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Old 04-23-2015, 07:21 AM
 
137 posts, read 160,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owlectron View Post
I did some Googling for Moorhead (North Dakota is out of the question), why do you recommend the area more?
If I ignore the thread title and just look at your list of criteria, then Fargo/Moorhead, Mankato, and St. Cloud are the three that pop into my mind. I mention Fargo because it also lines up pretty well with your list. At a minimum, you should take a closer look. Check out programs and tuition and NDSU and MSU - Moorhead. Look at apartment listings.

In particular, research the bus schedules in all three options. I'm really not sure how extensive the bus service is in Mankato. I think they have enough for your husband to drive to work and you take the bus to the university. Fargo is two to three times bigger than Mankato and I would expect- but don't know for sure- it has better transit. You'll have to look for yourself.

For contrast, Rochester and Sioux Falls both have plenty of jobs. Sioux Falls is cheap and Rochester has a pretty good bus system. Neither one has a university. That's how I get to St. Cloud, Mankato, and Fargo. They're the only three medium sized cities that really hit your criteria. I love Mankato. The only reason that I don't live there is that's it's somewhat limited in long-term career potential. I just don't like St. Cloud. I'm not going to try to explain why because I can't. I've heard good things about Fargo. Everybody I know who has moved there doesn't want to leave. The only reason I don't live there is because I found a job in Rochester first. All the options are similar enough that in your shoes, I'd favor the one with the university that best suits your needs.
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:06 AM
 
744 posts, read 725,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r_shackleford View Post
I love Mankato. The only reason that I don't live there is that's it's somewhat limited in long-term career potential. I just don't like St. Cloud. I'm not going to try to explain why because I can't.
Thanks for writing this because I wanted to say the same thing: I also don't like St. Cloud but can't put my finger on why. I'd suggest to the OP to just visit both cities. To me, St. Cloud just has a vibe that I don't like. I know that's really vague but it's interesting that I and someone else have the same "I just can't place it but I don't like it" feeling about the place. Obviously the feeling is not universal- people live there!
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Old 04-23-2015, 03:02 PM
 
18 posts, read 19,924 times
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Visit both cities.

University wise they both have ups and downs. Mankato has had parties where theyve cited over 120 underage drinkers in one go where as St Cloud is half that number.

If you dont mind the upbeat life as such since its probably not going to bother you if its not your scene, Id say Mankato. To me I feel St. Cloud is a little city-esque where Mankato is a little more scenic and quiet when it come to your daily life.

Really do have to visit them both though to make that decision.
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Old 04-24-2015, 01:12 PM
 
Location: New Hope, MN
2,030 posts, read 4,187,237 times
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Lived in St Cloud for 5 and a half years and Annandale for 16 years (town of about 3000 people like 40 minutes from St Cloud)

I don't like St Cloud at all. Nothing personal, I don't like it. I admit it's pretty much an irrational hate so take my "opinion" with a huge grain of salt, but moving out of St Cloud to the Twin Cities was the best thing I ever did, definitely worth the much more expensive rent in my opinion (I pay a decent amount more for a 2 bedroom apartment in the Twin Cities then my mom and dad pay for a 3 bedroom in St Cloud) My mom and dad still love there and a lot of family so I am there once every month or every other month visiting them.

On the other hand I love Mankato, but I have never lived there but have some relatives there.

If you're looking to spend 500-600, decent 1 bedrooms can easily be had in both Mankato and St Cloud for that amount. Don't know what the other person saying 900-1100 is talking about, St Cloud isn't Maple Grove. My mom and dad have lived in 3 seperate apartments in St Cloud within the past 7 years and each one was between $790-830 for a 3 bedroom. Yes there are plenty of very, very nice apartments in St Cloud for 900-1100, much nicer then the 500-600 ones, but keep in mind the op said they're in their 20s and going to college, and don't have a car. Those $900+ apartments aren't targeting college kids in their 20s.\

