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Ridgewater College

Students at Ridgewater
Learn a trade and get a great job in two years or less through Ridgewater College. The college's 946 percent placement rate is evidence that employers love the graduates from the college's more than 40 degree programs. Or complete an Associate in Arts degree and transfer to a bachelor's degree program in virtually any major.

School Highlights

Ridgewater College has two campuses, Hutchison and Willmar, offering more than 40 degree programs

  • Technical programs – Learn a trade and get a great job in two years or less. The college’s high career placement rate is evidence that employers love the graduates from the college’s more than 40 degree programs.
  • First two of four – Complete an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree at Ridgewater and you’ll be well on your way to a bachelor’s degree in virtually any major. 
  • Online learning – Ridgewater now offers three completely online associate degrees: liberal arts, computer-aided drafting and design, and law enforcement-peace officer or corrections, along with dozens of stand-alone courses on the way to your degree.
  • Extraordinary value – Paying for college isn’t easy, and you deserve a lot for your dollar. At Ridgewater, your investment in education is taken seriously, and student needs take top priority.
  • Great people – Students and alumni note the caring and helpful nature of staff and faculty as one of Ridgewater’s most impressive traits.
  • Outstanding location – Enjoy the recreation and pace of life in central Minnesota while keeping a short commute to the metro area.
  • Your success matters – Many outstanding support services are available at Ridgewater, including on-campus academic support centers, online tutoring, TRIO Student Support Services and regular student success workshops.

Student Enrollment and Demographics

  • Total number of students served: 4,979
  • Full-time students: 56%
  • Part-time students: 43%
  • Percent female: 54%
  • Percent male: 45%
  • Percent students of color: 13%

Largest Programs

Liberal arts and sciences, agriculture, nursing/allied health, administrative support, veterinary technology

Unique Programs

Activity Director, advanced collision services, agronomy technology, dairy management, calibration engineering technology, GPS/GIS for agriculture, nondestructive testing technology


Ridgewater College has no on-campus student housing, but affordable rental units are available within walking distance of each campus. Check local listings, and the college website for housing options.


• Bus
Bus transportation is available on both campuses of Ridgewater College.


• Off Street
Student parking is available in lots adjacent to both Ridgewater Campuses.


Admission requirements

Ridgewater College has an open admissions policy. This means:

  • You can enroll if you have a high school diploma or a GED. Even without those, you may be admitted if you demonstrate potential for success in college.
  • You don’t have to take a standardized test to be admitted, and your high school grades and class rank are not considered.
  • After you are admitted, you will take a placement test. That will tell you if you need to take remedial or developmental courses, which will not count toward a degree, before you can take college-level courses. Many students need just one developmental course, often in math or English. If you have taken these subjects every year in high school, you are more likely to do well on the placement test.

You can complete your studies in less time and for less total cost if you come well prepared for college-level work, especially by taking math, English, science and social studies classes every year in high school. Also, some programs of study require more math and science, so your high school preparation makes a difference.

Apply early to increases your chances of being admitted to the specific program you want when you enter college. Some programs are more popular than others and fill early.

Apply online

Using the e-application, you may apply to Ridgewater College and other schools in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.


Creating Opportunities. Changing Lives

Whether your ultimate goal is a bachelor's degree or career training, Ridgewater is your place. Enroll at Ridgewater to get started on a four-year degree in virtually any major.  You'll get a quality education with the personal attention from instructors who love to teach, and you will save thousands of dollars versus going directly to a university as a freshman. Hands-on training for a specific career sound more appealing to you? With dozens of options in the area of career and technical training, you can build the knowledge and skills you need in two years or less.  Either way, Ridgewater will create opportunities for you, and change your life!

