The 10 Best College Towns In Minnesota For 2022


Editor's Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our fifth time ranking the best college towns in Minnesota.
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Believe it or not, America has the best colleges in the world. It's been proven by data (and surveys) that the U.S. educational system is of the highest quality

It's actually not even close and Minnesota is home to a handful of them.

While we could debate which colleges within the are the 'best,' that's not the goal of this post.

Instead, ride along with us as we determine which college towns in Minnesota are the best.

You know, the type of places where there's energy and stimulation, but the type of place you can walk around at night. The happiest, chillest, most downright fun places where you can send your kids off to college where you won't break the bank, or worry about their well being.

Without further ado, here are the best college towns in Minnesota for 2022.

The 10 Best College Towns In Minnesota For 2022

  1. Marshall, MN
  2. Morris, MN
  3. New Ulm, MN
  4. Northfield, MN
  5. Crookston, MN
  6. Minneapolis, MN
  7. Rochester, MN
  8. Plymouth, MN
  9. Woodbury, MN
  10. Bloomington, MN

While some of these may not seem like a 'real' college town per se, when you look at the numbers, it's hard to argue against.

And for those who live in Marshall, Morris and New Ulm - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Marshall ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Read on to find out more or for more on Minnesota check out:

The 10 Best College Towns In Minnesota For 2022

Marshall, MN
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 13,604
% Undergrad Pop.: 30.5% (4th best)
Median Rent: $684 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 257.1% (5th best)
Crime Rank: 3rd best
More on Marshall: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Southwest Minnesota State University

Morris, MN
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 5,320
% Undergrad Pop.: 34.6% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $750 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 178.5% (best)
Crime Rank: 10th best
More on Morris: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: University of Minnesota-Morris

New Ulm, MN
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 13,209
% Undergrad Pop.: 7.8% (10th best)
Median Rent: $774 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 262.1% (7th best)
Crime Rank: 2nd best
More on New Ulm: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Martin Luther College

Northfield, MN
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 20,399
% Undergrad Pop.: 24.3% (6th best)
Median Rent: $812 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 540.2% (25th best)
Crime Rank: best
More on Northfield: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: St Olaf College, Carleton College

Crookston, MN
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 7,711
% Undergrad Pop.: 36.0% (best)
Median Rent: $650 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 326.1% (11th best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Crookston: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: University of Minnesota-Crookston

Minneapolis, MN
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 424,536
% Undergrad Pop.: 9.1% (9th best)
Median Rent: $1,078 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 524.9% (24th best)
Crime Rank: 24th best
More on Minneapolis: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Augsburg College

Rochester, MN
Overall SnackAbility
7.5
/10

Population: 117,134
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.1% (17th best)
Median Rent: $1,044 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 392.6% (15th best)
Crime Rank: 12th best
More on Rochester: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Rochester Community and Technical College, Crossroads College, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences

Plymouth, MN
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
10
/10

Population: 78,879
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.0% (23rd best)
Median Rent: $1,418 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 230.8% (4th best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Plymouth: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Minnesota School of Business-Plymouth, PCI Academy-Plymouth, Minnesota School of Cosmetology-Plymouth Campus

Woodbury, MN
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 71,298
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.9% (15th best)
Median Rent: $1,503 (27th best)
Unemployment Rate: 322.7% (9th best)
Crime Rank: 11th best
More on Woodbury: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Globe University-Woodbury

Bloomington, MN
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 85,226
% Undergrad Pop.: 1.0% (14th best)
Median Rent: $1,220 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 404.6% (17th best)
Crime Rank: 2best
More on Bloomington: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Normandale Community College, National American University-Bloomington, Academy College

How'd we figure out the best college towns in Minnesota?

To crunch our data on Minnesota's best college towns, we had to first decide which qualities (or rankings) make sense to use in the data, and then crunch the numbers for our rankings.

First off, we firmly decided that only cities with a 4 year college should make the cut -- so there has to be at least one college granting bachelors degrees in town.

You might be surprised to hear that there are only 19 places in Minnesota with an institution of higher learning with that criteria.

Source of data include OpenStreetMaps, the College Scorecard, the U.S. Census, and FBI reporting data to include the following factors:

  • Students Make Up Large % of the Population
  • College-specific Factors
    • Graduation rate
    • Tuition Cost
    • Student Body Diversity
  • Town Characteristics
    • Safety
    • Affordability
    • Income and Employment Opportunities
  • Things to Do
    • Bars
    • Museums & Libraries
    • Population Density

We ranked each city across each of the criteria, with one being the best.

We rolled up the individual scores into the category and ranked them again based on the category.

Finally, we took the average rank across each category, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best College Town In Minnesota For 2022".

And it looks like Marshall placed Summa Cum Laude.

There You Have It -- The Best College Towns In The

If you're looking for the best college towns in Minnesota, you came to the right place.

These places all have great college sports programs, tons of stuff to do, and are great places to raise a family.

For more reading, check out:

19 Best College Towns In Minnesota

Rank City Population
1 Marshall, MN 13604
2 Morris, MN 5320
3 New Ulm, MN 13209
4 Northfield, MN 20399
5 Crookston, MN 7711
6 Minneapolis, MN 424536
7 Rochester, MN 117134
8 Plymouth, MN 78879
9 Woodbury, MN 71298
10 Bloomington, MN 85226
11 Winona, MN 26772
12 St. Cloud, MN 68390
13 Richfield, MN 36253
14 Eagan, MN 66377
15 Blaine, MN 65048
16 Duluth, MN 85852
17 Bemidji, MN 15277
18 Brooklyn Center, MN 30755
19 Waite Park, MN 7719

Best College Towns By State

Enjoy The Snack?