A community college typically offers introductory programs that generally lead to a certificate, a diploma, or one of several variations of an associate degree. Attending one of the many community colleges in Minnesota is a smart way to take your first steps towards a four-year degree without diving headfirst into a baccalaureate program.
The state of Minnesota manages the public higher education options (54 campuses) through the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities System, the most prominent & largest educational management system in the state. Established in 1991, this state system is recognized among the largest of its kind in the United States.
Community colleges in Minnesota offer students and working learners an affordable option to put each student on a path to job training or to begin a degree program. Most community colleges have relatively loose admissions policies, typically only requiring a high school diploma or GED.
The state of Minnesota has set forth a minimum associate-level general education curriculum (for member community colleges) that, if a student completes in accordance with the requirements, guarantees them admission to a member four-year school to complete their bachelor’s degree.
|1||Lake Superior College||Duluth, Minnesota|
|2||Mesabi Range College||Virginia, Minnesota|
|3||Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College||Cloquet, Minnesota|
|4||Central Lakes College (Brainerd & Staples)||Brainerd, Minnesota|
|5||Rainy River Community College||International Falls, Minnesota|
Community Colleges in Minnesota
Lake Superior College
Lake Superior College (LSC) was created in 1995 as the result of the merger of Duluth Technical College and Duluth Community College. The school operates several local campuses and was recognized as one of the nation’s most technically advanced two-year higher learning institutions by the Center for Digital Ed. LSC offers pre-bachelor’s degree programs for working learners and students interested in transferring to a four-year school.
Mesabi Range College
Mesabi Range College (MRC) was established in 1925 and now operates two campuses in Virginia and Eveleth, MN. High School students in the town of Virginia are offered opportunities to earn college credit at MRC. The school Is names for the iron range ore deposit on which the campus sits. Coursework at the associate degree level from MRC is available in the areas of science, arts, humanities, math, and social sciences.
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College (FDLTCC) is located in a rural, small city setting in Cloquet, situated between the port cities of Duluth and Superior, WI. FDLTCC is both a tribal and public higher learning institution that serves the northeastern parts of the state. FDLTCC is both the first tribal college in the state and a member school of the system of the community colleges in Minnesota. FDTCC is an accredited member of the WINTEC. Student enrollment is diverse and represents more than a dozen Native American Tribes.
Central Lakes College (Brainerd & Staples)
Central Lakes College (Central Lakes) is a multi-campus and one of the member schools within the community colleges in Minnesota system that was created in 1995 upon a merger of two schools. The Brainerd campus, serving the central Minnesota area, offers a variety of associate degree programs that meet the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum standards for transfer to a baccalaureate program.
Rainy River Community College
Rainy River Community College (RRCC), located in International Falls, is a community college that was established in 1967. RRCC’s student enrollment is quite diverse and includes Asiana Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, as well as international students. Rainy River Community College is one of the 30 state member colleges that are organized under the state’s system of community colleges in Minnesota. Resident senior citizens are offered tuition rates that are significantly discounted.
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Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State) is a multi-campus school that is a member school of the community colleges in Minnesota system that was created by a merger of two schools in 2003, each of which was operating since the 1960s. Minnesota State Community and Technical College offers nearly 100 online and on-campus liberal arts/career programs in the areas of nursing, radiologic technology, business, and computers, among others.
Hennepin Technical College
Hennepin Technical College (HTC) operates as one of the technical community colleges in Minnesota that serves the Minneapolis greater metro area since 1972. As a member of the state’s community college system, Hennepin Technical College offers diplomas, certificates, and associate of applied science (AAS) degrees. HTC offers nearly 50 diplomae, certificate, and degree programs from its two campuses in Eden Prairie and Brooklyn Park that serve an eight-county vicinity. Senior citizens can attend HTC at $20 per credit, depending on availability.
Hibbing Community College
Hibbing Community College (HCC) is located in the northeastern portion of Minnesota and was established in 1916 to serve the students and working learners in and around the Hibbing vicinity. As a member school of the system of community colleges in Minnesota, Hibbing Community College is a tobacco-free campus that offers two-year degrees in the areas of computers, liberal arts, culinary, GIS systems, law enforcement, trade/industry, and health sciences, among others.
Alexandria Technical & Community College
Alexandria Technical & Community College (ATCC) is a member school of the state’s community college system that was established in 1961. ATCC, the first established of the community colleges in Minnesota and is recognized among all Minnesota community colleges for its consistently high placement and graduation rates – hovering around 90% for decades. ATCC also offers high school students opportunities to earn credit toward college while finishing his or her high school education.
