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2101 15th Ave NW
Willmar, MN 56201
p. 800-722-1151
w. www.ridgewater.edu/Pages/default.aspx

Ridgewater College

Ridgewater College Rating: 3.2/5 (6 votes)

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Ridgewater College is a comprehensive community and technical college that offers transfer education and technical programs to the residents of Willmar and Hutchinson communities. It is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. The school was established in 1996 with the merger of Willmar Community College and Hutchinson-Willmar Regional Technical College.

Ridgewater College offers more than 100 educational programs and has an enrollment of approximately 5,500 students. The college has two campuses in Willmar and Hutchinson and is one of the largest two-year colleges in Minnesota.

Ridgewater College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


Ridgewater College offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates. The most popular majors offered include Liberal Arts and Sciences, Health and Allied Health fields, Agriculture, Business fields, and Veterinary Technology.

Associate Degrees

Ridgewater College offers Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degree programs for students that plan to transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue a bachelor’s degree after they finish their coursework at Ridgewater. Associate of Arts degrees are available in areas such as Accounting, Art, Business, Economics, Education, English, Human Services, Law Enforcement, Liberal Arts, Mass Communications, and Mathematics. Associate of Science candidates can also opt for numerous areas of specialization including Agricultural Education, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing.

Ridgewater College also offers the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree for students who want to enter a profession directly after completing their coursework. Students opting for the AAS degree can major in areas such as Activity Director, Administrative Assistant, Auto Body Collision Repair, Automotive Service Technology, Carpentry, Computer Aided Drafting and Design, Dairy Management, and Electronics Technology.

Diploma and Certificate Programs

In addition to associate’s degrees, Ridgewater College offers various career-oriented diplomas and certificates for students who want to prepare for specific occupations or upgrade their skills. Diploma programs are 30-72 semester credits in length whereas certificate programs are 9-30 semester credits in length. Certificates and diplomas are offered in Accounting Technician, Activity Director, Agronomy Technology, Computer Programmer, Computer Support Technician, and Healthcare Administrative Assistant.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Ridgewater College has an open-door admissions policy and any student who has graduated from high school or has a GED certificate can apply for admission. Students who do not meet these criteria can still apply for admission and their applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Undergraduate Admissions

All degree and certificate applicants must submit a completed admissions application along with their official high school/college transcripts or GED scores. Applicants who do not have a high school diploma or a GED certificate are required to pass a federally-approved Ability to Benefit test.

Special Requirements

Some programs in which students come in direct contact with patients and residents in healthcare environments require students to submit background check forms to the Department of Human Services. These programs include Activity Director/Assistant, Educational Assistant, Health Information Technician, Human Services transfer program, Massage Therapy, Medical Assistant, and Nursing Assistant.

International Applicants

International applicants seeking admission in Ridgewater College are required to submit the international student application form, transcripts from any previously attended colleges if applicable, and two letters of recommendation from teachers, public officials, or friends. International students also need to provide a certificate of finances to demonstrate availability of funds to finance their educational expenses for one year. They are also required to provide evidence of their proficiency in English by submitting their TOEFL/IELTS scores.

Financial Aid

Ridgewater College participates in a variety of financial aid programs to help students meet their educational expenses. Different types of financial aid available include scholarships, grants, loans and Federal work-study programs.

Scholarships, Grants, and Loans

Merit-based scholarships for eligible students include the Acuren/Rockwood Service Corp Scholarship, Danielson Nursing Scholarship, Claire Houchens Memorial Scholarship, Lake Lillian Elevator Ag Scholarship, and the Larry Wepplo Memorial Scholarship. Need-based grants include the federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant, ALLISS Grants, and the Minnesota State Grant Program. Students may also be eligible for various loans such as federal subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans, federal Perkins loans, the Student Educational Loan Fund (SELF), and the Federal PLUS Loan.

Work Study

Students can apply for work-study programs in which they can seek both on-campus and off-campus work-study positions. Participating students are only allowed to work 20 hours per week while classes are in session.


To apply for financial aid from Ridgewater College, students are required to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the U.S. Department of Education. To be eligible for financial aid, students must be U.S citizens or eligible non-citizens.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4802nd for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Minnesota.


Student Clubs and Organizations

Ridgewater College students are involved in a number of extracurricular activities and there are many resources on campus to ensure a well-rounded development of students. The numerous clubs, which enable students to pursue their interests, include the Auto Body club, Business Professionals of America club, Carpentry club, Computer Art & Publishing club, Multicultural club, Photography club, and the Medical Assistant club.

The Student Senate represents the voice of the students in college governance.

Student Services

Academic support outside the classroom is easily accessible to students who are keen on raising their grades. Professional and peer tutoring services are also available. Various career services, such as mock job interviews and personal assistance, are provided to the students.

Campus Facilities

Ridgewater College does not have dormitory facilities, but affordable apartment living is available both directly adjacent to campus and further away from campus. Ridgewater College Student Services personnel and apartment landlords/managers can provide more information about student housing opportunities.

