2013-2014 School Guide

When it comes to choosing the right school, one size doesn’t fit all.

Some students thrive in large schools, where they’re able to enjoy a wide variety of class selections, student organizations, and social options. Other students do well in a small school, where they’ll receive more individual attention, lower student-to-teacher ratios, and opportunities to work closely with the same group of classmates. Some schools are liberal; others conservative. Some are more diverse than others. Students and parents should not only consider tuition, but whether or not a school meets their varied interests, values, and goals. We provide a snapshot of some of the best schools around to help you narrow your search.

Calvin Christian School

2013-14 full-time tuition: Ranges from $4,795 to $9,425.

Our school… is dedicated to partnering with parents to provide quality education, fully integrated with a biblical knowledge of God and his world.

Our students… are recognized as uniquely gifted individuals and are provided the tools to become all that God intended each one to be.

Our instructors… are gifted, licensed educators, averaging more than 10 years of experience. They are trained to integrate a biblical perspective in their classrooms.

Unique programs: K-8 Learning Resource Program (addressing learning difficulties); K-5 Challenge Program (providing enrichment opportunities); Spanish beginning in first grade; 9-12 service learning,  independent projects, off-campus learning opportunities, individual laptop computers.

One more thing: We invite you to explore the difference a biblically-based education can make for your children. We hold periodic open houses for prospective families, but are happy to schedule a visit that fits into your schedule. Admission to Calvin Christian is on a first-come, first-served basis, so early application is encouraged.


Minnehaha Academy

2013-14 full-time tuition: Ranges from $9,400 to $17,050. A robust tuition assistance program is available. We aim to make it possible for all accepted students to attend, with grants totaling more than $1.8 million/year.

Our students... want to lead and follow, listen, learn, collaborate and discuss… worship, serve, and participate.

Our instructors… are highly qualified leaders and Christian role models who strive to offer excellent educational experiences and mentoring.

Unique programs: Minnehaha’s advisory program provides each student with an adult from whom he or she can seek guidance, support, and help in the areas of academics, spiritual growth, and personal issues. Minnehaha also has a one of a kind cultural immersion program for Upper School students, in addition to leadership programs for lower, middle and upper school students.

One more thing: We recognize that students come to us at different places in their faith journeys. Minnehaha challenges students to grow in thoughts, words, and actions guided by Christian values and principles. School life centers on a Christian viewpoint and servant leadership. Through stimulating classroom discussion, required Bible classes, and weekly chapel meetings, faculty and staff model Christian values and encourage students to think personally about faith and belief.


Minnetonka Public Schools

2013-14 full-time tuition: Free

Our students: Minnetonka High School ranks among the top high schools in America based on recent lists published by U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek and The Washington Post. State test scores in the elementary level are No. 1 in reading and No. 2 in math in the metro area, our middle school students are performing at record levels of achievement, and our high school students posted some of the highest ACT scores in the state (the class of 2013 posted an impressive 26.3 ACT composite score, the highest score recorded by a Minnetonka High School class). We have a 99-percent graduation rate, with 93 percent of our students attending college.

Unique programs: Spanish and Chinese immersion in grades K-5, Navigators program to better serve gifted students in grades 3-5, and music and theatre performance opportunities for students in fourth and fifth grades.

Beyond our borders: Highly regarded international programs are establishing the Minnetonka School District as a leader in preparing students for life in the 21st century global community by helping them expand their world reach.


Totino-Grace High School

2013-14 full-time tuition: $13,275

Our school… is an Archdiocesan co-educational Catholic high school in the Lasallian tradition. Welcoming a student body that is academically, economically, and culturally diverse, we strive for equity and excellence in all programs. Recognizing the key elements of our mission as learning, faith, community, and service, we seek to provide a safe environment that places priority on mutual respect, self-discipline, and acknowledgment of our responsibility in the world community.

Our students… are driven, intellectual, diverse, and supportive.

Our instructors… foster critical thinking, support dialogue and discussion, and care for all students. Our faculty go above and beyond both inside and outside the classroom.

Unique programs: Totino-Grace Engineering Institute; Artist-In-Residence, 1:1 Learning Technology Program, Industrial Arts

Note-worthy awards: Our fine art and athletic programs have won numerous state and national awards. Students are continuously recognized for their academic achievement through the National Merit Scholarship Program. Each year, our students dedicate thousands of hours to service in our community and on national and international service trips.




Breck School

2013-14 full-time tuition: Ranges from $14,560 – $25,995 (inclusive of lunch and fees).

Our school… is a single-campus, P-12 Episcopal independent school, based in Golden Valley, where living our mission means always reimagining, reinventing, and reanimating learning—both to model the process and rewards of authentic, meaningful learning for Breck students, and to continually grow, evolve, and reinvigorate as a learning enterprise.

