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Lake Superior College: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Learn what programs Lake Superior College offers. Research its academics, and read about its admission and financial aid info to make an informed education decision.

About Lake Superior College

Lake Superior College is a public technical and community college in Duluth, Minnesota. The college is located on the southwest tip of Lake Superior. While much of the year the area has temperate weather conditions, students should be aware that the region can be quite cold and snowy in the winter. Duluth gets over 80 inches of snow per year, on average, according to the Western Regional Climate Center.

Lake Superior College is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system. The college was first accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 1997, with an accreditation update completed in 2007. The college does not participate in any type of intercollegiate sports, though it does offer several intramural sports, as well as many academic and social clubs for students.


Lake Superior College offers 37 associate degree programs, 37 certificate programs, and 24 diploma programs. These programs can be found in 7 main categories: trade and industry careers, health careers, transportation careers, public safety and emergency response careers, business careers, computer careers, and liberal arts and sciences.

Some of the most popular programs within the career categories, based on number of students completing the programs, include nursing, carpentry, firefighting, and commercial driving. Students can also find specialized career programs in dialysis patient care, pilot training, sonography, and paralegal studies.

The college offers general associate degrees in fine arts, liberal arts, and science, which prepare students to transfer to 4-year institutions. The school's Minnesota Transfer curriculum is designed to help students apply credits at any of the other MnSCU institutions. Over 25% of Lake Superior College's classes are available online, and several programs can be completed in their entirety without spending time in a traditional classroom.


Lake Superior College follows an open admissions process, meaning that admission to the college is non-competitive. Students need to have graduated from an accredited high school or earned a GED to be admitted to the college, though there may be some programs open to students who have not met those minimum requirements. Conversely, there are more extensive prerequisites for entrance to some career programs.

Applicants are required to complete an application, submit a $20 fee, and forward transcripts showing high school work and any college work. The application can be submitted via mail or online through the college website or the MnSCU website.

While the school doesn't require applicants to take the SAT or ACT, upon enrollment, students are required to take an Accuplacer Placement Test. Students not meeting reading and mathematics proficiency levels on the test will be required to complete developmental coursework, which generally doesn't count toward program completion. Applications are accepted year-round, though students are encouraged to apply as early as possible prior to the start of an academic year.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost to attend Lake Superior College in 2011-2012 was approximately $6,372 per year for in-state students and about $10,619 for out-of-state students. This included an estimated $1,500 for books and supplies. Because the college does not offer housing or meal plans, students will need to budget for those off-campus expenses. For 2011-2012, living expense costs were estimated to be between $6,581 and $12,418, mostly depending on if a student lived with family or independently.

Payment plan options are available from the college, with a small fee added ($21 per semester), allowing students to make monthly payments. The school also offers an online payment system. Financial aid is available in the form of federal grants, state grants, local scholarships, student and parent loans, and work study.

School Type Public, 2-year college*
Degrees Offered Associate degrees, certificates and diplomas**
Academic Calendar Semesters**
School Setting Small city*
Student Body 4,652 students, all undergraduates, in 2011**
Student Housing No on-campus housing available; the college does offer a list of available off-campus housing***
Departments and Programs 23 liberal arts departments and 6 career areas***; more than 80 programs of study**
Student-Faculty Ratio 24 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Certificate: Nursing assistant (319), truck/bus driver (49)
Associate: Liberal arts and sciences (288), registered nursing (127), fire prevention and safety (38)*
Graduation Rates 22% of students who started in 2008 graduated within normal time*
Admission Rate Open admission process**
Entering Class Size 1,219 first-time students in fall 2011***
First-Year Retention Rates 55% of full-time students and 48% of part-time students starting in 2010 returned in fall 2011*
Application Due Date Friday before the start of a new term***
Decision Notification Date Online response 24-48 hours after your application is received; mailed response within 2 weeks***
Tuition (2011-2012) $4,872 for in-state students; $9,119 for out-of-state students*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of students receiving it) In 2010-2011: Grants or scholarships (47%), Pell grants (36%), federal student loans (43%)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 80% of full-time, first-time students in 2011*

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, ***Lake Superior College

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions, Lake Superior College, 2101 Trinity Road, Duluth, MN 55811
  • Phone: (218) 733-7600
  • Website:

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