Northern State University

Aberdeen, SD

Northern State University, located in Aberdeen, South Dakota, is a prestigious higher education institution renowned for its dedication to academic excellence and personalized learning experiences. Boasting a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1901, NSU offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs across diverse disciplines. With a commitment to student success, the university prides itself on providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment, fostering the growth and development of each individual.

Academic programs at Northern State University cater to a range of interests and career goals. The university's colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Behavioral Sciences, and Fine Arts offer an array of majors and minors, allowing students to pursue their passions and expand their knowledge in fields such as business, biology, education, music, and many more. NSU's faculty members, distinguished in their fields, prioritize hands-on learning experiences, preparing students to tackle real-world challenges in their respective professions.

Aside from its commitment to academic excellence, Northern State University also offers a vibrant campus life. From various student organizations and clubs to intramural sports and cultural events, students have ample opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities that complement their academic journey. The campus itself provides state-of-the-art facilities, including modern classrooms, well-equipped labs, and a recently renovated student center, creating a conducive environment for learning, collaboration, and personal growth. With a close-knit community, supportive faculty and staff, and a wealth of resources, Northern State University offers students a nurturing and enriching college experience.

Located in Aberdeen, SD, Northern State University is a public comprehensive higher education institution. Its campus spans 72 acres. This institution follows a semester-based calendar. It has an acceptance rate of 78%. The freshman retention rate at Northern State University is 73.6% and the six-year graduation rate is 59%.

To find out more about what Northern State University has to offer to its students, read on for the latest data reported by this school.

Quick Facts


Total Number of Undergraduate Students


Acceptance Rate


Student to Faculty Ratio


Graduation Rate


You need to find out as much as you can about the entrance requirements of the school in order to maximize your chances of being accepted. Here are the most vital information you have to know about admission policy and requirements at Northern State University.

According to the newest information reported, this institution uses standardized test scores for admission and it admitted 1,033 in 2023. Northern State University has an official test-optional admission policy but takes into consideration standardized test scores if the applicant chooses to submit them. Looking at entrance difficulty level for all or most incoming freshmen, based on data self-reported by the institution this school is relatively easy to get into.

Test Scores

3% of first-time, first-year degree-seeking students submitted their SAT scores for admission, and 82% submitted ACT scores, out of the overall number of those who submitted test scores. 12.5% of the first-year students submitted SAT composite scores between between 1,200 and 1,399, 37.5% between 1,000 and 1,199 and 50% of the students between 800 and 999. The percent of freshmen who submitted ACT Composite scores in the range between 30-36 was 2.85, 26.83 between 24-29, 46.75 in the range between 18-23, and 23.58 between 12-17.

The latest reported average GPA of the enrolled students was 3.4. That means that you need a GPA that's above average in order to get into Northern State University.

Average Test Scores Graph

Retention Rate

The percentage of first-year students at a college or university who stay on for their second year is known as the freshman retention rate. That information can tell you if the majority of new students liked their first year enough to come back.

The freshman retention rate for Northern State University was 73.6% in 2023, reflecting the superb quality of the educational programs at this institution.

Another important metric to consider is the graduation rate. This rate indicates how many students finish their degrees within a certain timeframe. The six-year completion rate at this institution is 59%.

Student Body

Deciding if a school is the best fit for you is not an easy task. Knowing more about the student population can help you get a better idea of the school's culture and life.

Main Student Body

In 2023, the school enrolled 3,344 students.

The school reported an out-of-state student body portion of 29.3% for that year. There was a total of 2,851 students pursuing undergraduate degrees, including 31 international students. 67 students were accepted as transfer students.

Student Population Gender Ratio

The student body is coeducational, with 483 male and 633 female full-time students in 2023, which is indicative of the importance this institution places on gender equality. This school had 30 full-time graduate male and 29 full-time graduate female students at this school.

Student Population Diversity

The importance of student diversity cannnot be denied, when it comes to the overall feeling of inclusion and beloning among the students of any school. Diversity promotes critical thinking, challenges preconceived notions, and encourages intellectual growth, so it helps students develop empathy and a broader understanding of the world. Learn more about all the ethnic communities you might encounter at this institution.

This school had 34 Asian students and 47 Afro-American students in 2023. 63 undergrads at this school identified as Hispanic/Latino and 32 as multirace. The school also had 1 student who declared as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and 35 American Indian or Alaska Native students. There were also 6 students whose ethnicity is unknown.


Before you submit an application to any college or university, you should take into account the financial component. Here are some important information on Northern State University costs that most students encounter at this school.

Tuition and Fees

Wondering about tuition at Northern State University? Here is what you need to know.

