The questions are different depending on the age. For parents of toddlers, the questions start as soon as they walk and talk: “Which school will they go to?” (And no, the correct answer isn’t “The closest one.”) For teenagers, the all-encompassing question is: “What are your plans after graduation?” It’s not hard to lose sleep over these seemingly harmless questions. How, exactly, do you find the perfect match? In addition to academics, factor in tuition, location, student population, activities, and class size. Gather resources and information about each school you’re considering, ask questions, and trust your instincts. When you find a school where you or your child feels “at home,” you’ll know you made the right choice. We’ve compiled a list of the best schools in the area to help you with your search.
Academy of Holy Angels
Contact info: 6600 Nicollet Ave. South, Richfield, MN 55423; 612-798-2600; www.ahastars.org
School motto: “Confident. Prepared. Connected in faith.”
Total enrollment: 850 • Average class size: 20 • Tuition: $9,950
Unique programs offered: Project Laptop, a personal one-to-one computer program for all incoming ninth graders. We also offer the AHA Theater School within the general curriculum.
Application deadline: January 11, 2008 (and ongoing after that time).
Open house dates: November 7 and 8, January 9, and April 30, starting at 6:30 p.m.
How is your school distinctive? AHA just celebrated 75 years as a Catholic High School in Richfield. We’re housed in a beautiful, French Gothic building in the heart of the Minneapolis/St.Paul area.
Would you like to add anything else? Over 39 percent of AHA students receive need-based financial aid and scholarships. We work with every family to make it possible to have a high quality Catholic education.
Contact info: 123 Ottawa Ave. North, Minneapolis, MN 55422; 763-381-8100; www.breckschool.org
Full-time enrollment: 1,200 • Average class size: 17
Unique programs offered: Modern language beginning in kindergarten (Spanish or Chinese); one-to-one laptop program for all students in grades 4-12; highly awarded advanced research opportunities in science and history; a visual arts program that has produced more state scholastic arts winners than any other school in the state for the past two years; a fully integrated service learning curriculum.
Tuition: Ranges from $13,145 – $18,500 • Application deadline: February 1, 2008
Open house dates: Meet the New Head of School, Saturday, November 3, 2007 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Lower School Admissions evening is Tuesday, December 11, 2007 from 7 to 9 p.m. P-12 Open house admissions event, Jan. 13 from 1:30 -3:30.
How is your school distinctive? Breck provides a holistic educational experience that fosters a diverse and inclusive environment. Our single campus provides opportunities for students of different ages to work together cooperatively, such as first grade/senior buddies and kindergarten/seventh grade “bio-buddies.
Contact info: 2625 Larpenteur Ave. East, Maplewood, MN 55109; 651-748-2446; www.hill-murray.org
School motto: “A place to learn… a place to grow… a place to belong.”
Total enrollment: Grades 7-12: 1,000
Average class size: Middle school: 25; High school: 23
Unique programs offered: We offer an art program featuring a nationally recognized Artist-in-Residence specializing in stained glass and steel sculpture.
Tuition: For 2007-08: middle school (grades 7-8): $8,050; high school: $9,200
Application deadline: January 19, 2008 (for school year 2008-09).
Open house dates: Thursday, October 25, 2007; Thursday, January 10, 2008
How is your school distinctive? We are one of only two metro area schools to be cited by ACT for our rigorous college preparatory curriculum. Only eight schools were named statewide.
International School of Minnesota
Contact info: 6385 Beach Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55344; 952-918-1840; www.ism-sabis.net
School motto: “Catch the Spirit of Achievement!”
Total enrollment: 550 • Tuition: $7,600 to $13,800
Unique programs offered: World languages, Spanish and French (taught daily by native speakers beginning in preschool), Chinese offered in the Upper School, sports teams, performing arts, and other extracurricular activities for all levels; 18 potential Advanced Placement Courses; Student Life Organization™ promoting leadership skills and life preparation; Extended Day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., (included in tuition).
