Top 10 Best Online Colleges in Minnesota

Today more than ever before, attending a college full time on campus is becoming harder and harder for the average American student. With rising annual tuition costs and an extremely competitive workforce, students find the prospect of attending college full time daunting when they consider potential debt or job prospects. However, with a massive rise in fully accredited online learning from most colleges across the nation, students now have the choice of learning online. Distance learning programs are affordable and flexible while still offering the same quality education that is found in most traditional campus classrooms. In this Value Colleges Top 10 list you will find the best of the best when it comes to online learning in the state of Minnesota.

In the list below colleges are ranked using the Value Colleges Best Top 10 ranking system, which evaluates a university’s success with their tuition costs and online degree earning options. All of the schools offer partially or fully online degree programs and some offer both undergraduate and graduate degree options. Earning a degree online is often times more affordable than attending college on campus; please note that the tuition costs below are the annual IPEDs listings since online tuition costs often vary program to program or course to course. All universities listed have solid ROIs, are accredited regionally or nationally, and are located in the state of Minnesota.


University of Minnesota in Twin Cities

University of Minnesota in Twin Cities is a land-grant institution and Minnesota’s most prestigious public research university. The school excels academically in areas such Engineering, Medicine and the Sciences with faculty who have won Guggenheim Fellowships, Nobel Prizes, and other significant honors. Top professors run all the classrooms, both on campus and online and student have access to unique research and learning opportunities through the universities state-of-the-art facilities and distance learning program. Students who graduate from University of Minnesota go on to excel; in fact, alumni launched 18 new start up companies in 2017 alone!

Students at the University of Minnesota in Twin Cities online can expect to get the same quality education that traditional students receive on campus. Students can choose from a wealth of undergraduate and graduate programs and take all courses online if they choose. The school aims to not only grant degrees, but also offer students the chance to advance their careers and fulfill academic and professional requirements in areas such as healthcare, education, business, computer science, and more. Degrees are available from the baccalaureate to doctoral levels.

Online Programs: 53

Tuition: $14,142


Concordia University

Founded in 1893, and affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Concordia University at Saint Paul is a comprehensive, Christian university with a liberal arts focus. The college is committed to serving a diverse student body with students from around the globe attending classes on campus and online. The university has four schools in Business and Technology, Humanities and Social Sciences, Education, and Health and Science, all of which are available to online students as well. Additionally, the university is committed to educating students academically while preparing them for success in the real world through research, internship, and outreach opportunities.

Concordia University at Saint Paul online offers programs fully and partially online from the associate to doctorate level. The programs all offer a strong ROI with affordable prices and high employment rates after college. In fact, 92% of Concordia online graduates receive jobs after graduation! Tuition and financial aid assistance are available for online learners as well. Undergraduate degrees can be obtained in Health Care Administration, Family Science, Marketing, and Psychology to name a few.

Online Programs: 37

Tuition: $21,250


Bethel University

Bethel University is a private, co-educational Christian institution focused on mingling academic excellence with Christ centered faith. Founded in 1871, the school prides itself on being a leader in Christian higher education and top-ranked academics. The school offers more than 100 different academic programs on campus and online, plus has a graduate school and a world renowned seminary in two separate locations and the university is the largest institution in the Christian College Consortium, meaning it offers students the most academic options when it comes to faith-based learning.

Bethel University online proudly offers “world-class online education in a faith-based community.” Students from the undergraduate and graduate levels can attend classes and earn degrees fully or partially online. Programs are all offered in a variety of formats so students can choose to attend some classes on campus, or they can even attend one or two week intensives annually if they are seeking a little face-to-face learning while primarily engaging online. Bethel also brought its prestigious Seminary school to the online community where students can obtain their Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry, and more.
Online Programs: 32
Tuition: $8,910


Crown College

A leading Bible college in Minnesota, Crown College is located in Minneapolis and considered a Christ-centered college offering academic excellence and global connections. Students from around the globe come to the midwest to learn from Crown College on campus or online. In fact, more than 18% of students come from diverse cultures and more than 20 countries are represented through the student body annually. The institution offers forty accredited degree programs at the undergraduate level in both the arts and sciences. Additionally, the college is known for offering some of the best and most rewarding study abroad opportunities in the state of Minnesota.

Crown College online serves traditionally aged, full time college students as well as non-traditional learners. The online school carries it’s Christian perspective to the virtual classroom where students obtain the same quality education online as they would receive on campus. With twenty-one programs offered, undergraduate students have plenty of opportunity and degrees are available from the associate to baccalaureate levels in areas such as Business, Biblical Studies, Nursing BSN, and General/Liberal Studies.

