Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

Tuition for Ridgewater College is $5,161 for the 2017/2018 academic year. This is 46% more expensive than the national average public two year college tuition of $3,532. The cost is 10% cheaper than the average Minnesota tuition of $5,762 for 2 year colleges. Tuition ranks 30th in Minnesota amongst 2 year colleges for affordability and is the 5th most expensive 2 year college in the state. Price does not vary by residence.

The school charges an additional fees of $598 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $5,759.

Housing Costs

Ridgewater College doesn't offer on campus housing. If you're not living with family you will need to budget for food and housing in the Willmar area just like you would for a college with dorms. The estimated rent and meal expense per academic year for off campus housing is $7,720.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $1,200.

Other Living Expenses

Off-campus students should budget for $4,500 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The annual tuition and living expense budget to go to Ridgewater College was $19,179 for the 2017/2018 academic year. The cost is the same for all students regardless of Minnesota residence status as there is no in-state discount. Students residing at home with parents providing food and housing can expect a total cost of $11,509.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2017-2018 and 2016-2017 IPEDS survey response for Ridgewater College and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for Ridgewater College
Estimated Budgets
Minnesota Resident Total Budget (Living Off Campus)$19,179
   In-State Tuition$5,161
   Other Fees$598
   Off-Campus Housing Budget$7,720
   Off-Campus Other Budget$4,500
   Books and Supplies$1,200
Minnesota Resident Total Budget (Living with Parents)$11,509
   In-State Tuition$5,161
   Other Fees$598
   Family Provided Room and Board$0
   With-Family Other Living Budget$4,550
   Books and Supplies$1,200


What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $19,179 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported Ridgewater College net price for in-state students is $9,287* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

59% of Ridgewater College students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $4,252. 50 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $3,876. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend Ridgewater College, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for Ridgewater College
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$9,287*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid59%
Average Total Grant Aid$4,252
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants50%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$3,876

Average Net Price for In-State Students by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$8,157
$30,001 to $48,000$8,795
$48,001 to $75,000$10,842
$75,001 to $110,000$13,033

Average Financial Aid Mix - $19,179 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $19,179. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 29% - $4,252

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, Ridgewater College or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 32% - $4,723

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 39% -  $5,704

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.

*Reported Average Annual Net Price for students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Community Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. Ridgewater College
Minnesota West Community and Technical College0.3% less expensive
Alexandria Technical & Community College6.7% less expensive
St Cloud Technical and Community College7.6% less expensive
Anoka Technical College2.9% less expensive
Hennepin Technical College8.9% less expensive

Cost of a Degree

Being a school offering two year programs, prospective students should consider the multi year outlay when budgeting the cost for two years at Ridgewater College.

Estimated 2 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 2 year associate degree at Ridgewater College is $38,358 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 2 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $8,587 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 2 would estimate the cost of a degree at $17,174**

**Based on a 2 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Estimated Cost Per Semester

Most colleges don't charge students on an annual basis but instead require payment semester by semester. If you ever need to take an additional semester of classes to complete you degree you shouldn't have to pay for a full academic year. These our estimated costs for a semester at Ridgewater College.

Minnesota Resident Tuition Per Semester$2,580
Minnesota Resident Total Cost Per Semester$9,590

Cost Per Credit Hour and Cost for a Class

Some schools offer the ability to take single classes by paying on a per credit hour basis. The reported price per credit hour and estimated cost for one class at Ridgewater College are as follows. Per credit costs are for reference only as many schools will not allow students to pay by credit hour.

Cost per credit hour and per class at Ridgewater College
Price per credit hour$181
Cost for one class (3 credit hours)$543
Cost for one class (4 credit hours)$724


Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 58% of Ridgewater College students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $4,723.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for Ridgewater College? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $17,174, 100% of the estimated average net price for a two year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $21,309.00. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at Ridgewater College. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 59% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $8,587. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our Ridgewater College student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

Ridgewater College Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$177.57
Amount Borrowed$17,174.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$4,135.00
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$21,309.00

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend Ridgewater College? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending Ridgewater College, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $21,309.00 would be needed to afford a $177.57 monthly payment in the example $17,174.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to Ridgewater College in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $4,839 to $5,161. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 1.3%. Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 2 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current 2 year cost of $38,358.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for Ridgewater College.

