The right education can open doors and lead to future success, but how do you find the best school for your child (or yourself?) What environment is the right fit? Public or private? A traditional curriculum or an open and flexible culture? Is it diverse? What technology and resources are available? Will your child receive personal guidance and academic mentoring? What extracurricular programs are offered? There’s a lot to consider. We highlight schools that can help unlock your child’s full potential.
Photo courtesy of Trinity School at River Ridge
Trinity School at River Ridge
2014-15 full-time tuition: $10,600 (7-8) / $11,475 (9-12). Generous financial aid and scholarships available. (Over one-third of our families receive financial aid.)
Our students … read dozens of classic texts, enter artwork in four art shows, program in a sophisticated computer programming language to solve calculus-based physics problems, write around 30 full-length essays, perform in six music concerts, and twice read the Scriptures together and study the doctrine of their own denomination (Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox)—all in an environment marked by curiosity, exploration, discussion, and collaboration.
Our faculty … model Christian character and lifelong learning. They educate in an environment with small class sizes, single gender classrooms, and a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Unique programs: Robust classical reading list, Latin and modern languages, arts for every student, a rigorous, integrated, mathematics, sciences and computer programming curriculum.
Noteworthy recognitions: Two-time Blue Ribbon Award winner. We are consistently in the top five in SAT scores and National Merit Recognition in Minnesota.
One more thing: We provide the right kind of academic rigor in a culture of learning designed to awaken a sense of wonder about the world.
Photo courtesy of Breck
2014-15 full-time tuition:Ranges from $14,800 for half-day preschool to $26,965 for grade 12 (includes lunch and fees).
Our school … is a single-campus P-12 Episcopal independent school, based in Golden Valley. Living our mission means reimagining, reinventing, and reanimating the process of learning—both to model the process and rewards of authentic, meaningful learning for Breck students, and to continually grow, evolve, and reinvigorate as an educational enterprise.
Our students … stand out as independent thinkers, self starters, socially conscious problem solvers, thoughtful athletes, courageous artists, and perpetually curious, perpetually learning individuals. We want every Breck graduate to leave not just with 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.
Our instructors … are consummate learners themselves, constantly reinventing and refining assignments, projects and lessons to better engage their students, keeping everyone’s learning fresh and exciting.
Unique programs: Nationally-recognized P-12 Chinese language program, advanced research programs for science, history, and math, service learning as part of the curriculum, and a number of Advanced Placement courses.
Photo courtesy of New Life Academy
New Life Academy
2014-15 full-time tuition: Ranges from $7,098 in preschool to $9,708 in high school.
Our school … is a private non-denominational Christian college preparatory school located in Woodbury.
Our students … are educated and energized to impact their world for Jesus Christ and to reach their full potential in scholarship, leadership, and service out of love for God and one another.
Our instructors … are committed to competitive academic excellence, while teaching students more than just facts and figures, such as the integration of a biblical worldview and helping each student grow socially, physically, and spiritually—as well as intellectually—from preschool through 12th grade.
Unique programs: Advanced Placement courses, College in the Schools courses, Spanish beginning in preschool, summer learning opportunities, Minds in Motion, Project Serve, fine arts and athletics opportunities, student council in both elementary and secondary, various extracurricular interest clubs, National Honors Society peer-to-peer tutoring, and technology integration in the classroom.
Our vision … is to provide an exceptional spiritual and educational learning experience which will equip students to fulfill God’s unique purposes for their lives.
Photo courtesy of St.Thomas Academy
Saint Thomas Academy
2014-15 full-time tuition: $19,700 for all students.
Our school … is a Roman Catholic all-male college preparatory school located in Mendota Heights, next to Rogers Lake. For more than 125 years, we have prepared young men to succeed in college and in life.
Our students … are part of a unique “brotherhood,” connected to a network of more than 7,000 alumni. Friendships and bonds are formed here at STA that will support your child throughout his educational career and over his lifetime. We are the only all-male school serving grades 7-12 in Minnesota. Our approach maximizes developmental potential in an environment that’s proven to excel at educating and inspiring young men (100 percent of STA seniors are accepted to post-secondary colleges and universities). It’s designed for the unique way boys think and learn.
Our instructors … get to know our students, and challenge them to excel. A full 80 percent of our teachers hold a Masters or Ph.D. in their field. They are available for after-school tutoring four days a week.
Unique programs: At Saint Thomas Academy, Cadets cultivate strength of character, individual excellence, teamwork, discipline, respect, confidence, and responsible leadership skills. Leadership potential is shaped through the Army’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program. Our students wear their uniforms with pride.
Photo courtesy of Benilde-St.Margaret
2014-15 full-time tuition: Ranges from $11,372 (junior high) to $13,213 (high school).
Our school … is a dynamic Catholic learning community for grades 7-12. We partner with families to develop our students’ highest potential in mind, body, and spirit. We offer a challenging college preparatory curriculum and a uniquely caring experience that includes faith formation, academic rigor, social responsibility, and extensive extracurricular activities. We educate leaders for a global society.
Our faculty … provide a nurturing learning environment and individualized instruction for our students to ensure their success. The curriculum includes numerous honors courses and 17 Advanced Placement courses. Our students consistently score well above average on the ACT and SAT tests, and many become National Merit finalists, semifinalists, and commended scholars. Our graduates go on to some of the very best colleges and universities in the country.
