Winona State University has been ranked among the “Best in the Midwest” for the 18th consecutive year by The Princeton Review in its 2022 Best Colleges: Region by Region listing.

The publication evaluated 654 colleges nationwide that they consider “academically outstanding and well worth consideration” for its 2022 report. Winona State shares the “Best Midwestern” designation with a total of 158 institutions of higher education.

Other data which factored into The Princeton Review’s evaluation was collected through student surveys, allowing Winona State students to share their academic, social, and campus experience at the university.

Some of the student comments featured on Winona State’s profile on The Princeton Review’s website include:


On Academics:

Students seek out Winona State for a “quality education that is affordable.” In the words of one student: “we may be a small school, but we do great things.”

WSU offers smaller class sizes that “allow professors to get to know their students on a more personal level.” Students also report that “professors work hard to be available” outside of class. “They honestly do care about their students […] and they are always there to connect [students] with what they need” from class material to “finding jobs and internships.”

Students commended WSU for “preparing students for the workplace,” developing career relevant skills “while still encouraging them to be innovative.” Winona State’s aim “to help students gain the necessary skills to help us go out and make an impact upon the world” is on full display in the large nursing and education programs.


On the Student Body:

Winona State students report that “most students are willing to help each other” and are “very friendly and passionate about their education and ambitions.”

Students are encouraged to involved themselves in various club offerings and extra-curricular activities with students, often engaging in learning outside their major areas of study. Students cited computer science students joining the creative writing club, English students running the video game club, and non-music majors participating in the symphonic wind ensemble.

“All seem to be like a family here at Winona and can come together as our own little community,” one student said, speaking to the value of seeking out diverse perspectives and experiences.


On Campus Life:

Students enjoy “WSU’s very nice/fairly new wellness center […] which features an indoor running track, weightlifting equipment, and other exercise equipment.

Winona offers “three disc golf courses in the city, two golf courses,” as well as fishing on the Mississippi River, rock climbing, hiking throughout the local bluffs, and “two lakes with paved paths” for people to run and bike. In the winter, the bluffs offer ice climbing, “cross country ski trails” and “the lake is cleared off to ice skate.”

Volunteering is popular among students. “For such a small student body, compared to many other universities,” one student explains, “Winona State has a large social impact on the surrounding area and many of the clubs and organizations are extremely good at what they do.”

For more information on Winona State’s standing as “Best in the Midwest”, visit the Princeton Review’s website.


About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive, regional public university with over 7,600 students on campuses in Winona and Rochester. Around half of WSU students are first-generation, meaning neither parent has a four-year bachelor’s degree. The oldest member of the Minnesota State system, WSU offers more than 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate and doctorate programs in five colleges: Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing & Health Sciences, and Science & Engineering.

Winona State is ranked as the second public institution in Minnesota by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges,” has been named among the “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review for 17 years in a row, and has been featured as one of America’s 100 Best College Buys for quality and value for 25 consecutive years. The University generates $447.9 million in economic impact for the region per year. The University’s mission is to enhance the intellectual, social, cultural and economic vitality of the people and communities we serve: a community of learners improving our world. For more information, visit