Annual2 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2024$25,090$50,179
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2029$32,022$64,043
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2034 $40,869$81,737
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2037 $47,310$94,621

Tuition History

What was tuition at Ridgewater College five, ten, fifteen or twenty years ago? Hop into our time machine and take a look. Pay attention to how aggressive the school has been with price increases in the past as it provides indication as to how the school may raise tuition in the next few years. Historical tuition and fees for all available data years back to 1987 follows.

YearTuitionAnnual Increase

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at Ridgewater College to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies Associate's Degree 232 14% cheaper
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse Associate's Degree 102 5% cheaper
Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician and Veterinary Assistant Associate's Degree 38 6% cheaper
Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations, General Associate's Degree 20 4% costlier
Instrumentation Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 13 13% costlier
Early Childhood Education and Teaching Associate's Degree 10 1% costlier
Accounting Associate's Degree 10 5% cheaper
Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant and Medical Secretary Associate's Degree 8 0% costlier
Medical/Clinical Assistant Associate's Degree 8 6% cheaper
Criminal Justice/Police Science Associate's Degree 7 1% cheaper
Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science, General Associate's Degree 7 2% costlier
Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer Associate's Degree 7 1% cheaper
Commercial Photography Associate's Degree 6 5% costlier
Biology/Biological Sciences, General Associate's Degree 6 3% costlier
Health Information/Medical Records Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 6 0% costlier
Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology Associate's Degree 5 0% cheaper
Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary Associate's Degree 5 2% costlier
Prepress/Desktop Publishing and Digital Imaging Design Associate's Degree 5 2% costlier
Teacher Assistant/Aide Associate's Degree 5 2% costlier
Recording Arts Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 5 5% cheaper
Agribusiness/Agricultural Business Operations Associate's Degree 4 8% costlier
Emergency Medical Technology/Technician (EMT Paramedic) Associate's Degree 4 6% costlier
Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy Associate's Degree 4 12% cheaper
CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 4 0% cheaper
Automation Engineer Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 3 6% costlier
Agricultural Production Operations, General Associate's Degree 3 6% costlier
Computer Programming/Programmer, General Associate's Degree 3 3% costlier
Dairy Husbandry and Production Associate's Degree 2 21% cheaper
Electrician Associate's Degree 2 8% costlier
Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Machinist Technology/CNC Machinist Associate's Degree 2 8% cheaper
Cosmetology/Cosmetologist, General Associate's Degree 2 5% costlier
Welding Technology/Welder Associate's Degree 1 5% costlier
Network and System Administration/Administrator Associate's Degree 1 1% cheaper
Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia Associate's Degree 1 4% cheaper
Office Management and Supervision Associate's Degree 1 3% costlier
Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 1 2% cheaper
Web Page, Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design Associate's Degree 1 5% cheaper
Agronomy and Crop Science Associate's Degree 1 9% costlier
Chemistry, General Associate's Degree 1 2% cheaper
Carpentry/Carpenter Associate's Degree 1 2% costlier
Marketing/Marketing Management, General Associate's Degree 1 1% cheaper


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for Ridgewater College or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford Ridgewater College in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a Ridgewater College student loan.

Prepayment Option

About Ridgewater College

Ridgewater College is a two year community college located in Willmar, Minnesota.  Full time enrollment is 2,031 and part time is 1,549.  Ridgewater College has an open admission policy meaning that any prospective student who has completed high school or attained a GED certificate may enroll in classes.

Only undergraduate degrees are offered at this school.

Ridgewater College
2101 15th Ave NW
Willmar, Minnesota

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

Ridgewater College is a public not for profit institution. Public schools often represent the best value for your education dollar, especially when students qualify for in-state tuition.

Ridgewater College cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=175236 IPEDS survey data.