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Mankato on List of Most Affordable College Towns

Only Minnesota city to make national ranking.

Jessica Bies, Mankato Free Press, 8-7-2014

Mankato, Minn. -- Mankato is included on a new list of the nation’s most-affordable college towns, selected for low cost-of-living and reasonable rental rates.

The list, put together by Great Value Colleges, ranked 50 college towns according to cost-of-living index scores. The index, published by the Council of Community and Economic Research, considers factors such as the cost of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation and health care. Mankato is the only Minnesotan college town to make the list.

Home to Minnesota State University, Mankato and Bethany Lutheran College, it is ranked No. 36. The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Mankato is $717, according to the index. The city’s cost-of-living index score is 93. A score of 100 is average.

Dan Benson, director of media relations at Minnesota State Mankato, said in a world where the cost of college is always a concern, it’s nice to be listed among one of the most cost-effective cities to pursue a post-secondary education.

Minnesota State Mankato itself has also been praised for being affordable, which helps makes the area attractive to college students.

“We’re always happy to hear that we’re ranked among affordable colleges, but we’re most proud of what we’re able to offer students academically,” Benson said. “Our tag line is ‘Big ideas. Real-world thinking’ and whether it’s undergraduate or graduate students, we just think it’s an outstanding place for students to continue their education.”

To view Great Value College’s complete list, click here.

The entire version of this story can be read in a print copy of the Mankato Free Press. Call the Mankato Free Press at 625-4451 or (800) 657-4662 to find out how to purchase a print copy. The Free Press also prints select stories online at

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