Local Atmosphere

Mankato, MN
Tuition (in-state)
$15,010 ($7,531)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: It is very easy for people to get out and interact with others in many different areas.

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: I really enjoy going to 7 mile creek, and the shopping mall can be a time consumer but there isn't many good shops in there

3 College Student

Local Atmosphere: I'm a city girl who grew up most of my life 20 minutes away from the Twin Cities. Mankato is about two hours from the cities and doesn't have any towns relatively close that have much to offer for entertainment. Mankato is about it for southern Minnesota.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: The town/community has everything I need

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Such an awesome school, with awesome professors.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Britt Johnson
View all previous student authors

There are five colleges within 15 miles of the city, so Mankato is definitely a college-run town. Students from different colleges intermingle at local bars, parties, and other events. However, bars are only for the 21-and-over crowd, so it’s a little harder to meet students from other colleges if you’re underage. The locals are very nice and used to the college students being around, and the scenery in Mankato is brilliant, as well. MSU sits on top of a hill, so the residence communities have a good view of the woods that are prevalent in the area.

The school is very close to a shopping district; it takes only a few minutes to get there. A number of cheap college-friendly restaurants have opened close to campus in a little strip mall on Stadium Drive. There are also many activities close to campus that students can take advantage of, including Carmike Cinemas; Mount Kato for a little skiing or snowboarding; Wow! Zone Family Entertainment Center for laser tag, bowling, or mini golf; and so much more. Overall, MSU is working to give back to the community and make a better name for itself with the residents.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Mankato's previous name was Mahkato, which means "greenish blue earth."
  2. Minnesota has more than 90,000 miles of shoreline.
  3. Mankato was designated the 14th Most Livable Micropolitan City in the Nation in 2006 by Bizjournals.
  4. In the "Little House on the Prairie" series, Mankato was the "big town" where characters went shopping.
  5. Minnesota State University is home to the Minnesota Vikings summer training camp.
Local Slang
  • "You Betcha": "Okay!"
  • Duck, Duck, Grey Duck: Duck, Duck, Goose
  • Hot dish: Casserole
  • Pop: soda
Points of Interest
  • Happy Chef
  • Land of Memories Park
  • Minneopa State Park
  • Sibley Park
Shopping Centers
River Hills Mall
Movie Theaters
Carmike Stadium 6 - Mankato
220 Stadium Rd.
(570) 625-1763
Movie Theaters
Cinemark Movies 8
1850 Adams St.
(800) 326-3264
Movie Theaters
Maverick 4 Theatre
12 Civic Center Pl.
(507) 344-4444
Major Sports Teams
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: NBA
  • Minnesota Twins: MLB
  • Minnesota Vikings: NFL
  • Minnesota Wild: NHL
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
Minneapolis: Minn.: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 39 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 41 responses

  • 0% Painfully remote.
  • 10% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 10% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 76% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 5% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 40 responses

  • 18% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 35% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 48% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 40 responses

  • 28% No way.
  • 68% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 5% Totally.


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