College years hold fond memories for me. Late night study sessions, walking around on a weekend with a backpack for "studying" at a friends house (if you know you know), waking up Saturday morning for college game day and meeting people who remain lifelong friends.

Like anything, college is what you make it. For some, college was an escape from their home town, many went for a 'good time', for others it was where they went to get the best education they possibly could.

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With school back in session around the country and many preparing for homecomings in the horizon, the time has come where the yearly list of the best colleges in the country has been released. In it's 38th year conducting this ranking, U.S. News has released it's breakdown, and on a couple of different categories, of top ranked colleges.

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Not surprising Princeton (ranked #1), Harvard, Yale and Stanford all top the list. We hear about the prestige of these universities all the time. But lets be honest we just want to know, is Minnesota anywhere on the list and if so, where exactly are they ranked? I took the liberty of going through it all so you can just look to see which schools of our great state made it on the list and at what number. Here we go.

First off, there were a few Minnesota schools that made the lists, I say LISTS, because yes they have it broken into two categories. The first being 'National Universities' the other being 'Liberal Arts Colleges' and one Minnesota college broke the top ten for best in the country in the second list. But first lets see what Minnesota Schools make the first list of top Universities in the country.

Penn State v Minnesota
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For those wondering if the biggest University in the state the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities made the list. I've got good news, it did! The university shares the number 62 rank with four other universities; George Washington University, Syracuse University, University of Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech.

The next university to make the list from Minnesota is the University of St. Thomas at #137. Also making it Bethel University at #212, The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth and St. Catherine University in St. Paul both ranked at #234, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in Winona ranked at #299 and after that I honestly stopped raking through the list because I'm not sure at what number they finally decided to stop.

Carelton College Campus Photo by Carelton College via Facebook
Carelton College Campus Photo by Carelton College via Facebook

But truthfully, I also really wanted to see if my alma mater made the list at all for the best Liberal Arts College. I went to Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and after reading that Carleton College in Northfield, MN was ranked at #6 in the country. having a three way tie with Bowdoin College in Maine and the United States Naval Academy in Maryland, I hoped Minnesota had a few more on the list and we did.

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At #27 is Macalester College in St. Paul

At #63 is St. Olaf College, who you can see if proudly sharing other success of the rankings in this post:

My older brother's alma mater Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter came in the rankings at #81 to which I'm sure he won't let me live that one down for beating out my college.

Happy to see Central Minnesota's St. Joseph's College of St. Benedict + St. John's University made the list, sneaking in the top 100 at #94

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#136 is University of Minnesota Morris

My Cobbers at Concordia College - Moorhead finally sneak onto the list at #145

Then the list breaks it down with the rest from #156-#201 and you find Bethany Lutheran College from Mankato in the mix. After that the colleges listed were called "unranked" and that was my que to not scroll anymore.

If you're wondering how they decide these rankings, they have a system that is a bit complex and really is about the academics and not so much about what fun you might have at college. For the curious, you can learn more about that HERE.

For those looking at good Minnesota colleges or universities for the future you now have a great list to go off. The rest of us who have already graduated either have some bragging rights or are hopefully reminded of the good times we had no matter what college or university we went to, because really the experience is what you make it.


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