A Minnesota school is named America's best community college

The northern MN tribal college topped 700 other schools.

The country's best two-year degree for your dollar is available at Leech Lake Tribal College, a new analysis of more than 700 schools determined. 

WalletHub looked at 14 indicators to rank all 728 schools in the study released Monday. Leech Lake topped all others in the Cost and Financing category, earning especially high marks for its per-pupil spending. 

Other reasons for the high ranking were the relatively low cost of in-state tuition and fees, average student aid available through scholarships and grants, and the efficiency of school spending. 

The personal finance website also ranked all the states by the strength of their community college systems, putting Minnesota eighth. 

Two-year colleges getting a higher profile

At a time when tuition keeps climbing at four-year universities, WalletHub says two-year schools are a perfect solution for people who want some higher education without taking on big debt. 

Two-year schools also usually have smaller class sizes and flexible schedules that help students who also have jobs and families. 

Locally, the Minnesota State system – which includes 30 two-year colleges and seven state universities – educates 80 percent of Minnesota's workforce, according to the president of North Hennepin Community College

About Leech Lake Tribal College

Leech Lake Tribal College was established by the Leech Lake band of Ojibwe in 1990 and produced its first graduates in the spring of '93, its website says

The main campus is in Cass Lake, which is not far from Bemidji, and now there is also a Red Lake campus. 

Overall, the college has 60 faculty and staff with about 350 students – and 95 percent of them are American Indian. The college says its philosophy follows the tribe's Seven Grandfather Teachings: honesty, truth, humility, love, wisdom, courage, and respect.

In the 2013-14 school year, tuition and fees were $4,580, U.S. News reports

This spring, Bemidji State University announced it will automatically enroll students from Leech Lake and three other tribal colleges with no enrollment fee. 

Seeing one of its schools ranking best in the nation is a plum for the tribal college system. Just a few years ago, The Atlantic reported that high costs and low outcomes were leading to discussions about whether tribal colleges should even exist. 

Next Up

ballot voting vote

Appeals court changes rules for MN absentee ballots received after Election Day

Pending a further challenge, votes received after 8 p.m. on Election Day may not be counted.

Donald Trump

Confusion over where Trump campaign rally will be held Friday

It sounds like it'll be held at the airport in Rochester.

Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 3.19.05 PM

This video of the Lowry Hill Tunnel walls being cleaned is oddly satisfying

The tunnel will be closed overnight Thursday for cleaning.

gray wolf

Gray wolf removed from the endangered species list

A decision on whether they can be hunted in Minnesota will come later.

covid saliva test

Minnesota opening its 7th saliva testing location in St. Paul

The tests are free and open to anyone regardless of if they have symptoms.

pete stauber - qunn nystrom CD8

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's 8th Congressional District

It's a race between incumbent Rep. Pete Stauber and Democratic challenger Quinn Nystrom.

fire, flames

Lives saved as passerby, city workers rescue from 3 from Golden Valley fire

The Golden Valley Fire Department responded to the fire Wednesday morning.

Caribou Coffee Holiday 2020

Caribou Coffee rolls out holiday cups, menu early

The holiday season is underway at some Twin Cities stores, with a nationwide rollout planned for Nov. 5.

Malik Beasley

Charges: Timberwolves' Beasley pointed assault rifle at family on a home tour

The family was on the Parade of Homes tour when Beasley allegedly pointed the gun at them, telling them to get off his property.


2 Minnesota colleges have to pay back the students they defrauded

It's the latest in a string of setbacks for Globe University and Minnesota School of Business

University of Minnesota

How did Minnesota do on WSJ's 'Best Colleges in America' ranking?

The survey ranked hundreds of universities across the U.S.

Feds tell pair of MN colleges: 'No student loans for you'

Globe University, Minnesota School of Business can't accept federal student loan money in 2017

University of minnesota sign

6 Minnesota institutions in top 200 colleges ranked by value

Money looked at more than 700 schools for its Best Colleges for Your Money list.

MN community college named among 10 best in the US – and could win $1M

A north Metro community college has been ranked one of the best in the country, and now has the opportunity to win $1 million.

5 Minnesota institutions make national 'Best Colleges' rankings

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities was the highest ranked.

Colleges can raise the bar for proving sex assaults under new U.S. policy

The education secretary says the new system is fairer for the accused