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Ridgewater College: Narrative Description


PO Box 1097
Willmar, MN 56201-1097
Tel: (320)235-5114
Free: 800-722-1151
Admissions: (320)231-2907
Fax: (320)231-6602
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site:


State-supported, 2-year, coed. Part of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. Awards certificates, diplomas, transfer associate, and terminal associate degrees. Founded 1961. Setting: 83-acre small town campus. Total enrollment: 3,578. 26 student government officers. Students come from 12 states and territories, 5 other countries, 2% from out-of-state, 0.3% Native American, 2% Hispanic, 1% black, 1% Asian American or Pacific Islander, 28% 25 or older. Calendar: semesters. Academic remediation for entering students, ESL program, services for LD students, advanced placement, accelerated degree program, self-designed majors, distance learning, summer session for credit, part-time degree program, adult/continuing education programs, co-op programs and internships. Off campus study at other colleges in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.

Entrance Requirements:

Open admission except for nursing, chemical dependency practitioner, radiological technology, veterinary technology programs. Options: early admission, deferred admission. Required: high school transcript. Required for some: recommendations, interview. Entrance: noncompetitive. Preference given to state residents.

Costs Per Year:

Application fee: $20. State resident tuition: $3320 full-time. Nonresident tuition: $6640 full-time. Mandatory fees: $46 full-time. Full-time tuition and fees vary according to program and reciprocity agreements.

Collegiate Environment:

Orientation program. Drama-theater group, choral group, student-run newspaper. Social organizations: 9 open to all. Most popular organizations: Student Senate, Ski Club, Nontraditional Students Club, BACCHUS, Creative Writers, Unlimited. Major annual events: Homecoming, Snow Days, graduation. Student services: personal-psychological counseling, women's center. Campus security: late night transport-escort service. College housing not available. 30,000 books, 401 serials, an OPAC, and a Web page. Operations spending 2003-04: $150,000. 215 computers available on campus for general student use. A campuswide network can be accessed from off-campus. Staffed computer lab on campus.

Community Environment:

Greater Willmar, with a population of approximately 23,000, is the largest city within a 60-mile radius. It is an important shipping point for grain and livestock. The division headquarters of the Burlington Northern Railway and a large Hormel turkey-processing plant are located here. Other products manufactured here are plastics, furniture, sheet metal, concrete, clothing, machinery, cookies, and dairy products. The many lakes in the area provide good fishing and recreation. The campus is located in prime hunting country. The community offers a semirural setting with many cultural opportunities and, at the same time, is two hours from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The city of Hutchinson is a population center of approximately 13,000 and is located 60 miles west of the Twin Cities on Highway 7. Hutchinson has the second oldest park system in the United States and takes pride in its adaptation to the local environment, such as the Crow River, which flows through the community. In addition, there are a dozen lakes within 15 minutes which are ideal for boating and fishing. Major employers in Hutchinson include 3M Company, Hutchinson Technology, Inc., Hutchinson Manufacturing, and Mid-America Dairymen, Inc. A small town atmosphere with a high-tech future.

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