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Cali Owings, Published January 03 2014

Website ranks MSUM, Concordia as coldest colleges in the nation

MOORHEAD – As the Fargo-Moorhead area braces for another round of bitterly cold temperatures and blizzard conditions this weekend, it’s no surprise that Minnesota State University Moorhead may be one of the coldest colleges in the nation.

MSUM topped a list of North American colleges with the coldest winters ranked by College Prowler, a website for prospective students.

Another Moorhead school, Concordia College, holds the No. 2 spot.

While several other Minnesota colleges made the list, noticeably absent are North Dakota schools, such as North Dakota State University – a mere three miles away – or the University of North Dakota in oft-colder Grand Forks.

Each school has a weather grade based on average high and low temperatures in summer and winter months, average precipitation amounts and student reviews of weather on campus. The top 25 ranking, according to the site, is based on “a factual statistic or student opinions.”

Both NDSU and MSUM have a C-minus weather grade on the site. Concordia’s is a C. Though UND didn’t make the list, its D-plus weather grade is lower than the other three.

In reviews, Moorhead students warn of subzero temperatures exacerbated by strong winds and bitterly cold walks to class, but their North Dakota counterparts are a little more dramatic.

“GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOU! If you are unfamiliar with Midwest winters, BE PREPARED,” wrote a recent NDSU alumnus.

While public schools throughout Minnesota are canceled Monday on governor’s orders due to extreme temperatures, College Prowler users caution that weather cancellations are a rare gift and incoming students are better off investing in proper winter gear.

College Prowler’s Top 10 schools with the coldest winters

10. Macalester College

St. Paul

9. Northwestern College

St. Paul

8. Carleton College

Northfield, Minn.

7. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

6. College of Saint Benedict

St. Joseph, Minn.

5. St. Olaf College

Northfield, Minn.

4. McGill University

Montreal, Quebec

3. University of Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario

2. Concordia College


1. Minnesota State University Moorhead

Readers can reach Forum reporter Cali Owings at (701) 241-5599