Application deadline: Accepted year-round (based on availability).
Open house dates: November 8, 2007 at 6:30 pm; January 13, 2008 at 1 p.m.
How is your school distinctive? We’re a diverse student body within a close-knit community; we offer rigorous science, math, and humanities courses; we’re a member of the world-wide SABIS® School Network.
MacPhail Center for Music
Contact info: 1128 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403; 612-321-0100; www.macphail.org
Enrollment: 7,200 • Application deadline: Fall semester begins September 4, 2007
Unique programs offered: Suzuki Talent Education, early childhood music, music therapy, ensembles, classes, and vocal and instrumental instruction on 35 instruments.
Tuition: Ranges. (See website for detailed information.)
Open house dates: Early childhood music open houses: Saturday, September 8, 2007 at MacPhail White Bear Lake (10 a.m. to noon), and Sunday, September 9 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) MacPhail Apple Valley. Sample classes and performances for the entire family. Early childhood instruction begins at 6 weeks old.
How is your school distinctive? MacPhail serves all ages and all abilities. Our diverse offerings include instruction in classical, jazz, rock and pop genres, as well as music therapy and early childhood music. MacPhail also serves the community through its 48 partnerships with schools, homeless shelters, and community organizations. The school will open the doors to a new flagship facility on January 5, 2008 in the Historic Mills District.
Main Street School of Performing Arts
Contact info: 1320 Main St., Hopkins, MN 55343 952-224-1340, www.performing-arts-school.org
School motto: “Rigorous academics in an arts setting.”
Full-time enrollment: 200 students • Average class size: 26
Unique programs offered: Dance, music, theatre, Advanced Placement courses, professional guest artist instructors such as George Winston, TU Dance, and Fringe Festival actors/writers
Application deadline: March 16 (applications are accepted until capacity is reached).
Open house dates: August 7, 2007 at 7 p.m. (last open house for 2007-08 school year). A shadow program is available throughout the year. Mid-year enrollment possible while space is available.
How is your school distinctive? We are a community that celebrates the creativity and individual gifts of every student.
Contact info: 3100 West River Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55406; 612-728-7756, www.minnehahaacademy.net
School motto: “Integrating Christian faith and learning.”
Full-time enrollment: 1,214 preschool through grade 12. • Average class size: 18
Unique programs offered: Lower School – Specialists in phy ed, art, music, computers, and foreign language; Middle School – Band, choir, and orchestra; Upper School – 19 Advanced Placement courses
Tuition: Ranges from $9,970 to $12,550
Application deadline: Call or visit our website for more information.
Open house dates: North Campus (9-12), South Campus (PreK-8), Bloomington Campus (K-5). Call or visit our website for addresses, dates, and times.
How is your school distinctive? 2007: Chosen the top school in Minnesota for our Advanced Placement Math and Science Program. Seven students All-State Band and Choir.
Minnetonka Public Schools
Contact info: 952-401-5000; www.minnetonka.k12.mn.us
District slogan: “Inspiring a passion to excel.”
Total enrollment: 7,700 in grades K-12
Average class size: Average of 22 students/class at the elementary level
Unique programs offered: Chinese and Spanish Immersion (English-speaking elementary students can learn a second language as part of regular classroom activities). Minnetonka is the only district in the state to offer parents the choice of a traditional elementary experience taught in English or a Language Immersion option at each neighborhood school.
Tuition: Free to Minnesota residents
Application deadline: There is no set deadline, however, we’d like to receive applications in early February. We continue to accept open-enrollment students on a rolling admission.
How is your school district distinctive? Minnetonka is a national leader in using classroom technology as an accelerator of learning in all grades.
