Paying For College

DSU Graduation Smiling Graduate

The cost of attending a North Dakota University System college or university depends on many factors.  There are a multitude of financial aid sources to assist students in paying 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.  Here are some resources to consider:


Click here for a PDF overview of all the financial aid programs.



Applying for Financial Aid

Applying for financial aid can pay off in big savings on tuition, fees and other educational costs. Funds can be limited, so early application is encouraged.  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is the starting point for applying for various sources of financial aid.


  • 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 2020 FAFSA Completion Stats Newsletter

FAFSA Completion Rate for 2019/20 ND High School Seniors = 46%

[As of May 5, 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

The schedule of institutional charges outlines what each ND University System campus charges resident and non-resident students for tuition, fees, housing and meal plans.  The chart details rates based on ND resident, non-resident and international student status.  Review the schedule here:  Schedule for Institutional Charges 


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.