with, they are ideal for those who are either enrolled in an associate's degree program or who were unable to complete a degree in the past. Either way, Bemidji's comprehensive professional and academic bachelor's degree completion programs are sure to meet the needs of students of all ages and backgrounds.
In-State Undergrad Tuition: $8,366/yr
2. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Many students overlook important statistics, such as graduation rate, when selecting a college because they get distracted by "input" data like SAT scores. This means that many top schools – including some of the best online schools in Minnesota – skate by with low output in this area. But not UM's flagship campus, which performs well above the national average with a six-year grad rate of 77%. This alone would put the university head and shoulders above the competition, even if its range of degree offerings weren't particularly commendable. And yet, the University of Minnesota excels in this category too, delivering fascinating online undergraduate programs in Manufacturing Management; Tribal Administration and Governance; Applied Health; and a dozen others.
In-State Undergrad Tuition: $13,790/yr
1. University of Minnesota-Crookston
Although it probably goes without saying, it's not easy to secure the top spot in this Minnesota best online colleges ranking. And solely in terms of online educational quality, it's almost a tossup between the University of Minnesota's campuses at Crookston and Twin Cities. However, in terms of both price and variety, UM Crookston wins by a nose. In-state students can save over $2,000 a year in tuition alone by choosing Crookston over Twin Cities. And in doing so, they'll buy themselves access to an extended range of degree options, including Entrepreneurship, Sports and Recreation Management, and International Business.
In-State Undergrad Tuition: $11,646/yr
If you've enjoyed this list of top online degrees in Minnesota, check out our ranking of traditional on-campus options here: 20 Best Value Colleges and Universities in Minnesota