Some good places to look for St Cloud apartments (the one my mom and dad currently live in is one managed by JJS
http://www.jjsproperty.com/pages/apa...hp?c=1&cs=tru3
http://www.forrent.com/find/MN/metro...ud/Saint+Cloud
http://inhproperties.com/apartmentlo...t-cloud-metro/
http://www.mnapartmentpeople.com/

I remember first moving to St Cloud in 2008 and INH managing many, many more apartments then they used to. They're selection on their site is much smaller then I remember it being.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thedosius View Post
Thanks for writing this because I wanted to say the same thing: I also don't like St. Cloud but can't put my finger on why. I'd suggest to the OP to just visit both cities. To me, St. Cloud just has a vibe that I don't like. I know that's really vague but it's interesting that I and someone else have the same "I just can't place it but I don't like it" feeling about the place. Obviously the feeling is not universal- people live there!
Can't believe others believe with me! Thought I was crazy lol

Last edited by Radical_Car; 04-24-2015 at 01:35 PM..
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:17 PM
 
6 posts, read 13,077 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radical_Car View Post
Lived in St Cloud for 5 and a half years and Annandale for 16 years (town of about 3000 people like 40 minutes from St Cloud)

I don't like St Cloud at all. Nothing personal, I don't like it. I admit it's pretty much an irrational hate so take my "opinion" with a huge grain of salt, but moving out of St Cloud to the Twin Cities was the best thing I ever did, definitely worth the much more expensive rent in my opinion (I pay a decent amount more for a 2 bedroom apartment in the Twin Cities then my mom and dad pay for a 3 bedroom in St Cloud) My mom and dad still love there and a lot of family so I am there once every month or every other month visiting them.

On the other hand I love Mankato, but I have never lived there but have some relatives there.

If you're looking to spend 500-600, decent 1 bedrooms can easily be had in both Mankato and St Cloud for that amount. Don't know what the other person saying 900-1100 is talking about, St Cloud isn't Maple Grove. My mom and dad have lived in 3 seperate apartments in St Cloud within the past 7 years and each one was between $790-830 for a 3 bedroom. Yes there are plenty of very, very nice apartments in St Cloud for 900-1100, much nicer then the 500-600 ones, but keep in mind the op said they're in their 20s and going to college, and don't have a car. Those $900+ apartments aren't targeting college kids in their 20s.\

Some good places to look for St Cloud apartments (the one my mom and dad currently live in is one managed by JJS
JJS Property Management - Apartments for Rent - St. Cloud
You Found 31 Apartments for Rent Near Saint Cloud, MN - ForRent.com
St. Cloud Metro | INH Properties
Home | The Minnesota Apartment People

I remember first moving to St Cloud in 2008 and INH managing many, many more apartments then they used to. They're selection on their site is much smaller then I remember it being.



Can't believe others believe with me! Thought I was crazy lol
Thank you. I find it interesting that several people say they just do not like St. Cloud.

I appreciate the information and links (checking them out now), and I'm glad to know that our rent range is reasonable!
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:20 PM
 
Location: New Hope, MN
2,030 posts, read 4,187,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owlectron View Post
Thank you. I find it interesting that several people say they just do not like St. Cloud.

I appreciate the information and links (checking them out now), and I'm glad to know that our rent range is reasonable!
Well take our opinions with a grain of salt, Saint Cloud is a city that is continuing to grow and expant a lot, growing a lot more then Mankato is.
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:51 PM
 
266 posts, read 549,795 times
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Both Mankato and St. Cloud are very similar in a lot of respects; so much so that I'd recommend your primary focus should be the program of study which you are looking into and which college will be best for you to earn a degree from. My second focus would be which college is best for you. Third would be career options for your husband, and fourth would be be whether St. Cloud or Mankato is better for your family.

I am a St. Cloud State University graduate and very seriously considered Minnesota State University-Mankato. With my major, SCSU and MSU were equally as good, in fact tops in the state for my field. I had friends graduate from both, have professional contacts graduating from both. In my professional life, I work with both Universities and really like them both. I have less business dealings with the private schools in St. Cloud and Mankato: St. John's Univ-College of St. Benedict, Gustavus-Adolphus University, Bethany Lutheran University etc.