The on-campus bookstore stocks new and used textbooks, imprinted items, clothing, and school and office supplies.

Student Enrollment Demographics


Ridgewater College athletic teams are known as the Warriors. The teams compete in the Minnesota Community College Conference, Region 13 of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The intercollegiate athletic teams include men’s baseball, basketball, football, and wrestling. The women’s teams include basketball, softball, and volleyball.

Additionally, various intramural sports are offered at the college. These include bowling, tennis, basketball, volleyball, golf, touch football, and softball.


  • Ridgewater College. About Ridgewater. Web. 29 September 2011.
  • Ridgewater College. Athletics. Web. 29 September 2011.
  • Ridgewater College. Ridgewater College Student Handbook. 2010. Print.

Information Summary

Ranks 48th in Minnesota and 2203rd overall
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Contributed Photos

Ridgewater College 1 :: Ridgewater College logo :: Ridgewater College hutch library :: Ridgewater College

Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary N/A N/A
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest N/A N/A

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 28 0.14
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Forcible Rape N/A N/A
Robbery 1 0.01
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 51 0.26
Larceny 416 2.11
Vehicle theft 22 0.11

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Willmar, MN 56201
Surrounding communityRemote town (over 35 mi. away from an urban cluster)
Total Population22,126 (19,161 urban / 2,965 rural)
Households8,619 (2.48 people per house)
Median Household Income$36,961
Families5,530 (3.08 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Associate's — Public Rural-serving Medium
Undergraduate PopulationMedium full-time two-year
EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate two-year
Size & SettingMedium two-year

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringAt least 2, but less than 4 academic yrs
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District2707

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 4432nd for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $4,839 $4,839 $4,839
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $551 $551 $551
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $161 $161 $161
FT Graduate Tuition N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $6,490 $6,490 $6,490
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $15,428 $15,428 $15,428
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $9,610 $9,610 $9,610

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $5,173 $5,375 $5,173 $5,375 $5,173 $5,375
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,100 $900
On-Campus – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $5,660 $5,600
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $3,100 $2,892
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $3,100 $2,892

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A /  N/A
College Prep. CompletionN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NJCAA

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm CapacityN/A
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 1 15 43 5 2 1,093 6 1,182
Accounting 3 1 17 21
Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping 4 4
Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science, General 17 18
Aesthetician/Esthetician and Skin Care Specialist 3 3
Agribusiness/Agricultural Business Operations 44 44
Agriculture, General 4 4
Agronomy and Crop Science 13 13
Animal/Livestock Husbandry and Production
Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician 1 15 17
Automation Engineer Technology/Technician 2 2
Automobile/Automotive Mechanics Technology/Technician 1 4 25 30
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 1 1
Business/Office Automation/Technology/Data Entry 1 20 21
CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician 1 7 8
Carpentry/Carpenter 5 6
Commercial Photography 20 20
Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Machinist Technology/CNC Machinist 6 6
Computer Programming/Programmer, General 2 2
Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology 2 1 13 17
Cosmetology/Cosmetologist, General 1 4 19 24
Criminal Justice/Police Science 3 10 13
Dairy Husbandry and Production 13 13
Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia 7 7
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 1 13 14
Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician 1 1
Electrician 2 16 18
Emergency Medical Technology/Technician (EMT Paramedic) 12 12
Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies
Farm/Farm and Ranch Management 82 82
General Office Occupations and Clerical Services 4 4
Health Aide 2 2
Health Information/Medical Records Technology/Technician 6 6
Industrial Radiologic Technology/Technician 1 26 27
Instrumentation Technology/Technician 1 8 10
Insurance 9 10
International/Global Studies 1 1
Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary 6 6
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 5 10 1 230 252
Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse Training 3 1 1 77 83
Machine Shop Technology/Assistant 1 1
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 1 1
Massage Therapy/Therapeutic Massage 1 1 14 16
Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant and Medical Secretary 1 13 14
Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder 2 2
Medical Office Assistant/Specialist 3 3
Medical/Clinical Assistant 31 32
Nail Technician/Specialist and Manicurist 1 3 4
Network and System Administration/Administrator 6 6
Nursing Assistant/Aide and Patient Care Assistant/Aide 2 1 48 5 57
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching 1 1 2
Prepress/Desktop Publishing and Digital Imaging Design 1 4 5
Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer 5 5
Recording Arts Technology/Technician 7 7
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 1 4 75 81
Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations, General 1 1 16 18
Small Business Administration/Management 1 1
Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling 6 6
Teacher Assistant/Aide 8 8
Telecommunications Technology/Technician 1 1
Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy 3 3
Tool and Die Technology/Technician 1 1
Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician and Veterinary Assistant 1 44 1 46
Web Page, Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design 7 7
Welding Technology/Welder 32 33

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 2016th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $62,513 ($62,526 male / $60,577 female)
Number of FT Faculty 106 (60 male / 46 female)
Number of PT Faculty 219
FT Faculty Ratio 0.5 : 1
Total Benefits $4,788,000

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