Perpetually learning: When perpetually learning students encounter our perpetually learning school, they’re not just preparing for college. They’re realizing that thinking and problem solving, listening and leading, and creating and collaborating are all lifelong processes, all constantly being reinvented, and all starting right
here, right now.

Reframing college prep: On paper, a Breck student may look like a lot of graduates from fine independent schools. But in person, a Breck graduate stands out as an independent thinker, a socially conscious problem solver, a thoughtful athlete, an enterprising artist, a perpetually curious, perpetually learning individual. We want every Breck graduate to leave here not just with high test scores and a carefully curated resume, but as a fully realized human being, confident, capable, and compassionate enough to change the world in the way he or she sees fit.


Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Schools of Graduate & Professional Programs

2013-14 full-time tuition: Each graduate school or professional program has a different per credit amount.

Application deadline: Rolling, with six start times per year for our graduate and professional programs.

Our school… awakens, nurtures, and empowers learners to ethical lives of service and leadership.

Our students… are diverse in their work lives, their home lives, where they come from, and where they’re going. We want our students to find the best program for their path and to be successful, not only at work, but in their home life as well.

Our instructors… are professionals in their field, meaning students get to take lessons from the classroom and apply them right away.

Recognition: The university is proud to be among Forbes’ 2010 list of “America’s Best Colleges,” the Princeton Review’s 2011 list of “Best Midwestern Colleges,” and U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 list of “Best National Universities.”

Unique programs: Our bachelor’s degree completion (bachelor of science) programs offer a great transfer credit policy as well as credit for life experience to help you finish what you started. We also offer management programs in areas like healthcare administration as well as project management and human resource management.

One more thing: We’ve recently launched some online programs that students can access from anywhere in the country or abroad.  


The College of St. Scholastica

2013-14 full-time tuition: $31,416

Our school… is an independent private college in the Catholic Benedictine tradition. The student body of 4,200 is about evenly divided between traditional undergraduates and students in graduate, extended, and online programs.

Our students… come from 47 states and 35 countries.

Our four-year graduation rate: is significantly higher than public colleges and universities in Minnesota. Visit www.collegeresults.org to compare.

Four-year guarantee: Students who follow simple guidelines graduate in four years, or subsequent tuition is free.

Individual attention: With an average student to teacher ratio of 13 to 1, small class sizes offer personalized instruction and a friendly learning environment.

Career placement: 96.5 percent of graduates are in career fields or graduate school within six months of graduation.

Our campuses: Main campus is in Duluth, with sites in St. Paul, Rochester, Brainerd, and St. Cloud (featuring a new facility opening in September).


Concordia University, St. Paul

2013-14 full-time undergraduate tuition: $19,700
Our school… is one of the best college value investments in Minnesota. Responsive teachers, relevant learning experiences, and real-world preparation.  
Our students… represent the rich cultural diversity of the Twin Cities, living and learning in a supportive, all-embracing spiritual atmosphere.
Our instructors… teach, mentor, and advise students. Their focus is on helping students learn the skills necessary to be successful upon graduation.
School awards: Higher Learning Commission – North Central Association, National Accreditation of Teacher Education, Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, Minnesota Board of Teaching.
Unique programs: Center for Hmong Studies, minor in Hmong studies, community arts major, marketing and innovative management, food industry management, MBA in healthcare.
One more thing: Established in 1893 and located in the college district of St. Paul, Concordia is a liberal arts university. Our affiliation with The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod and our Christian setting empowers you to discover and engage your purpose for life, career, and service. We are one of the least expensive private colleges in the Midwest and offer generous financial assistance to students with need and merit.


Concordia College – Moorhead

2013-14 full-time tuition: $32,600 per year

Our school… is an award-winning leader in global liberal arts education. Concordia was the only Minnesota college among the first 21 schools in the country to be honored with the Sen. Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization. A college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Concordia is dedicated to preparing leaders for a world of change. A Concordia education is designed to foster the communication, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving skills that drive innovation. Hands-on, experiential learning is a major emphasis, giving Concordia students clear competitive advantages for graduate school and career pursuits.

Our students… are challenged to become responsibly engaged in the world. They come from 34 states and 35 countries, representing a great diversity of perspectives and talents. Students participate in Concordia’s renowned music program, 22 men’s and women’s varsity sports, and 100 student-run clubs and organizations.

Unique programs: Concordia Language Villages, offering year-round culture and language immersion in 15 world languages; the Offutt School of Business undergraduate program with a curriculum dedicated to creating global, ethical, entrepreneurial leaders; neuroscience and a tri-college program in vaccinology.




McNally Smith College of Music

2013-14 full-time tuition: $24,310 per year

Our school… is dedicated to providing students with a career-oriented education that prepares graduates for lives in the music, media and entertainment industries.