SCSU is right on the Mississippi River and just 4-blocks south of Downtown St. Cloud while still on its original campus site. MSU-Mankato is on the southern residential edge of Mankato as the new campus was built in the 60's and 70's gradually moving from the original downtown riverfront campus to the now hilltop campus those two-decades as the old downtown campus doesn't exist now.

MSU seems a little newer, but not by much, as all the building were built right around the same time and are connected requiring fewer trips outside in the winter. Most of SCSU's buildings were constructed in the late 60's and early 70's as well. MSU campus seems a little more cohesive with the buildings all having the same style whereas SCSU is kind of a mix of different styles.

SCSU is highly regarded for its college of business, college of journalism-both print and broadcast, education. MSU-Mankato is highly regarded for its college of nursing, law enforcement, education, construction management.

Complete your research on both state universities along with the private colleges in the area as well in making the best decision for your family along with accreditation of each school for your specific major. Visit each of the campuses, visit both Mankato and St. Cloud to see which one is best for your family.

Jobs for your husband will be similar in both cities. One possibilty for you to check out is that St. Cloud's Metro Bus does offer weekday bus service to/ from St. Cloud to the Northstar Commuter Rail Big Lake train station, enabling him to access the Metro Transit Northstar Commuter rail from Big Lake to Downtown Minneapolis. That would be a lot of time on the train and bus 5-days a week for work, but at least an option to explore.

All previous posts, I think have been accurate and very helpful as well. Best of Luck because I too once had to make a choice between St. Cloud and Mankato. The decision I made worked out well for me, and I do believe that if I made the opposite choice, my academic/career path would've been the same.
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Old 04-25-2015, 09:18 PM
 
150 posts, read 264,420 times
Reputation: 309
Radical, i'm more talking about what kind of apartment complex a person would want to be in. Yes, you can get a 1 bedroom apt for cheap, but i will almost guarantee you won't like the neighbors.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:32 PM
 
8 posts, read 25,279 times
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Housing in Mankato can be a bit of a challenge, as there are always people looking for apartments it seems. Having said that, there are all sorts of new housing complexes going up around MSU campus, and as a result you may find that you're hitting it at the perfect time. My daughter rented a 2-BR apartment about 4 blocks from campus for $750/mo. That rent is now going up to $850 (she's moving as she just graduated), but still decent size apartment for the rent, and within walking distance of campus. It was an older building, but I would say overall well kept up, and off-street parking.
In terms of public transportation, the university and city went in together just last year and purchased about a dozen buses, which cross the entire town, it seems, so you should have VERY decent means of getting around even if you don't have your own vehicle or only one between you and your husband.

I would agree with what Shakleford said above about Mankato in that while it's "big enough" to have all the restaurants, music, etc, it's still small-town friendly for the most part. What separated it out for us was the fact that there are 4 smaller towns (St. Peter, Waseca, St. James, Lake Crystal) of between 5,000 - 12,000 people, and other smaller communities, that draw people for entertainment, shopping, secondary education, etc, that adds to the community. In other words, the infrastructure of restaurants, shopping, medical, etc, are all built for a population much larger than that actually living in Mankato, but you still have the friendly feel.

Lastly, Mankato is the fastest-growing community in Minnesota. Walmart is putting the finishing touches on their distribution center that will supply Walmart stores in 3 states, and that means a lot of jobs. The medical community here is top-notch with Mayo Clinic supplying great primary and secondary care, with an "in" to Mayo Clinic in Rochester should you ever need it.

I can't say anything bad about St. Cloud, but I've never actually lived there so I will let others comment on that. My daughter went to St. Benedicts for a couple of years just down the road, and she seemed to like going in to St. Cloud, but between the 2 she says she likes Mankato better.

Bottom line, it doesn't seem you can go wrong. Both have easy access to Minneapolis, but are big enough that you'll get 99% of what you need in daily life right where you're living. Sounds like your choice should come down to your education...perhaps a campus visit would help there.

Good luck!
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