Online Programs: 21

Tuition: $24,700


Minnesota State University at Mankato

Founded in 1868 as Mankato Normal School, the Minnesota State University at Mankato originally served just 27 students in it’s opening year. Today, the school has more than 120,000 alumni worldwide and serves over 15,000 students annually from over 90 countries. The institution is one of the more comprehensive universities in the state of Minnesota with over 130 undergraduate programs and 85 graduate offered on campus and online. The school aims to combine academic excellence with real-world, practical experience so that students may leave college with knowledge and application skills that lead them to success in the workforce.

Minnesota State University at Mankato online aims to offer the same prestigious education through its distance learning programs as is found online. Students can choose from degree programs in the graduate and undergraduate levels as well as complete certificate programs in various disciplines. Some programs are available partially online while others can be completed fully online. Partially online degree programs are available in areas of study such as Dental Hygiene, International Business, and Elementary Education.

Online Programs: 20

Tuition: $7,858


Metropolitan State University

Metropolitan State University is a public university located in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. The school boasts a solid ROI with high-quality and affordable degree programs offered both on campus and online. Founded in 1971, the school has always withheld a national reputation for being a leader in offering accessible education in a student-centered environment. Uniquely working with the state of Minnesota, Metropolitan State strives to educate and retain its talent in order to strengthen business and industry state and nation wide.

Metropolitan State University online carries this same commitment to affordable quality education from the classroom to the virtual meeting space. Students are taught by the same qualified faculty that teaches on campus and they can choose from a number of fully and partially online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Some areas of study include Business Administration, Marketing, Law Enforcement, and Public and Nonprofit Administration.

Online Programs: 13

Tuition: $7,566


College of Saint Scholastica

With strong Catholic Benedictine roots, the College of Saint Scholastica has proudly been serving a diverse student body for over 100 years, since its founding in 1912. The independent, private college offers undergraduate and graduate programs in its campuses across Minnesota and online. The Duluth Campus, which is the original campus, looks over Lake Superior and is at the heart of the institutions academic excellence that spans to the virtual classroom.

The College of Saint Scholastica online carries the institutions Benedictine roots to the virtual school through strong academics and faith based learning. The same faculty that teach on the main campus lead online courses and students from across the nation log in to learn. Degrees are available in areas such as Accounting. Organizational Behavior and Computer Information Systems at the undergraduate level, and the online school offers graduate degree programs as well.

Online Programs: 11

Tuition: $35,326


Bemidji State University

Bemidji State University was founded in 1919 as the Bemidji Normal School and was offering four-year degrees as early as 1921. Opening with only a modest 38 students, today the university serves over 5,300 undergraduate and graduate students annually. The university, though enrolling students from across the nation and globe, primarily dedicates its service to people in the northwest region and state of Minnesota. Students gain a quality education that teaches them a commitment to local service with global opportunities through competitive internships and study abroad programs.

Offering somewhat of a broader reach, Bemidji State University online offers degree completion programs for students from across the nation that have the equivalent of their first two years of college completed. With 24 college credit hours, students can then enroll in fully online degree programs at Bemidji. Some programs offered include bachelor degrees in Business Administration, Accounting, and Marketing Communication. Currently the university does not offer any graduate degree programs online, though undergraduate enrollees may also obtain a minor.

Online Programs: 10

Tuition: $8,394


University of Northwestern in St. Paul

University of Northwestern in St. Paul was founded in 1902 and has since been offering high-quality, Christ-centered learning opportunities to students from across the nation. The liberal arts university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and is equally focused on academics as it is career placement and preparation. Both online and on campus students are presented with educational and professional opportunities that extend beyond the classroom through internships, research, and outreach.

University of Northwestern in St. Paul online offers a variety of opportunities for distance learners while staying true to the universities Christ-centered mission. High school students can obtain college credit online, college aged students and adult learners can complete both undergraduate and graduate degrees fully online, or take just one or two classes for transfer purposes, or to combine on campus and online learning. The three offered undergraduate programs include degrees in Biblical Studies, Arts and Bible, and a Certificate in Bible.

Online Programs: 8

Tuition: $29,460


University of Minnesota at Duluth

University of Minnesota at Duluth prides itself on seamlessly interweaving liberal arts education with research, creative activity and public engagement, both on campus and online. The school is accredited to offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Liberal Arts to the Sciences to Pharmacy and Medicine. At the University of Minnesota in Duluth students benefit from a diverse and professional faculty that also extend their knowledge and leadership to the virtual classroom. Founded in 1895, the university was originally a Normal School and is today one of the leading institutions of higher education in the state of Minnesota.

University of Minnesota at Duluth online offers two undergraduate degrees that can be obtained completely online in Psychology or Tribal Administration and Governance. This unique degree attracts enrollees from across the nation and prepares students to work for tribes and governmental entities that work closely with American tribes. The online school also offers three hybrid programs in Social Work (undergraduate) and a Masters in Education or Tribal Administration and Governance.

Online Programs: 2

Tuition: $13,139