Why This Matters

  • 36 ASSOCIATE DEGREE PROGRAMS IN MINNESOTA

    College Navigator reports that in Minnesota, there are 36 schools with 2-year associate degree programs.

  • $6,134 IN-DISTRICT TUITION & FEES

    According to College Board, Minnesota students in a 2-year associate degree program paid an average of $6,134 in tuition and fees for the 2022-23 academic year.

  • 80.6% OF TWO-YEAR STUDENTS HAVE FINANCIAL AID

    The National Center of Education Statistics states that 452,493 students in two-year community colleges received financial aid during the 2019-20 school year.

Our Research

This list features some of the best community colleges in Minnesota. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included small, midsize, and large colleges as well as trade, technical, and vocational programs. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The colleges on our list are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a reputable organization that examines objectives, quality and overall effectiveness of education programs throughout the United States.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 24 Community Colleges in Minnesota

Best Community Colleges In Minnesota Badge 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
Riverland Community College
01
Best Scholarships for Women in STEM
Minnesota North College
01
Best for Study Abroad
Ridgewater College
01
Most Flexible Start Terms
Minnesota State Community and Technical College
01
Best for Continuing Education
Normandale Community College
01
Most Affordable
Lake Superior College
01
Best Student Support Services
Dakota County Technical College
01
Best for Student Athletes
Central Lakes College-Brainerd
01
Best Professional Certifications
Alexandria Technical & Community College
01
Best Aerospace Programs
Northland Community and Technical College
01

Saint Paul College
01

Minnesota West Community and Technical College
01

Anoka Technical College
01

Vermilion Community College
01

St. Cloud Technical & Community College
01

South Central College
01

Minnesota State College Southeast
01

Rochester Community and Technical College
01

North Hennepin Community College
01

Century College
01

Inver Hills Community College
01

Minneapolis Community & Technical College
01

Northwest Technical College
01

Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College

What You Should Know About Graduating From Community College in Minnesota

When choosing a community college, it’s important to consider your degree’s career outlook by considering factors such as earning potential, job openings, and job decline. There are numerous high-paying options for individuals with an associate degree in Minnesota. Graduates of a two-year associate program can earn $73.31 per hour as an air traffic controller. The second-highest paying job for two-year graduates is nuclear medicine technologists, followed by diagnostic medical sonographers and MRI technologists.

The careers for associate degree graduates that have the most openings in Minnesota span a range of industries. Preschool teachers are in the highest demand, followed by paralegals, computer network support specialists, and industrial engineering technologists.

Desktop publishers and drafters are two associate-level careers with the highest rate of declining employment. Others include human resources assistants and electro-mechanical and mechatronics technicians. Knowing which industries have fewer jobs can help you choose a two-year community college program that’s right for you.

What’s Next?

Part of your research on community colleges in Minnesota should include financial aid. Here are three state and federal resources that you can use to find Minnesota financial aid for associate degree students.

  • Minnesota Office of Higher Education. Through the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, students can find financial aid information. There’s a financial aid estimator and links to financial aid applications, along with articles and videos on paying for college.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students receive an estimated $120 billion in financial aid each year from the U.S. Department of Education. Types of assistance include loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study programs. Complete your FAFSA form to apply or visit the FAFSA4caster to find out whether or not you’re eligible.
  • CareerOneStop. This resource from the Bureau of Labor Statistics can direct you to grants and scholarships in Minnesota. The information can be filtered by your state and the degree level you’re interested in.