Program Title Award
Accountant AAS
Accountant DIP
Accounting Clerk DIP
Accounting Technician DIP
Activity Aid CERT
Activity Assistant DIP
Activity Director AAS
Administrative Assistant AAS
Administrative Assistant DIP
Advanced Activity Director CERT
Advanced Carpentry AAS
Advanced Carpentry DIP
Advanced Esthetics AAS
Advanced Esthetics CERT
Advanced Farm Business Management ATC
Advanced Massage Therapy CERT
Advanced Skin Care Certificate CERT
Advanced Ultrasonic Testing Technology DIP
Agri Business AAS
Agri Business DIP
Agricultural Commodities Marketing CERT
Agricultural Science and Technology AS
Agriculture Power and Equipment Technician DIP
Agronomy Technology DIP
Audio Video Systems Technology AAS
Audio Video Systems Technology DIP
Auto Body Collision Technology AAS
Auto Body Collision Technology DIP
Auto Body Specialty Technician CERT
Automation and Robotic Systems Technology AAS
Automation and Robotic Systems Technology DIP
Automotive Service Technology AAS
Automotive Service Technology DIP
Basic Activity Director CERT
Biological Sciences AS
Business Transfer Pathway AS
CAD Technician CERT
CNC Precision Manufacturing Technician AAS
CNC Precision Manufacturing Technician DIP
Calibration Engineering Technology AAS
Calibration Engineering Technology DIP
Calibration Engineering Technology CERT
Carpentry DIP
Chemical Dependency Counselor CERT
Chemistry AS
Communication Studies CERT
Communication Studies Transfer Pathway AA
Computer Aided Drafting and Design AAS
Computer Aided Drafting and Design DIP
Computer Numerical Control Technician CERT
Computer Programmer AAS
Computer Programmer DIP
Computer Support Technician AAS
Computer Support Technician DIP
Cosmetology AAS
Cosmetology DIP
Cyber Security AAS
Dairy Management AAS
Dairy Management DIP
Early Childhood Education AS
Early Childhood Education CERT
Early Childhood Special Education CERT
Education Paraprofessional, Title 1 AAS
Educational Assistant AAS
Educational Assistant DIP
Electrician AAS
Electrician DIP
Electronics Technician AAS
Electronics Technician DIP
Emergency Medical Services CERT
English Transfer Pathway AA
Entrepreneurship CERT
Entry Level Welder CERT
Estheology CERT
Farm Business Management DIP
Farm Operation and Management AAS
Farm Operation and Management DIP
GPS/GIS Technology for Agriculture AAS
GPS/GIS Technology for Agriculture DIP
Global Studies CERT
Health Information Technician AAS
Health Sciences Broad Field AS
Health Support Specialist CERT
Healthcare Administrative Assistant AAS
Healthcare Administrative Assistant DIP
Helpdesk CERT
Human Resource Development CERT
Industrial Welding AAS
Industrial Welding DIP
Java Computer Programmer CERT
Law Enforcement AAS
Law Enforcement Transfer Pathway AS
Legal Assistant AAS
Legal Assistant DIP
Legal Assistant CERT
Liberal Arts and Sciences AA
Linux Administrator CERT
Machining Technician DIP
Manufacturing Production Technologies CERT
Marketing and Design AAS
Marketing and Sales Management AAS
Marketing and Sales Management DIP
Massage Therapy AAS
Massage Therapy DIP
Medical Assistant AAS
Medical Assistant DIP
Medical Coding Specialist DIP
Medical Receptionist CERT
Medical Transcriptionist CERT
Microsoft Office Specialist CERT
Mold Making Technician AAS
Mold Making Technician DIP
Multimedia Design Technology AAS
Multimedia Design Technology DIP
Nail Care Technology CERT
Network Systems Administration AAS
Network Systems Administration DIP
Nondestructive Testing Technology AAS
Nondestructive Testing Technology DIP
Nursing (MANE) AS
Nursing Assistant CERT
Occupational Skills DIP
Occupational Skills CERT
Office Assistant DIP
Paramedic AAS
Paramedic DIP
Phlebotomist CERT
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching CERT
Poultry Production CERT
Practical Nursing DIP
Precision Farming CERT
Process Controls AAS
Process Controls Technician DIP
Process Controls Technology CERT
Professional Photography Technology AAS
Professional Photography Technology DIP
Psychology Transfer Pathway AA
Receptionist CERT
Sales Representative DIP
Sales and Management CERT
Sales and Management Associate DIP
Small Business Management DIP
Supervisory Leadership CERT
Supervisory Management AAS
Universal Care Assistant CERT
Veterinary Technology AAS
Web Developer AAS
Web Programming DIP
Welding DIP
Windows Administrator CERT

The following degrees are available from Ridgewater College

  • Advanced Technical Certificate
  • Associate of Applied Science
  • Associate of Arts
  • Associate of Science
  • Certificate
  • Diploma

Tuition & finance

Tuition and Fees $5,418.00
FAFSA Code:005252

How to apply for financial aid
Your key to receiving financial aid to help pay your college costs is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA form. Many students don’t realize they could qualify for grant money and federally guaranteed loans, so be sure to find out by filling out the form.