Mounds Park Academy
Contact info: 2051 Larpenteur Ave. E., St. Paul, MN 55109 651-777-2555, www.moundsparkacademy.org
Full-time enrollment: Approximately 700 • Average class size: 17
Tuition: Pre-K – $11,500; Grades K-4 – $15,680; Grades 5-8 – $16,730; Grades 9-12 – $18,500
Application deadline: Priority deadline is February 15, 2008
Open house dates: November 10, 2007 and February 10, 2008
How is your school distinctive? At Mounds Park Academy, we believe that children can discover and realize their vast potential when academic challenges are made relevant and joyful. That they learn best through experiences that awaken the imagination, engage the senses, and help them discover who they really are. We’ve created a rich environment where intellectual energy and creativity are so alive that you can actually feel the difference. Every activity, every assignment, every encounter is a vibrant catalyst for learning and growth.
Saint John’s Preparatory School
Contact info: Box 4000, Collegeville, MN 56321, 320-363-3321 • 1-800-525-7737, www.sjprep.net
Enrollment: 328 • Average class size: 15
Unique programs offered: Day and boarding school – the boarding program offers either five or seven day residency options; Chinese language classes, astronomy, study abroad programs in Austria and Spain; Winter Interim providing travel experiences and/or unique week-long class offerings.
Tuition: Day: $12,024; Residents: $24,485 – $27,510 • Application deadline: Rolling
Open house dates: October 7, 2007; January 27, 2008
How is your school distinctive? Saint John’s Prep is the oldest private high school in Minnesota (founded in 1857). It shares the 2,700-acre campus with Saint John’s University, providing students with opportunities for classes at both Saint John’s Preparatory School and Saint John’s University. The boarding option brings a diverse mix of students together from across the U.S. as well as 12 to 15 international countries.Students can greatly benefit from building world-wide friendships.
Office of Undergraduate Admission
1536 Hewitt Avenue MS-C1930
St. Paul, MN 55104-1284
651-523-2207 • 800-753-9753
Full-time enrollment: 2000 undergraduate; 2500 Law and Graduate
Average class size: 18, Student to faculty ratio 13:1
Unique programs offered: Social justice major, forensic science certificate, international journalism certificate, 3-3 law program
Top five majors: Business management, biology, psychology, English, political science
Tuition (resident and non-resident): $26,060
Application deadline: Early action deadline December 1; rolling admission thereafter
Open house dates/campus tours: Individual visits may be scheduled Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and during the school year on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. We offer visit events throughout the year.
How is your school distinctive? Undergraduate research, goal-oriented and skills-based liberal arts curriculum, study abroad opportunities, internships, diverse and engaging campus community.
Would you like to add anything else? We encourage our students to engage with the greater community in application of theory to practice. Undergraduate research, internships, service learning and study abroad opportunities all help develop these important connections and help students set long-term goals and learn life skills.
North Dakota State University
NDSU Office of Admission
PO Box 5454, Fargo, ND 58105-5454
Average class size: 80 percent of NDSU classes have 40 or fewer students
Top five majors: Architecture, business, child development/elementary education, mechanical engineering, pharmacy, zoology
Undergraduate tuition: $5,013 (North Dakota residents); $5,399 (Minnesota residents)
Application deadline: Rolling, but we suggest students apply in the fall or winter.
Open house dates: Thursday, October 18; Friday, October 19; Saturday, November 17.
How is your school distinctive? Recognized as an engaged university and considered a leader among its peers, North Dakota State University has set numerous enrollment records in recent years. With more than 12,000 students, NDSU encompasses a broad spectrum of curricular offerings, scholarly activity and service. The university strives to be an innovator in information systems, technology transfer, economic development and lifelong learning. NDSU also is home to the state’s first full NCAA Division I athletic program.
Would you like to add anything else? NDSU is located at the crossroads of Interstates 29 and 94, just three and a half hours from the Twin Cities. North Dakota State University offers students the opportunities of a large institution, with the benefits of a friendly community and interactions of a small campus.