Normandale Community College
Normandale Community College (Normandale) is recognized as one of the largest of the community colleges within the Community Colleges in Minnesota system (MnSCU). Normandale offers students a guarantee that the general curriculum will be transferred to one of the many public and private colleges and universities to finish a baccalaureate degree. The school offers associate degrees in business, law enforcement, nursing, education, hospitality management, computer information management, and dental hygiene, among others.
Saint Paul College
Saint Paul College (SPC) was established initially as a vocational school for boys in 1910. Since then, SPC has grown to offer a liberal arts program. Saint Paul College, as one of the member schools of the community colleges in the Minnesota system, is world-renowned for its long-standing watchmaking/clockmaking programs, recognized by an award bestowed by ROLEX. TheBestSchools.org recognizes Saint Paul College among the nation’s top ten community schools.
North Hennepin Community College
North Hennepin Community College (NHCC) was first established in 1966 as a state junior college, with no campus during its first few years of operation. NHCC is one of the member schools that make up the community colleges in the Minnesota system. NHCC offers a variety of associate-level degrees and diploma/certificate programs, more than a dozen, which leads to a four-year transfer to one of the collaborating Minnesota universities. NHCC offers seniors significantly discounted rates for degree programs and audited classes.
Pine Technical & Community College
Pine Technical & Community College (Pine Technical) serves students in and around east-central Minnesota from Pine City, a commuting suburb of the larger metro area of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Pine Technical is a member school of the and is a member college of the community colleges in Minnesota system (MnSCU). Pine Technical offers Associate of Applied Science and Associate of Science degrees, plus a number of diploma and certificate programs.
Anoka Technical College
Anoka Technical College (ATC) is a public higher learning institution that was established in 1968. Anoka Technical College was developed to serve working learners and students in the north suburbs of Minnesota’s twin cities. Senior citizens who are Minnesota residents receive significant discounts on tuition. The largest programs offered by Anoka Technical College include medical assistant, welding, practical nursing, and information technology.
Inver Hills Community College
Inver Hills Community College is located about ten miles to the south of Saint Paul and is a member college of the community colleges in Minnesota system (MnSCU). Those studying at Inver Hills Community College will find that the school offers more than 35 academic degree programs at the associate level (AA, AS, AAS, & AFA) that are great springboards for the transfer to a four-year university or college.
Dakota County Technical College
Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) operates with a mission to provide education that leads to gainful employment as a member of the community colleges in the Minnesota system. Located only a few miles from one another, DCTC and Inver Hills have partnered to expand educational degree offerings to those students they serve. DCTC offers more than 50 associate degree programs, plus another 75+ diploma/certificate programs through the on-campus or online facilities.
Century College (Century) was established in 1967 and is one of the member schools within the community colleges in the Minnesota system. Century College, located in White Bear, is recognized as one of the biggest and most diverse of Minnesota’s two-year higher learning institutions and technical schools. The school provides students and working learning with more than 140 certificate, diploma, and degree options. Minnesota residents who are senior citizens are offered significant discounts based on class space availability.
Itasca Community College
Itasca Community College (ICC) is a Grand Rapids-based two-year community college that was established in 1922. ICC offers associate degrees and diplomas in the areas of firefighting, nursing, psychology, engineering, education, coaching, geography, health sciences, natural resources, and environmental studies, and pulp/paper, among others.
Minneapolis Community & Technical College
Minneapolis Community & Technical College (Minneapolis College) was created when two local higher learning institutions merged in 1965. Minneapolis College is part of the larger institution of higher education, Minnesota State. Minneapolis College offers students more than 55 occupational and degree programs in the fields of media arts, public service, construction/manufacturing, business, education, health, justice, and information technology.
St. Cloud Technical & Community College
St. Cloud Technical & Community College (SCTCC) was established in 1948 to serve the St. Cloud student and working learner population. As one of the member schools that are organized under the system of community college in Minnesota, SCTCC offers a variety of associate degree and certificate/diploma programs. The SCTCC scholarship foundation provides more than 275 scholarships to students every year.
Our Ranking Methodology
The above-noted list ranks the community colleges in Minnesota based on current per-credit tuition rates. The data used to create this ordered community college list has been extracted from the latest available tuition data – which was either from the school year that includes 2019/2020 or 2020/2021.
The data used to compile and rank these community colleges in Minnesota has been extracted from the information detailed on each school’s proprietary website and/or the data detailed on the College Navigator website as provided by the NCES – the National Center for Education Statistics.
The data and information included in the ranking methodology included –
Tuition fees are per credit, and where they differ, online per-credit tuition rates have been provided.
- Student enrollment data is indicative of the school’s overall size.
- Student/Faculty Ratio is helpful for students whose learning style aligns with smaller class sizes or for those students who perform well at schools with larger class sizes.