Paying For College

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  • The NDUS Financial Aid page and applications are undergoing maintenance and updates. 
  • Starting July 25 through August 4, the applications on this page will not be available.
  • Beginning August 5, all applications will be processed through our new financial aid system, ND SAMS.  Links to applications will be provided on this page at that time. 
  • If you have questions, reach out to our office at or 701-328-2906.  


Financial aid exists to help students pay for tuition, fees, books/supplies, housing and food, transportation and other miscellaneous educational and living expenses while enrolled in college.  Sources such as federal grants and loans, state scholarships and grants, institutional and private scholarships, and work programs, all exist to help students attain an affordable degree.  If you have questions on any of the state grant, scholarship, reciprocity or student exchange programs, please contact the NDUS Financial Aid Office at



Click HERE for an overview of all the financial aid programs.


DROP BOX ACCESS:  NDUS Financial Aid Secure File Drop Box


State-Funded Grant and Scholarship Programs


IMPORTANT:  Awards under the state grant and other state scholarship programs may not exceed cost of attendance (COA).  Institutions will determine if COA is exceeded when other scholarships and grants are taken into consideration.  If total COA is exceeded, state aid must be reduced or cancelled for that semester. 



ND-MN Reciprocity and Other Student Exchange Programs


Tuition Waivers

NDUS colleges and universities may offer partial to full waivers of tuition. Some are mandated by state law, while others are designated by the State Board of Higher Education, or offered at the institution’s discretion.  Contact the NDUS college or university to determine eligibility.


    • Waiver Categories:
      • Law Enforcement Officers – The application is located on the ND Attorney General’s website
      • National Guard members
      • Surviving dependents of POW/MIA Veterans
      • Surviving spouse/children of ND firefighters, emergency medical service personnel, and peace officers who died as a result of injuries received in the line of duty
      • Senior citizens
      • NDUS employees and spouses/dependents of system employees
      • Cultural diversity
      • International student
      • Graduate assistant
      • Other purposes consistent with each institution’s mission.


Federal Financial Aid, Student Exchange Programs (MSEP, WUE, WRGP), Veteran’s Tuition Assistance and ND College SAVE


      • Apply early and apply annually.  On, or shortly after, October 1 of each year, complete the FAFSA application.  This application not only provides access to federal grants, loans and work study, but is also used for the ND State Grant and other scholarship award processes.
      • Respond immediately.  If your college needs additional information to complete the FAFSA application process, reply immediately so that you have the greatest opportunity to be awarded various grants that may rely on the FAFSA.  Aid sources can be limited so apply early and respond immediately to additional requests for documentation to verify your FAFSA data, if needed.
      • Research financial aid sources with your institution.  Contact your college financial aid office to find out more about all of your financial aid opportunities, including private and institutional scholarships.




ND FAFSA Completion Project

The North Dakota University System (NDUS) is participating in a national effort to increase the number of FAFSA completions of high school seniors.  The FAFSA Completion Project provides participating high school districts with individual student’s FAFSA completion information.  Counselors, or others who work directly with seniors, are able to log into E-Transcript to view FAFSA completion information.  This is a tool to help counselors determine which individual students have submitted a FAFSA and whether the FAFSA has any issues requiring follow-up with the student, for example, missing signatures or being selected for verification. It provides the opportunity for targeted outreach to seniors as they navigate the financial aid process.

ND FAFSA Completion Project Information


May 2024 FAFSA Completion Newsletter


2024 ND High School Seniors FAFSA Completion Rate = 34% (as of 5/1/2024)
The 2024-25 FAFSA opened December 31, 2023. 


2023 ND High School Seniors FAFSA Completion Rate = 46% (as of 9/30/2023)

2022 ND High School Seniors FAFSA Completion Rate = 47% (as of 9/30/2022)

2021 ND High School Seniors FAFSA Completion Rate = 47% (as of 9/30/2021)

2020 ND High School Seniors FAFSA Completion Rate = 48% (as of 9/30/2020)


To participate in this project, a district will need to complete the Data Use Agreement with the NDUS.  For more information or to request a Data Use Agreement, contact the NDUS at or call 701-328-2964.


NDUS College & University Estimated Tuition, Fees, Room/Board Costs

    • Minnesota residents who are enrolling at a North Dakota public institution should complete the ND/MN Reciprocity Application prior to classes beginning.  Students who are continually enrolled from one semester to another only need to fill out the form once.


    • North Dakota public institutions also participate in student exchange programs through the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP), as well as the Western Undergraduate (WUE) and Graduate (WRGP) Exchange Programs through WICHE.  Contact your college to inquire on tuition savings through these programs.


    • If you have recently established ND residency, or if you are not sure if you are a ND resident for tuition purposes, please fill out the NDUS Application for Resident Student Status to see if you qualify as a ND resident student.  The form should be sent to the NDUS college or university that you are enrolling at.