Minnesota takes pride in having a good educational system, starting at the elementary level and extending into the world of higher education. Among those higher learning options are a stable of community colleges around the state.  A new study from WalletHub ranks the best and worst community colleges around the United States, placing 9 of Minnesota's community colleges among the best according to their criteria. That's almost a third of the top 30 schools around the country located in Minnesota.

Duluth's own Lake Superior College joins a list of high-ranking schools that also includes St. Cloud Technical Community College and Alexandria Technical and Community College. The criteria Wallethub used to rank these schools includes an in-depth look at cost and financing options, educational outcomes, and career outcomes among students attending these schools.

With all of the criteria in place, a total of 9 Minnesota schools surfaced among the 30 best options among the over 700 schools ranked around the United States. Here's how they ranked nationally:

  • Alexandria Technical & Community College - 4th best nationwide
  • Northland Community and Technical College - 5th best nationwide
  • Minnesota State Community and Technical College - 6th best nationwide
  • North Hennepin Community College - 10th best nationwide
  • St. Cloud Technical and Community College - 13th best nationwide
  • South Central College - 14th best nationwide
  • Lake Superior College - 19th best nationwide
  • Ridgewater College - 27th best nationwide
  • Hennepin Technical College - 28th best nationwide

Duluth's Lake Superior College earns a top-20 spot nationally, and also a top 10 spot in a crowded field of great Minnesota schools, ranking 7th best among all Minnesota community colleges (see full rankings below).

The study also breaks down how schools in each state rank against each other. While Wisconsin didn't have any schools appear in the top 30, there were some high-performing options among the 715 schools ranked in the study. Minnesota as a state ranked second best in the country for community college options, while Wisconsin fell just outside of the top ten, in eleventh place. Within the top 100 schools, Minnesota has 20 and Wisconsin has 4.

Below are the in-state rankings both Wisconsin and Minnesota schools:

Wisconsin Schools

  1. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (41st best nationwide)
  2. Lakeshore Technical College (84th best nationwide)
  3. Western Technical College - WI (90th best nationwide)
  4. Northcentral Technical College (93rd best nationwide)
  5. Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (141st best nationwide)
  6. Chippewa Valley Technical College (159th best nationwide)
  7. Fox Valley Technical College (179th best nationwide)
  8. Mid-State Technical College (180th best nationwide)
  9. Moraine Park Technical College (183rd best nationwide)
  10. Gateway Technical College (229th best nationwide)
  11. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (232nd best nationwide)
  12. Milwaukee Area Technical College (335th best nationwide)
  13. Nicolet Area Technical College (353rd best nationwide)
  14. Waukesha County Technical College (358th best nationwide)
  15. Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College (713th best nationwide)

Minnesota Schools

  1. Alexandria Technical & Community College (4th best nationwide)
  2. Northland Community and Technical College (5th best nationwide)
  3. Minnesota State Community and Technical College (6th best nationwide)
  4. North Hennepin Community College (10th best nationwide)
  5. St Cloud Technical and Community College (13th best nationwide)
  6. South Central College (14th best nationwide)
  7. Lake Superior College (19th best nationwide)
  8. Ridgewater College (27th best nationwide)
  9. Hennepin Technical College (28th best nationwide)
  10. Rochester Community and Technical College (37th best nationwide)
  11. Central Lakes College-Brainerd (44th best nationwide)
  12. Century College - MN (45th best nationwide)
  13. Hibbing Community College (46th best nationwide)
  14. Itasca Community College (55th best nationwide)
  15. Vermilion Community College (62nd best nationwide)
  16. Minnesota West Community and Technical College (63rd best nationwide)
  17. Rainy River Community College (64th best nationwide)
  18. Mesabi Range College (67th best nationwide)
  19. Normandale Community College (75th best nationwide)
  20. Riverland Community College (76th best nationwide)
  21. Minneapolis Community and Technical College (204th best nationwide)
  22. Saint Paul College (207th best nationwide)
  23. Leech Lake Tribal College (256th best nationwide)

Here is a map, showing all 715 schools around the country and their rankings:

Source: WalletHub