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Colleges / Northern State University

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a public, state school in a small town setting in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Northern State University was founded in 1901 and now enrolls around 3,431 students a year, including 2,968 undergrads. Northern State University offers housing for students. Most students live in off campus housing.

There are many ways for students to get involved at Northern State University! Love music or performing? Join a campus band, sing in a chorus, or perform with one of Northern State University's theater groups.

Interested in journalism or communications? Northern State University students can write for the campus newspaper, host a radio show or be a producer for the student-run television channel.

There are no fraternities or sororities at Northern State University, so it might be a good choice if you're not interested in Greek life.

Planning to play sports? Northern State University has many options for athletes. See them all and learn more about life at Northern State University on the Student Life page.

Learn more about life at Northern State University on the Student Life page.Regular decision applicants for Fall 2022 should hear from Northern State University by March 1.

2021 Northern State University Facts At-A-Glance
Academic Calendar Semester
Overall Acceptance Rate 79%
Average GPA 3.4
Applicants Submitting SAT scores 2%
In-State Tuition $7,616
Out-of-State $10,718
Percent of Need Met 72%
Average First-Year Financial Aid Package $12,448

Is Northern State University a Good School?

There is no one way to define a "good" college or university. Admissions difficulty and admitted student statistics can give you a sense of how selective a college is, but they don't tell you how happy or successful students are. However, there are a few good ways to get a better sense how satisfied students are and how well a school supports its student body.

Let's take a look at all of these areas to get a clearer sense of what Northern State University offers and if it could be a good fit for you.

Northern State University Acceptance Rate 2021

It is slightly difficult to get into Northern State University. The acceptance rate at Northern State University is 79%. Out of 1,038 applications received in 2021, 817 students were offered admission.

Retention and Graduation Rates at Northern State University

Retention is the number of students that stay enrolled at a school over time. This is a way to get a sense of how satisfied students are with their school experience, and if they have the support necessary to succeed in college.

Out of all the first-year, full-time undergrads who start at Northern State University, around 76% are still enrolled the next year. Northern State University's six-year graduation rate for undergrads is 48%. The average six-year graduation rate for U.S. colleges and universities is 61% for public schools, and 67% for private, non-profit schools.

Job Outlook Northern State University Graduates

Job placement statistics for recent graduates can give you a sense of the return on investment a school offers.

Tuition and Financial Aid at Northern State University

Cost is another important factor when choose a college. Some colleges may have high tuition, but do a better job at meeting students' financial need. Northern State University meets 72% of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates. First-year students that attend Northern State University full-time are awarded $12,448 a year in financial aid, on average.

Graduates in the class of 2021 had an average of $27,925 in student loans per borrower. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

The 2022-2023 FAFSA Opened on October 1st, 2021

Some financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so fill out the FAFSA early. Visit the FAFSA website to apply for student aid. Remember, the first F in FAFSA stands for FREE! You should never have to pay to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), so don't give your money (or info!) to any website that claim you do.

Learn more about Tuition and Financial Aid at Northern State University. Based on this information, how does Northern State University sound? Remember, the best school for one person may not be the right school for another! So ask yourself: Is Northern State University a good school for you?

If Northern State University seems like a school you want to apply to, click the heart button to save it to your college list.

Still Exploring Schools?

To learn more about Northern State University, choose from the options below:


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Northern State University Community Forums

Then use the college admissions predictor to take a data science look at your chances of getting accepted at some of the schools in the U.S.

Where is Northern State University Located?

Northern State University is located in the small town setting of Aberdeen, South Dakota.

If you want to see Northern State University for yourself, plan a visit. The best way to reach campus is to take Highway 12 to Aberdeen, or book a flight to the nearest airport, Aberdeen Municipal.

You can also take a virtual campus tour to get a sense of what Northern State University and Aberdeen are like without leaving home.

Considering Colleges in South Dakota?

See a full list of colleges in South Dakota and save your favorites to your college list.

College Info

1200 South Jay Street Aberdeen, SD 57401-7198

Campus Setting: Small Town

Northern State University Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Not available

Transfer Applications are Due

Continuous processing

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Northern State University is Continuous processing.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs


Wondering what your chances are of getting into Northern State University?

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Northern State University ACT Scores


ACT Range

19 - 25

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

25 and Above


19 to 25


19 and Less


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Northern State University SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

Not available


Math SAT Range

510 - 560


Reading SAT Range

480 - 580

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Northern State University Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees


In State


Cost Breakdown
In State
State Tuition

Student Life

Wondering what life at Northern State University is like? There are approximately 3,431 students enrolled at Northern State University, including 2,968 undergraduate students and 463 graduate students. 39% percent of students attend school full-time, 71% percent are from SD and 29% percent of students are from other states.


Full Time


Part Time


In State



© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

Quick Facts

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Campus Setting

Small Town

Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




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