You’re the expert when it comes to helping students prepare for college and career, so think of us as a resource to empower you. On this section, you can access printed and online resources for providing information to your students about starting and successfully completing a postsecondary education.

Some of these resources can be directly delivered to your school, so you can hand them to your students as a material they can take home to review later and use when they are ready to start their college search journey. MyHigherEd is a resource for your students as well. Please refer them to MyHigherEd's College Search Tool, the High School Students section, and our publications detailed below. 

Photo of female college student writing

For a customized experience and personalized information, we recommend students register to MyHigherEd. One of the many perks is saving favorite institutions to their profile and getting personalized insights on financial aid and the careers of their choice.

Prior to starting their college search, your students should determine whether their academic performance and career goals are pointing them more toward a two-year college or a four-year university, and consider other factors such as:

Geographic location

Location, location, location. It’s often associated with buying and selling real estate, but it is just as important when choosing a college. 

Minnesota residents can benefit from in-state tuition or the state’s tuition reciprocity program with neighboring states. Some students choose to attend college near their hometown, allowing them to save money by living at home, as well as cut costs on travel, since car rides are usually less expensive than airfare.

You may want to ask your students to consider whether they prefer living in a rural area, city, or some place in between. Small college towns typically have an intimate sense of community, whereas schools in large cities can offer more access to internships with large companies and nonprofits.

School size

Minnesota colleges and universities come in all sizes, from small liberal arts colleges with fewer than 1,000 students to large universities that annually enroll more than 30,000 students.

Large universities can offer a wide variety of majors and courses, housing options and activities. Additionally, large schools typically maintain well-stocked libraries, state-of-the-art research facilities, and nationally recognized sports teams. Notably, introductory classes can be large, which some students find exciting while others find overwhelming. 

On the other hand, small schools may not offer as many programs as large universities, but they often provide specialized degrees and lots of hands-on learning opportunities. Small colleges can also mean smaller class sizes, allowing students to easily access individualized support from faculty and staff. 

Overall cost

Costs vary from school to school, and there are five main categories of expenses students will need to keep in mind: tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses, and transportation. 

Recommend that students look beyond published tuition prices, since what is listed may not be the actual amount they pay after financial aid and institutional grants. Encourage them to consider colleges that not only offer affordable tuition but also substantial financial aid packages, which may include grants, scholarships, loans and work-study opportunities.

Online programs

More and more institutions are offering programs using the Internet. Online opportunities may provide students with the option of learning in flexible, convenient and personalized formats. The quality of online education can be excellent, providing students with experiences, exercises and assessments that rival the traditional classroom. 

However, it’s important for them to be aware that the Internet also offers new ways for educational scams and diploma mills to reach out to people who are looking for genuine education. It is not always easy to identify phony operations from a casual look.

Other Considerations

Finally, choosing college that is a right fit involves many considerations. For many academic quality, location, cost and size are all significant factors. However, there are also other factors students should be aware of and consider, including: 

  • Campus environment and activities
  • Available health and mental health services
  • Accommodations for special needs
  • Diversity of student population
  • Faculty experience and expertise
  • Length of time and location of classes
  • Graduation statistics for that institution
  • Academic reputation and credibility 
  • Tutoring and academic support services 
  • Transportation availability and cost 
  • Campus safety
You can help your students choose their own paths to college success. We are here to help.

2021 publications

Our publications are free and will be delivered directly to your school.

We Are Here To Help

One of the main duties of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) is to provide information to students and their families to help them prepare, pay for, and select their postsecondary education options. Besides providing information on our web pages, OHE publishes each year a set of publications organized by theme as printed resources for teachers, students, and families.

Printed Resources

Minnesota schools and organizations can bulk order the following publications at no cost. Some restrictions may apply and items are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have problems logging in, please e-mail us at materials.ohe@state.mn.us.

Publications Available

  • Choosing a College: Minnesota College GuideProfiles more than 75 two- and four-year degree-granting Minnesota colleges and universities and features a program grid to help students identify programs that interest them.
  • FAFSA and the MN Dream ActGuide introduces financial aid, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the Minnesota Dream Act, and an overview of potential postsecondary-related tax breaks.
  • Grants & Scholarships: This guide introduces grants and scholarships and lists several options that may be available to Minnesota students.
  • Student Loans and Consumer ProtectionBrochure describes the student loan programs, including SELF Loan,  a non-need-based Minnesota loan program that helps students and parents who need assistance in paying for education beyond high school.

Also, the U.S. Department of Education provides a wide range of publications and resources for you or the students you serve.

Life After Now - Podcast

Life After Now is a conversational podcast that focuses on everything high school students need to know to prepare for college and how their families and trusted advisors can help them along the way. 

Our programming features a range of guests including high school and college students, as well as adults and faculty members who regularly interact with those preparing to pursue postsecondary education. With topics covering everything from financial aid basics and community engagement to personal success stories and perspectives from first-generation college students, Life After Now offers a mix of educational and inspirational content. 

Life after now podcast
Listen, subscribe, and share!

Other online resources

The following external resources may help you answer questions from your students about accessing financial aid, understand the financial aid process, and offer them other resources to create their postsecondary path. 

Tools to engage with students and families
Financial aid information
529 College Savings Plans
National scholarships
Military family resources
College admissions test
Minnesota colleges and universities
  • Minnesota Private College Council | www.mnprivatecolleges.org
    Provides information on 17 of Minnesota's private four-year, liberal arts colleges.
  • Minnesota State Colleges and Universities www.minnstate.edu
    Provides information on public state colleges and universities in Minnesota.
  • University of Minnesota www.umn.edu
    Provides information on the University's Twin Cities, Duluth, Crookston, Morris and Rochester campuses.
  • Minnesota Transfer www.mntransfer.org
    Provides information on how students can transfer credits between Minnesota institutions.
  • Students United www.studentsunited.org/scholarships/
    Scholarships for students attending one of MinnState's seven state universities.
National college searches
  • Accreditation | www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/
  • Campus Crime Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Education www.ope.ed.gov/security/
  • College Answer www.collegeanswer.com
    Provides information on preparing, selecting, applying and financing college as well as college and scholarship searches and a variety of cost calculators.
  • The College Board www.collegeboard.org
    Provides useful information on financial aid available for students and parents as well as a college search.
  • College Gold www.collegegold.com
    Provides information on FastWeb's College Gold book and access to interactive tools, calculators, and resources to help you plan and pay for college.
  • College Navigator www.collegenavigator.gov
    Provides information on colleges, tuition and enrollment demographics through a searchable database.
  • College View www.collegeview.com
    Provides a college search of schools in the United States and Canada.
  • Peterson's / Thomson Learning www.petersons.com
    Provides higher education information for parents and students of all ages.
  • National College Fairs www.nacacnet.org
Career information
Community service
Students of Color: Scholarships for First Generation or Underrepresented Minority Students

There is more to explore

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