St. Cloud State University
720 Fourth Ave. South,
St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498;
320-308-2244 • 1-877-654-7278
SCHOOL MOTTO: “A tradition of excellence and opportunity.”
Full-time enrollment: 16,000
Average class size: 27
Unique programs offered: Meteorology, aviation maintenance management, nuclear medical technology, radiologic technology, computer networking, land surveying/mapping, travel and tourism, Latin American studies, hydrology, insurance, and real estate.
Tuition: One academic year: $5,722 resident; $11,628 non-resident
Application deadline: May 1 (after that date on a space available basis)
Campus tours: Tours are available every weekday, on Saturdays during the academic year, and by appointment. Call 1-877-654-7278 for more information.
How is your school distinctive? SCSU’s global focus includes educational, cultural, and support programs that increase understanding of today’s diverse society. The university holds nearly every national accreditation available for undergraduate programs. Classes are taught by professors rather than graduate assistants, allowing students to work side-by-side with professors on research projects. The university has 16,000 students, but a student/faculty ratio of 17:1 allows for personalized attention. SCSU has 950 students from more than 80 countries attending classes, and an international program with 40 study abroad programs in 20 countries.
Would you like to add anything else? We offer the advantages of a large university—excellent faculty, 175 programs, city life—but in a smaller, more personal setting.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs
2500 Park Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55404
1-866-437-2788 • 612-728-5100
Enrollment: 3,500 • Average class size: 12
Unique programs offered: B.S. Completion in Assets Management Protection, M.A. Organizational Leadership
Top five majors: B.S. business, M.A. counseling and psychology, Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), M.A. education, and Doctor of Education in leadership
Satellite campuses: Apple Valley and Rochester, with classes offered all over Minnesota and Wisconsin as well.
Tuition: Varies by degree level and program.
Application deadline: Rolling admission – students can apply and go back to school at any time.
Campus visits/open house dates: The next open house is October 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. Prospective students may call to set up a campus visit with an admissions representative whenever it’s most convenient. (Call 1-866-437-2788 or 612-728-5100 and ask to speak to someone in admissions.)
How is your school distinctive? We offer flexible, affordable learning opportunities geared specifically towards adult learners in a variety of locations. The Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs offers a liberal arts education in a nontraditional setting for the nontraditional student.
St. Olaf College
1520 St. Olaf Ave., Northfield, MN 55057
School motto: “Ideals to Action.”
Average class size: 22
Unique programs offered: Conversation programs (The Great Conversation, American Conversations, and Asian Conversations), The Center for Integrative Studies (a design-your-own major program), Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum, STOGROW student-run farm, and an extensive study abroad program.
Top five majors: English, biology, mathematics, economics, and psychology
Undergraduate tuition: $30,600 (tuition) $7,900 (room and board)
Application deadline: Early Decision – November 1; Early Action – December 1; Regular – January 15
Campus visits/open house dates: To schedule a visit, call the admissions office at 1-800-800-3025 or submit an online request at www.stolaf.edu/admissions/visiting/. Visit the campus on the following visit days (registration is required): October 8,18,19, 26 or January 21 or February 18, 2008.
How is your school distinctive? St. Olaf is a place where students, faculty, and staff are collaborating to make the college one of the “greenest” in the country. Efforts include our utility-grade wind turbine that supplies up to one-third of the college’s energy needs, an environmental studies major (including a “Campus Ecology” class), a student-run garden that supplies fresh produce to the kitchens, and composting all of our food waste. We’re also building a $33 million Science Complex that—in addition to featuring “green” labs—will be one of the most efficient buildings in the region when completed in the fall of 2008.