Complete the FAFSA after Jan. 1 of your senior year. Find the form online at or pick up the form at your school counselor’s office. For help with completing the form, go to your high school counselor or the financial aid office at the college or university you plan to attend.

The FAFSA determines your eligibility for one or more of the following types of financial aid:

Scholarships are a great source of aid, and you do not need to pay them back. Many scholarships are available for students with special interests and backgrounds. Talk to your guidance counselor about what kind of scholarships you can get.

You may be eligible to receive federal and state grants of $300 to more than $7,000 per year. You do not need to pay these back.

Work study
Work study programs give you the opportunity to work on campus or with approved off-campus employers to earn money to pay for college. Work study jobs are often very flexible, allowing you to work around your classes and personal schedules.

Student loans
You also may be eligible for student loans, which must be paid back. Student loans usually have a lower interest rate than other kinds of loans.

Other ways to save

Reduced out-of-state tuition
Students from other states don’t always have to pay higher tuition if they want to attend the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. If you live in Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota or Manitoba, Canada, you’re eligible for tuition rates similar to those paid by Minnesota residents. And 26 of the state colleges and universities allow students from other states to pay the lower in-state rates, so ask a college or university about its tuition charges.

Tax credits
Some college students also benefit from two federal tax credit programs, the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning tax credit. These may apply to you or your family, depending on your financial circumstances.

Veterans are welcomed at the state colleges and universities. If you’ve served in the armed forces, you might be eligible for help with paying for college. Stop by one of the on-campus veterans centers for information, support and assistance. Also, check with the campus financial aid office about benefits from the new Minnesota GI Bill. Or go to

Campus Life

College is more than textbooks, classes, labs and studying. Plenty of clubs and program-related organizations, sports and recreational activities help you meet new friends, develop leadership and team skills, stay fit and share the fun of working together on projects.

  • Student Government
  • Co-Curricular Clubs
  • Choir
  • Theatre
  • Phi Theta Kappa honor society
  • Multi-Cultural Club
  • More!
  • Academic Support Center
  • Bookstore
  • Career Counseling
  • Career Services
  • Disability Services
  • Fitness Center
  • Food Service/Dining Services
  • Library
  • Multicultural Affairs
  • Ridgewater College Foundation
  • Student Employment Services
  • Student Services
  • Student Services
  • Student Services
  • Student Success Office
  • TRIO Student Support Services
  • Technology Center
  • Tutoring/Writing Services
  • Veterans Resource Center
  • Study Abroad
Career and professional
  • Audio Production
  • Auto Body Club
  • Auto Tech Club
  • Business Professionals of America
  • Carpentry Club
  • Computer Systems Technology Club
  • Cosmetology Club
  • Delta Epsilon Chi
  • Electrician Club
  • Electronics Club
  • Health Information Management Club
  • Helping Hands Club
  • Intl Assn of Administrative Professional
  • Medical Assistant Club
  • Multimedia Club
  • Nondestructive Testing Club
  • Nursing
  • Nursing Club
  • Occupational Skills
  • Photography Club
  • Veterinary Technology Association
  • Welding
Ethnicity, language and culture
  • Multicultural Club
Farming and agricultural
  • Postsecondary Ag Student Organization
Gender and sexuality
  • Pride Respect Individuality Sup Movement
Honorary societies
  • Phi Theta Kappa
Law enforcement and safety
  • Criminal Justice Association
Military and veterans
  • Veteran's Center
Politics and society
  • Beliefs, Ideas & Opinions (BIO) Club
  • Republican Club
Recreational and club sports
  • Intramural Sports
Religious and spiritual
  • Christian Students in Action
Special interest
  • Anime Club
  • Chess Club
Student government
  • Student Government
Theater, dance, music
  • Choir
  • Theatre
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Wrestling
  • Basketball
  • Softball
  • Volleyball
Ridgewater College
Ridgewater College
2101 15th Ave NW
Willmar, MN 56201
Toll-Free: (800) 722-1151
Local: (320) 222-5200
TTY: (800) 627-3529