If you live in or near South Dakota, you may be considering attending Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. This is a small, public university with a student population of just over 3,400 and a somewhat higher student-to-faculty ratio of 17 to 1. If you visit and walk around the campus, you see that you’ll be able to get from your dorm to each of your classes with little difficulty.
Overview of Northern State University
Like the university, the town of Aberdeen is small and remote. It won’t take long for you to learn your way around and find your favorite spots and eateries. Unfortunately for those looking for a nightlife in the small town, there aren’t likely to be many offerings.
Looking at the classes available, you’ll find that students like you can earn certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, post baccalaureate certificates, and master’s degrees. You may also find that you are able to receive extra credits for several reasons: credit for life experiences, dual credit while you are still in high school, and taking advanced placement classes and passing the exams.
While NSU is an on-campus school, it also offers distance education for those who aren’t able to come to the campus or for those who have conflicting schedules. Undergraduate and graduate students are able to take entire degree programs online.
|Campus Setting||Town: Remote|
|Student Faculty Ratio||17:1|
Top Rankings For Northern State University
#2 Most Affordable in South Dakota
#36 in Most Affordable Computer Science
#46 in Most Affordable Criminal Justice
Northern State University Reviews
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|High School GPA||Required|
|High School Rank||Required|
|High School Transcripts||Required|
|College Prep Courses||Required|
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||Required|
|Common Application Accepted||No|
Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
Compared to other state universities, Northern State University’s sticker price is about average. This total price combines every cost you can expect to pay for your education: tuition (in- or out-of-state), room and board, books, supplies, and other various costs. The total is right around $23,000.
In a recent academic year, NSU’s average net price (the cost to the families after financial aid had been received and applied) was $15,575. However, because the net price for each family depends on the amount of financial aid they received (which is based on annual income), your total cost could still be more or less than this average. Families earning between $30,001 and $48,000 paid around $12,861. Families earning between $75,001 and $110,000 paid around $18,678.
All beginning students are encouraged to apply for federal financial aid. This can help immensely with the cost of school. About 320 freshmen qualified for financial aid in a recent year. A few less (288) received an average of $5,167 in grants or scholarships and 237 students received institutional grants and scholarships, averaging $3,155.
|Average net price||2018-2019|
|Average Total Aid||$5,167|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||96%|
|Room & Board||$8,925|
- Tuition In-State - $8,750
- Tuition Out-of-State - $11,821
- Books and Supplies - $1,200
- Room & Board - $8,925
- Other - $4,200
If you have a scheduling conflict, check with your advisor or the dean of your school and ask about evening classes and distance (online) learning. At Northern State University, you can register for an online class in place of a face-to-face class if you know a daytime class conflicts with a work schedule or other responsibility you must be available for. However, evening classes are not offered here.
You’re going to make a decision about whether to stay at this university or transfer elsewhere. When you make this decision as a freshman to return the next year, the university will add you to its retention rate. The retention rate measures the percentage of first-year students who return for their second year of school. At NSU, the rate is an excellent 73%. This is above average for the nation. The 4-year graduation rate is 31% and the 6-year graduation rate is 52%.
The five most popular degree programs, as shown by the number of conferred awards are business, management, marketing and related support services; education; biological and biomedical sciences; parks, recreation, leisure and fitness studies; and social sciences.
Student Population Total
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
|All Business Majors||94 Total Graduates / 35%|
|Business Administration and Management, General||39 Graduates|
|Marketing/Marketing Management, General||13 Graduates|
|Banking and Financial Support Services||10 Graduates|
|All Education Majors||59 Total Graduates / 22%|
|Elementary Education and Teaching||33 Graduates|
|Physical Education Teaching and Coaching||8 Graduates|
|Music Teacher Education||7 Graduates|
|Special Education and Teaching, General||4 Graduates|
|All Biological & Biomedical Majors||26 Total Graduates / 10%|
|Biology/Biological Sciences, General||21 Graduates|
|Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies||25 Total Graduates / 9%|
|Health and Physical Education/Fitness, General||16 Graduates|
|Sport and Fitness Administration/Management||9 Graduates|
|All Social Science Majors||18 Total Graduates / 7%|
|Economics, General||1 Graduates|
|Political Science and Government, General||1 Graduates|
|All Other Diplomas||18%|
Outcome & Salary
Once you’ve graduated, you’ll be ready to look for a job and hopefully begin your chosen career. Northeastern State University graduate’s early career salaries are $40,300 and their mid-career salaries increase to $58,200.
Based on this, a graduate’s 10-year salary earnings potential is $551,440 and their 20-year earnings potential is $1,133,440. If you subtract the 4-year cost of education ($62,300) from these 10- and 20-year earning potentials, this gives you a 10-year projected return on investment (ROI) of $489,140 and a 20-year ROI of $1,071,140. That’s pretty good!
High school graduates who don’t go to college don’t do as well in general. Their national average salary is $38,792, making their 10-year projected income $387,920 and their 20-year projected income $775,840.
|College Grads Early Career Salary||$40,300|
|College Grads Average Salary||$55,144|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||$58,200|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$551,440|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$1,133,440|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$62,300|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$489,140|
|20 Year Projected ROI||$1,071,140|
|No College Education Salary Comparison|
|National Average Salary||$38,792|
|10 Year Projected Income||$387,920|
|20 Year Projected Income||$775,840|
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