Sinte Gleska University
101 Antelope Lake Circle,
Mission, SD, 57555
Unique programs offered: Bachelor’s degrees in American Indian and Native American Studies, art teacher education, substance abuse and addiction counseling; associate’s degree in electrical and electronics equipment installation and repair; construction trade (less than two year) certificates
Tuition fees: 100-400 level courses: $75; 500-600 level courses $95
Registration process: All new students that wish to enroll must submit a copy of their high school diploma/GED or college transcripts when they register. All students must have a copy of a diploma or GED on file in the Registrar’s Office before any financial aid will be awarded/disbursed. It is very important that all students apply for financial aid as soon as possible. All new students that are tribal members that wish to enroll must submit a copy of their tribal enrollment or abstract when they register. All new students will be required to take a Task Test before registering.
How is your school distinctive? The very essence of Sinte Gleska University stems from its location on the Rosebud Reservation. From the beginning the founders of Sinte Gleska University sought to establish a tribal higher education institution based on the philosophy of tribal control and tribal self-determination. An important premise of this philosophy was to effect change for our tribal nation. Today, in the 21st century, Sinte Gleska University remains committed to its earliest purposes: to preserve and teach Lakota culture, history and language, to promote innovative and effective strategies to address the myriad of social and economic concerns confronting the Sicangu Lakota Oyate. In recent years we have witnessed a tremendous growth in terms of facilities, academic program development, and projects that respond to the immediate and long-range needs of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Sinte Gleska University is confident that our institutional mission and vision will continue to lead our work efforts in the future.
University of Minnesota Duluth
25 Solon Campus Center
1117 University Dr., Duluth, MN 55812
School motto: “A Great University on a Great Lake”
Enrollment: Full-time: 9,506; part-time: 1,684
Average class size: 87 percent of courses enroll 40 or fewer students
Unique programs offered: Athletic Training, Recreation—Outdoor Education, Health Care Management, Statistics and Actuarial Science, Cell and Molecular Biology, Interdisciplinary Studies, Jazz Studies
Top five majors: Business, biology, psychology, elementary/middle school education, criminology
Undergraduate tuition: $7,699 resident; $17,326 non-resident
Application deadline: February 1 priority; August 1 final
Campus visits/open house dates: Call 1-800-232-1339 or visit www.d.umn.edu/admissions/visit.html to schedule a campus tour.
How is your school distinctive? In addition to our beautiful location, our campus buildings are interconnected by heated concourses.
University of Minnesota Morris
600 East 4th St., Morris, MN 56267
Average class size: 16
Unique programs offered: Biostatistics, digital media studies, Native American studies
Top five majors: Biology, psychology, English, elementary education, management
Application deadline: December 15, 2007
Campus visits/open house dates: October 18 and 19, 2007; January 25, February 18, March 28, April 19, 2008.
How is your school distinctive? UMM is consistently ranked one of the top public liberal arts colleges in the nation. As one of five campuses of the University of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) offers the best of both in the world of higher education—a small, close-knit campus complemented by the power of a world-renowned research University system.
What to Consider When Applying to a School
Ok, stop procrastinating. If you want to find your dream school, it’s going to take a little work. Start by doing some research—rank schools by academics: courses, degrees, accreditations, and the ability to transfer. Does the school have what you’re looking for?
• What are the teachers and professors like? Do they make class fun and interesting?
• What’s the curriculum like? Will you be challenged academically?
• What level of education is needed to reach your career goals?
• Is the school public or private? Liberal or conservative? Are the students diverse? Do other students seem to share your interests?
• How big is the school? (Do you prefer a large school with more resources and opportunities or a small school with more tailored advising?)
• Do you like the location?
• What’s the retention rate? (How many freshmen come back the following year?)
• Are there counseling and health services available?
• Are there extracurricular activities? Athletic and arts programs? Will you be able to compete in athletics (if this is important to you)?
• Is the school within your budget?
• What financing options are available (work-study, loans, grants, scholarships, etc.)?
• What was the average tuition increase over the past five years?
• What scores are needed to get in? (What’s the admissions process?)
When you decide which schools you want to apply to, go visit them! If possible, a campus visit is the best way to see which school most feels like “home.”
