Twice affirmed as a great college

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A St. Cloud State Distinction

St. Cloud State's standing as one of America's great universities is affirmed by two national magazines.

Forbes magazine ranked St. Cloud State in its seventh annual "America's Top Colleges" ranking. Money magazine ranked St. Cloud State in its inaugural "Money's Best Colleges." In a related news, the St. Cloud metropolitan area is 24th on Forbes magazine's “Best Small Places for Businesses and Careers." 

Forbes, a business website and bi-weekly, gave a ranking of 566th. Money, a personal finance website and monthly, gave a ranking of 257th.

The U.S. has 2,870 four-year colleges, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, an agency of the U.S. Department of Education. That places St. Cloud State in the . . .

  • Elite 9 percent of the nation's colleges and universities, based on quality of education, affordability and outcomes. View the Money magazine methodology.

  • Elite 23 percent of colleges and universities based on student satisfaction, post-graduate success, student debt, graduation rate and academic success. View the Forbes magazine methodology.

Among all Minnesota schools, public and private, St. Cloud State ranked third for affordability, according to Forbes. Based on the Forbes analysis, Minnesota's top two schools -- Carleton College (16th) and Macalester College (66th) -- are more than twice as expensive as St. Cloud State.   

Just 20 of Forbes' 650 top schools are more affordable than St. Cloud State. Five schools, including four service academies, did not release tuition information. That puts St. Cloud State in the top 3 percent most affordable, on the Forbes list.

The Forbes ranking includes just four Minnesota public schools: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (108th), University of Minnesota, Morris (396th), St. Cloud State (566th) and Minnesota State University Mankato (616th). Not in the 2014 rankings are five colleges in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and three colleges in the University of Minnesota system.

Money's list of 665 best colleges included seven Minnesota public schools:

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities


St. Cloud State


Minnesota State University Mankato


Winona State University


University of Minnesota, Morris


University of Minnesota, Duluth


University of Minnesota, Crookston


In the 2013 Forbes rankings, St. Cloud State was 504th.

A change in methodology may have caused the lower 2014 ranking. This year Forbes did not weigh nationally competitive awards. St. Cloud State earned five nationally competitive awards in 2012 and 2013, including the Simon Award, Heiskell Award, HEED Award, Hobey Baker Award and Innovative Program of the Year Award. Get award details at the Distinctions website.

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