Northern State University

Motto: Unleash your potential

Join the pack

Type: Public university

Established: 1901; 121 years ago

Endowment:$29 million

President: Neal H. Schnoor

Academic staff:120

Students: 3,622

Location: Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States

Northern State University (NSU) is a public university in Aberdeen, South Dakota. NSU is governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 53 minors, six associate degrees, 16 pre-professional programs, 23 certificates, and 10 graduate degrees.


Aberdeen, South Dakota, had rapid population growth during the late 19th century, leading the citizens of northern South Dakota to push for a government-funded institute of higher learning.

In the 1885 legislative session, a bill was passed creating what was then known as the University of Central Dakota in the small town of Ordway, South Dakota.

Funds were approved for the school in the 1887 legislative session,[2] but Governor Louis K. Church vetoed the bill for financial reasons and statewide lack of support; it took a few more decades for the school to become a reality.

In 1900 Aberdeen had the fastest-growing population in northern South Dakota and advocates for schools began to organize in greater numbers.

On January 7, 1899, state legislator James Marshall Lawson, often considered the father of the Northern Normal and Industrial School, proposed a bill to create the school in Aberdeen; the bill went through many revisions. On March 2, 1899, the new school existed on paper, but both a site and funding were still needed.

The Northern State University Admission Requirements

Northern State University Tuition Fees

Northern State University Courses Offered

Northern State University Application Deadline

Northern State University Student Portal Login

Northern State University Contact Details

How Hard Is It To Get Into NSU?

With an acceptance rate of 79%, NSU may not be as selective as some schools, but you should not take admittance for granted. Be sure to submit the best application you can.
Approximately 39% of accepted students are men and 61% are women. The acceptance rate for men is 74%, and the acceptance rate for women is 82%.

Average Test Scores
About 2% of students accepted to NSU submitted their SAT scores. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores ranged between 480 and 580. Math scores were between 510 and 560

Can I Afford Northern State University?

The overall average net price of NSU is $23,294. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group.
The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.

Student Loan Debt

Almost 66% of college students who graduated with the class of 2018 took out student loans, but that percentage varies from school to school. At NSU, approximately 62% of students took out student loans averaging $7,286 a year. That adds up to $29,144 over four years for those students.