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105
651-962-5000 • 1-800-328-6819
Tagline: “Challenge yourself. Change our world.”
Total enrollment: 10,712 (undergraduate and graduate)
Average class size: 21 (undergraduate) and 19 (graduate)
Unique programs offered: Justice and Peace Studies, American Culture and Difference (minor), variety of pre-professional programs (dental, medical, engineering, law, pharmacy and veterinary)
Top five majors: Business, biology, journalism and mass communications, psychology, education
Undergraduate tuition: $25,808 (undergraduate 07-08); graduate tuition differs by program
Application deadline: Undergraduate: rolling application process; graduate deadlines differ by program.
Campus visits/open house dates: For undergrads, call 651-962-6150; Fall Tommie Days for Seniors, Thursday and Friday, October 18-19, 2007; Fall Junior Visit Day, Saturday, November 17, 2007; Residence Life Event, Thursday, March 6, 2008. Graduate programs schedule events by department.
How is your school distinctive? Because of its tradition of student-centered experience, St. Thomas offers an intimate small-college feeling while providing an education that benefits from a larger, university structure.
Would you like to add anything else? Our study abroad programs are ranked among top 10 universities nationally in doctoral institutions category; more than 800 students participate in 100 programs available in more than 40 countries; just over half of graduating seniors study abroad during their years at St. Thomas.
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
105 Garfield Ave., Eau Claire, WI 54702
School motto: “Excellence. Our measure, our motto, our goal.”
Enrollment: 10,505 (undergraduates 10,031; graduate students 474)
Average class size: 28
Unique programs offered: Physics and engineering dual degree (with the University of Minnesota); majors in chemistry with business emphasis and Latin American studies; and minors in global studies, Japanese and Spanish for health professions.
Top five majors: Biology/pre-med, nursing, elementary education, business administration, music
Tuition: Minnesota residents $6,380; in-state $5,820; out-of-state $13,670
Application deadline: Dec. 1, 2007, for priority consideration; Feb. 1, 2008, for space-available consideration.
Campus visits/open house dates: Fall Saturday visit dates: Sept. 22, Oct. 13, Oct. 20 and Nov. 17 (Visits include student/faculty panels.)
Blugold Spotlight dates: Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26. (A more in-depth look at campus and some academic open houses.)
How is your school distinctive? Our students learn by doing. Each year more than 800 UW-Eau Claire students work with faculty mentors on challenging collaborative research projects. Many go on to present at national conferences. More UW-Eau Claire students study abroad than at any other master’s-level institution in Wisconsin. In the 11 years that UW-Eau Claire has required students to complete 30 hours of community service to graduate, students have provided nearly 702,000 hours of services.
Would you like to add anything else? UW-Eau Claire is one of the few master’s-level public regional universities in the nation with a Rhodes Scholar and a No. 8 ranking for the highest number of students who received Fulbright awards.
University of Wisconsin-Stout
712 South Broadway St.,
Menomonie, WI 54751
Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University
Enrollment: 8,327 (undergraduates 7,492; graduate students 835)
Average class size: 20-25
Tuition: 2006/07 undergraduate Wisconsin resident, full time, $6,963; 2006/07 undergraduate Minnesota resident, full time, $7,036; 2007/08 customized tuition (some distance education programs) undergraduate $260 per credit, graduate $430 per credit.
How is your school distinctive? University of Wisconsin-Stout is a comprehensive, career-focused polytechnic university where students, faculty and staff use applied learning, scientific theory, and research to solve real-world problems. UW-Stout offers many distance education options to its students. From online to interactive television to face-to-face courses at a distance, UW-Stout is committed to reaching out to provide a UW quality education.
Would you like to add anything else? Our baccalaureate distance education programs are designed as degree completion programs for students holding a technical college degree. For undergraduate degrees, we offer 24 majors, 39 minors, and 12 specializations. For graduate degrees, we offer 16 majors and two advanced graduate majors.