According to the reports from public county and municipal institutions, tuition fees were $7,616 for area residents. For out-of-state students, tuition fees amounted to $10,718. If you are an international student at Northern State University, you should know that the 2023 tuition was $10,718, as well. Full-time students in 2023 were obliged to pay additional fees in the amount of $1,229.

Tuition Fees Total
Out-of-State $10,718 $1,229 $11,947
In-State $7,616 $1,229 $8,845

Books and Supplies

Another important expense to take into consideration is the approximate cost of books and supplies for a college or university. The approximate price of books and supplies for a full-time student of this school is $1,200.


Before you apply to a college or university, you should, among other things, think about the price of a dorm room and cafeteria meals. What is the typical amount colleges and universities charge for room and board?

In 2023, the price of room and board at Northern State University was $9,150 per academic year. If you only wanted a dorm room, you had to pay $4,900 for the 2023 academic year.

Tuition $ 7,616
Room and Board $ 9,150
Book and Supplies $ 1,200
Total Expense $ 17,966

Financial Aid

Grants, loans, scholarships, work-study programs: these are all types of financial help available to students. If you are interested in finding out more about need-based and non-need-based aid at Northern State University, here are some recent data you should take into consideration.

The most recent figures show that financial help was given to 193 freshmen. Students of this school received an average of $12,136 in financial help.


Need-based financial aid is exactly what it sounds like — it’s awarded based on the determined financial need.

There were 573 students who attained need-based financial aid of any kind. The overall number of students (including freshmen) who were determined to have financial need was found to be 635. The amount of federal need-based scholarships/grants awarded to the students at this institution reached $2,523,543, and state $150,024. The students of Northern State University received the -institutional need-based aid in the amount of $742,132, and external in the amount of $458,174.


Average Amount of Aid Received

Non-Need Based

Any financial aid given to a student who does not meet the requirements for need-based aid is considered non-need-based aid. Most students get non-need-based financial aid as Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Graduate PLUS Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, and the TEACH Grant.

Institutional non-need-based scholarships or grants were given to 55 students overall (including freshmen) at Northern State University in 2023. 28 full-time freshmen were awarded institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid. Federal non-need-based scholarships and grants totaled $2,523,543 for students at this institution, while state aid came to $67,607. The total amount of non-need-based institutional scholarships/grants was $676,557. This includes endowment, alumni, other institutional awards, and also external funds awarded by the institution, but doesn't include athletic aid and tuition waivers. The amount the students of this school received from external sources (e.g. Kiwanis, National Merit) was $298,621 USD.




Student to Faculty Ratio

The student-to-faculty ratio can tell you a lot about the teaching resources a school provides for its students.

In 2023, this ratio at Northern State University was 16:1. That means that there were 16 times more students than teachers at this school. According to the most recent information, there are 140 teachers at this school. This number included 69 male and 71 female faculty members. The fact that female faculty members outnumber the male ones at this school is telling of the importance gender equality has at Northern State University.

Student Population Diversity Graph


Campus Life

It is not all about learning and grades at Northern State University: campus life is a crucial component of your educational experience. Find out some information about campus life at Northern State University.

Student Organizations

Being a member of a student organization will make you connect better with your fellow students and enjoy your college years more.

If you are interested in music, you can join the Northern State University band or chorus. There is a drama club you can join if acting is something that interests you. Interested in media and communication? Northern State University publishes its own newspaper.

Student Services

Northern State University offers a number of services necessary for a pleasant and secure life on campus.

24/7 emergency phone and alarm devices are available. The dormitory entrances are electronically operated. This school has a health clinic with personal/psychological counseling. In addition, other services like Legal Services and Veteran's Affairs are available to the students of Northern State University.

All in all, campus life at Northern State University is rich and vibrant and provides all you need for a comfortable stay.

Career Services

Having career services at a college or university can mean a great deal for your career planning, so find out what you can expect at Northern State University.

Career Counselling

At Northern State University, there is both group career counseling for all students and individual career counseling for all students. There are a library, a job bank, and job fairs. Job interviews are also available to students through the career center. There is campus employer recruitment for all the students. Individual job placement is available to all students at this school.


Northern State University is located in Aberdeen, SD.

This school has an official test-optional admission policy but makes use of SAT, SAT Subject Tests, ACT, or other standardized test scores in admission decisions for the candidates who choose to submit them.

The most recent data indicate that the acceptance rate for Northern State University is 78%.

The most recent data indicate that the freshman retention rate for Northern State University is 73.6%.

Contact Information

Northern State University,

1200 S Jay Street

Aberdeen, SD


605 626-3011

School Website

Data Source: IPEDS and Peterson's Databases © 2023 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved. Portions of this content were co-written with OpenAI's GPT-3.5 model.

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