Our students… choose from a number of degree options, featuring an experiential curriculum that emphasizes artistry, technology, and entrepreneurship.

Our instructors… are working professionals in the music, media, and entertainment industries who emphasize hands-on learning and facilitate networking opportunities.

Note-worthy awards: 2011 National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Innovation Excellence Award

Unique programs: Production, audio engineering, live sound, composition, songwriting, business, performance, and the nation’s first-ever accredited Hip-Hop Studies diploma program.

One more thing: McNally Smith College of Music is institutionally and programmatically accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and is registered with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. The College is also a candidate for accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission.


Minnesota Life College 

2013-14 tuition: All-inclusive at $45,000. Scholarships and tuition assistance is available.

Our school: MLC is a vocational, supported academic, life and social-skills training program for young adults with learning differences and autism spectrum disorders.

Our students: The young adults enrolled at MLC learn differently in all aspects of life. We teach them to be personally and financially self-sufficient.

Our instructors: We hire skilled autism specialists, specific learning disabilities instructors, and staff with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in education, social work, parks & leisure, vocational rehabilitation, and business administration.

Unique programs: Three-week summer internship program; three-year undergraduate program; lifelong graduate living community program

One more thing: Since 1996, Minnesota Life College students have been engaged in a challenging work-readiness and independent living skills curriculum, gaining Real Skills for Real LifeT. Internship sites, student apartments, community grocery stores and banks, health clubs, and public transportation are all classroom settings at MLC. After graduating from MLC’s three-year program, students live on their own and remain engaged, having built lives full of meaning with true friends and great jobs, developing strong support systems for themselves and their families.


University of Minnesota, Duluth

2013-14 full-time tuition: $11,720 per year for undergraduate, in-state residents

Our school… is home to a community of real-world problem solvers, overlooking Lake Superior. UMD is large enough to offer a variety of educational programs and extra-curricular activities, but small enough to provide personal attention.

Our mission… is to integrate liberal education, research, creative activity, and public engagement and prepare students to thrive as lifelong learners and globally engaged citizens.

Our academic programs… include 140 undergraduate majors and minors and more than 30 graduate degree programs.

Our campus… extends beyond the traditional bricks and mortar to places like the 55-acre Bagley Nature Area, the Blue Heron research vessel, “The Farm,” UMD’s 114-acre Research and Field Studies Center, and Glensheen, a large estate on the shore of Lake Superior.

Bulldog athletics… include NCAA Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey and 14 teams in NCAA Division II. Since 2000, the Bulldogs have won eight national championships and 46 conference titles.


North Dakota State University

2013-14 full-time tuition: $7,097 (Minnesota resident base tuition)

North Dakota State University is… recognized as one of the nation¹s top 108 universities.NDSU is student focused and a top-ranked and growing national research power. Students learn from the best.

NDSU faculty… are committed to teaching and research that engages students in an immersive learning environment.

School awards: NDSU has been named one of the top 108 institutions by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. This category recognizes NDSU as one of the highest level research institutions in the country.

Unique programs: NDSU offers more than 100 different undergraduate majors, 66 masters degrees, and 46 doctoral degrees in a variety of academic areas, including full professional programs in both pharmacy and architecture.

One more thing: Come visit us! We offer daily visits Monday-Friday throughout the year as well as group visits on select Saturdays and over the Education Minnesota break in October.


How to Make the Most of Your School Visit

You can’t tell everything about a school from statistics alone. To get a better sense of the school, you need to walk in the halls, meet a teacher or two, chat with a student, see if you can imagine your child (or yourself) in that environment. By making an appointment to visit a potential school, you’ll get a much better understanding of the overall atmosphere. To plan an effective visit, think ahead and do the following:

Schedule your visit. Call the main number and explain that you’re considering enrollment and would like to get a better feel for the school by visiting the campus. Find out if you’ll have a chance to meet the principal or any teachers while you’re there.

Read… as much as you can before you go—learn about the culture, programs, and students. Do your homework.

Pay attention… to the interaction between students and teachers/professors if you’re able to see a class in action. Are the students engaged and prepared? Does the content of the course seem compelling? Are the students asking questions? Do the teachers seem knowledgeable and enthusiastic?

Ask questions… about the school’s philosophy or mission, their  approach to discipline and safety, library resources, available technology, extracurricular activities, teaching strategies, highlights of the school’s curriculum, support services, opportunities for teacher development, and the school’s greatest accomplishments and challenges. If you’re scouting a high school, ask if they have any school-to-work programs or specialized academics, a good selection of Advanced Placement courses, whether or not the school is accredited, available counseling support, and SAT/ACT scores, graduation rates, and what percentage of students attend college after graduation.