Winona State University

Winona State University Student Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

Located in Winona, Minnesota, Winona State University is a public school that offers undergraduate, graduate, professional and certificate programs. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition and admission information.

Should You Attend Winona State University?

Winona State University (WSU) offers associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees and postsecondary certificates at the main campus in Winona, MN. Courses are also offered at two additional campuses - the West Campus in Winona and the WSU - Rochester Campus, roughly a 45-minute drive away in Rochester, MN. Winona is located roughly 2.5 hours from Minneapolis and St. Paul. The university consists of five colleges and offers 65 undergraduate programs, 12 graduate programs and one doctoral program. Read on to find out more.


  • Acceptance rate is 5.2 percentage points above the national average
  • Regionally ranked
  • The total costs, including tuition, fees and living expenses, were $8,911 less for out-of-state students and $1,460 less for in-state students than the national average


  • Higher student-to-faculty ratio than the national average
  • Graduation rate is 11 percentage points lower than the national average
  • Student debt following graduation is $4,615 higher than the national average

Winona State University at a Glance

Established in 1858, Winona State University is the oldest school in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. WSU enrolled more than 8,900 students in 2011. Areas of study include, but are by no means limited to, economics, accounting, elementary education, public administration and mass communications. You may be able to earn college credits for any dual credit, credit for life experience or AP credits you've earned.

In-state students paid total costs of $16,400 for tuition, fees, room and board in 2012-2013, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); this is $1,460 less than the national average of $17,860. According to the same source, out-state-students paid $22,000, or $8,911 less than the national average of $30,911. However, U.S. News and World Report noted that the average student debt for the graduating class of 2011 was $31,275, whereas the national average for the same year was $26,660.

The school's acceptance rate was 69% in 2011, according to U.S. News and World Report. It's slightly easier to get into this school than average; the national average acceptance rate among all colleges and universities is 63.8%.

U.S. News and World Report also ranks the university at #58 among regional universities in the Midwest in 2013. The student population of Winona State University is not particularly ethnically diverse, with 89% of the campus identifying as white, per the College Board. U.S. News and World Report estimated in 2011 that the student-to-faculty ratio was 21:1, higher than the national average of 16:1. Also, the 4-year graduation rate for students beginning in 2005 was 29%, according to NCES, while the national average was 40%.

Getting In and Financial Aid at Winona State University

If you're considering applying, Winona State University offers tours so that you can visit the campus in order to learn more about the school. According to the university, four out of five students who visit the campus eventually apply. The admissions process begins when you create an online student profile and complete your application. You submit your official transcripts and SAT and/or ACT scores. An application fee of $20 must be paid with each completed application. After submitting your application and the appropriate documents, you receive a university ID number. You then check your application status on WSU's website. Paper applications are also accepted.

The financial aid department at WSU will provide you with basic financial aid information, a financial aid estimator and several how-to guides. Through the financial aid guides, students can learn how to apply for and receive student loans, federal grants, work-study opportunities and scholarships. Students must submit the FAFSA form before seeking financial assistance.

Each year, qualified students receive scholarships worth upwards of half a million dollars from Winona State University. Most scholarships are based on academic merit and vary in amounts up to $4,000. All students are eligible to receive scholarships, and the university does not require extra paperwork if you're a scholarship-seeking student; some scholarships are invitation-only. Scholarships offered by the university include the Outstanding Academic Honor Award, the WSU Foundation Board Scholarship and the Presidential Honor Scholarship. Scholarship-seeking students should apply by December 15 for maximum award consideration.

Application and Tuition Information
Regular Application Deadline (2013-2014) Rolling (March 1 for priority consideration)***
Financial Aid Application Deadline (2013-2014) None; however, applicants who file after May 15 are evaluated as late filers*
Notification of Acceptance (2013-2014) 2-3 weeks after completed application received*
Application Fee (2013-2014) $20*
Acceptance Rate (2011-2012) 69%****
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $8,710 (in-state), $14,310 (out-of-state)**
Average Financial Aid Package (2010-2011) $7,260****
Percent of Students with Need Met (2010-2011) 9%****
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2010-2011) $31,275****
Student Loan Default Rate (fiscal 2009) 3.6%**

Life at Winona State University

With many students choosing to live on campus, WSU has a vibrant and thriving student life. There are over 200 student organizations for you to consider joining, covering everything from science to drama to music to journalism. Winona State University offers numerous cultural events, leadership programs and recreational athletics as well as intramural sports. WSU is an NCAA Division II school.

The Winona State University Career Services Office provides you with numerous professional services including on-campus interviews, interviewing advice, etiquette information, resume guidance and job search assistance. As a student, you can take advantage of career fairs, volunteer fairs, career workshops, business presentations and on-campus employer events. Career counselors will work with you to help you define your professional strengths and weaknesses, career goals, objectives and interests. An online job database allows you to search for jobs and internships, upload resumes and cover letters and apply to multiple job listings. Student services include on-campus day care.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Distant town**
Student Population (2011) 8,439 undergraduates, 521 graduate students**
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 40% male, 60% female**
% of Full-Time Students (2011) 91%**
% of In-state Students (2011) 62%**
Retention Rate (2010-2011) 79% (full-time), 67% (part-time)**
Campus Housing Available Yes**
% of Students Living on Campus 92% (first-year), 31% (all undergraduates)***
Number of Libraries One*
Extracurricular Activities More than 200 organizations and clubs*

Article Sources: *Winona State University, **NCES, ***College Board, ****U.S. News and World Report.

School Contact Info

  • Address: Winona State University, Admissions, P.O. Box 5838, 175 West Mark Street, Winona, MN, 55987
  • Phone: (507) 457-5100