Unique programs: Include our 1:1 laptop program, Advanced Competitive Science program, award-winning journalism department, and our designation as a national service learning leader school. We prepare students for the dynamic and ever-changing world in which they’ll study, live, and work.
Photo courtesy of Blake
The Blake School
2014-15 full-time tuition: Ranges from $14,650 to $24,450
Our school … is the preeminent independent day school in the Upper Midwest with a national reputation for academics. Its comprehensive, rigorous curriculum prepares students to advance to the most selective colleges and universities.
Our students … aren’t just book-smart. They also strive for excellence in athletics and the arts. They are committed to improving their local and global community.
Our instructors … combine subject expertise with attention to each individual. Approximately 73 percent hold advanced degrees.
Unique programs: Include Global Online Academy, Math in Focus, K-12 language study, and comprehensive college counseling.
How is Blake distinctive? Students encounter thoughtfully prepared curriculum along with abundant opportunities for travel, service, sports, and artistic endeavors. They develop the habits of mind that enable them to think critically, solve problems, empathize, create, and make our world better.
One more thing: We invite you to tour a campus, attend an open house, or meet with our faculty and staff.
Locations in Wayzata (PK-5), Hopkins (PK-8), and Minneapolis (9-12)
Photo courtesy of Minnesota Life College
Minnesota Life College
2014-15 full-time tuition: All-inclusive at $45,000. Tuition assistance is available.
Our students … learn differently in all aspects of life. We teach personal and financial self-sufficiency to young adults (ages 19-26) on the autism spectrum and with learning differences.
Our instructors … are skilled autism specialists, specific learning disabilities educators, and staff with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, social work, and vocational rehabilitation.
Unique programs: Three-week summer internship program; three-year undergraduate program; lifelong community living program.
How is your school distinctive? Since 1996, Minnesota Life College students have been engaged in a challenging work-readiness and independent living skills curriculum, gaining Real Skills For Real Life. Internship sites, student apartments, community grocery stores and banks, health clubs, and public transportation are all classroom settings at MLC. After graduating from our three-year program, over 90 percent of our students live on their own.
One more thing: Our location in Richfield is at the heart of metropolitan transit lines, central to many employment opportunities, and a safe place for students and graduates while providing easy access to the vibrant Twin Cities arts and cultural scene.
Photo courtesy of Calvin Christian School
Calvin Christian School
2014-15 full-time tuition: Ranges from $4,795 to $9,425.
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.
How is your school distinctive? We are dedicated to partnering with parents to provide quality education, fully integrated with a biblical knowledge of God and his world.
One more thing: We invite you to explore the difference a biblically-based education can make for your children. Visit our campuses at your convenience, scheduling a school-day visit that fits into your schedule. Admission to Calvin Christian is on a first-come, first-served basis, so early application is encouraged.
Locations in Edina (K-8), Blaine (K-8), and Fridley (9-12).
Photo courtesy of BETHEL UNIVERSITY
2014-15 full-time tuition: Undergraduate tuition and fees: $42,430 (includes room and board and meal plan).
Our students … represent theological, racial, gender and economic diversity but are united by a desire to honor Christ with their minds. As engaged learners, they live in a distinctive community while pursuing academic excellence and spiritual well-being.
Our faculty … consists of distinguished scholars and faithful Christians who demonstrate what it means to be both Christ-followers and leaders in their academic fields. As mentors and role models, they play a huge role in the integration of faith and learning at Bethel.
Unique programs: Engineering, physics, athletic training program (Bethel offers the only accredited athletic training program in the state of Minnesota), forensics , math and computer sciences and biokinetics.
Note-worthy awards and/or recognition: Top 10 finisher in COMAP (Consortium for Mathematics and its Application), a highly competitive, 96-hour, international mathematical modeling competition.
How is your school distinctive? At Bethel University, a college education is about more than earning a degree. It’s about following your passions and discovering what you love to do, then using your God-given talents and everything you’ve learned to make a difference in your communities and in our world. It’s an ongoing journey with a community of people who will challenge you and support you as you work to do more, be more, and seek Jesus more.
photo courtesy of MATHNASIUM
2014-15 full-time tuition: Ranges from $199 to $399 per month depending on center location, grade level, and length of commitment.
About us: Mathnasium is a Math Learning Center that teaches math in a way that makes sense. At Mathnasium, we have helped thousands of children grow to not only understand math, but to love it!
Our students … include gifted mathletes, “average” students that could be great math students and those struggling to keep up in math. We pride ourselves on helping students of all skills levels in a way that makes sense to them.
Our instructors … are not just “average math tutors.” We have brilliant, engaging, inspiring math experts who work one-on-one with your child.
Our approach: We utilize a time tested approach that provides initial and ongoing assessments, customized learning plans, personalized instruction, and guided practice to build each student’s math understanding and skills.
Our programs: We help students in first through 12th grade by providing homework help, ACT and SAT test preparation, and summer memberships.
How is your school distinctive? We only teach math. We customize our program for each child to build on their strengths and address their gaps. We have inspiring math coaches who build student’s self-confidence. Our curriculum explains the language of math in a way that makes sense to students. With 17 convenient locations throughout the Twin Cities Metro, visit your neighborhood center to get your child started on the path to math success!
Courtesy of North Dakota State University
North Dakota State University
2014-15 full-time tuition: $7,396 (Minnesota resident, base tuition)
North Dakota State University… is recognized as one of the nation’s 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: â€¨NDSU offers more than 100 different undergraduate majors, 86 master’s degrees, and 50 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.