Financial Aid and Student Loans in North Dakota

North Dakota has the benefit of being one of the most affordable states to pursue your college education, with 4 year institutions averaging $20,353, making it rank 4th in the nation. 

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy for everyone to make those tuitions payments, which is why most students need to search out any and all available scholarships, grants, and potentially student loan options. 

As part of our state by state guide to financial aid, below we’ve put together a list of scholarships, grants, and student loans in North Dakota. 

What Scholarship Programs Does North Dakota Have?

North Dakota has a number of different scholarships if you or someone that you know are interested in saving money while going to college. Fastweb, Niche, and Collegeboard are a few websites that also help match students with different scholarships throughout the state.

We’ve listed a few specific scholarships below that you can find offered in North Dakota to help save you time.

North Dakota Academic Scholarship

The North Dakota Academic Scholarship is intended for students that distinguished themselves in high school through college preparatory coursework.

The scholarship covers up to $6,000 of tuition payments. The payments are scheduled either quarterly in $500 increments or as $750 increments per semester.

Eligibility requirements state that students must maintain full-time enrollment in the eyes of the university’s financial aid administration. A minimum GPA of 2.75 must be maintained as well.

“Progress toward degree completion” is another requirement. It means attaining a minimum number of credit hours per quarter or semester to qualify to receive disbursements.

Students have six years after high school graduation to use the scholarship.

North Dakota Career & Technical Education Scholarship

The North Dakota Career and Technical Education Scholarship is similar to the North Dakota Academic Scholarship. The career and technical education scholarships were made for high school students who worked to distinguish their efforts in college-directed courses.

Disbursement matches that of the academic scholarship with expenditures of $500 or $750 issued quarterly or per semester, respectively. The scholarship covers up to $6,000 of tuition within six years after high school graduation.

Further requirements include maintaining a minimum number of credit hours earned each quarter or semester in line with disbursements—the “progress toward degree completion” concept.

Finally, a GPA of cumulative GPA of 2.75 will need to be maintained.

North Dakota Indian Scholarship

The purpose of the scholarship is to aid Indian students residing in North Dakota. They need to have demonstrated academic merit or financial need to attend a college, university, higher learning, or state career and technical education programs within North Dakota.

For eligibility purposes, students must be federally recognized as Indian tribe residents of North Dakota. The institution that the student attends decides residency.

Qualifying undergraduate or graduate students qualify by showing academic merit or financial need.

Valedictorian high school graduates who meet the requirements are granted an automatic scholarship. For example, with previous acceptance for admissions to a higher learning or state career and technical education program in-state.

You also need to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50 for merit-based or 2.00 for financial needs-based eligibility.

FAFSA is required.

Students engaged in degree-required teaching assistance, internships, student teaching, or cooperative educations programs may also be considered for the scholarship awards if tuition is required per credit earned.

Funds are available to full-time (12 credits for undergraduates, 9 for graduate) or part-time students who complete the current term’s degree requirements.

The amount awarded is determined by the ND Indian Scholarship Board for fall and spring at the time of enrollment. Summer awards are considered, too.

Any institution of higher learning or state career and technical education program that’s in-state is eligible to apply.

North Dakota Scholars Program

The scholarship applies to North Dakota high school graduates seeking a bachelor’s degree at a North Dakota college or university.

It offers full tuition and is meant for students who are in the top 95 to 100th percentile, or those who took the ACT before July 1 the year before enrollment.

Funds are awarded based on composite test scores and disbursed on a descending rank order until all funds are spent, starting with the highest score. The amount awarded matches undergraduate tuition of the attended institution but does not exceed the “highest regular undergraduate tuition of the North Dakota University System.”

Scholarship awards are viable at institutions with a 2-year study program and include private, public, or tribal colleges. Note that no separate application is needed to send in ACT scores to the NDUS (North Dakota University System), as they automatically receive test results from ACT, Inc.

What Grant Programs Does North Dakota Have?

Scholarships award funds to students based mostly on merit. Grants, though, offer similar aid in the way of financial assistance but instead base it more on financial need that is open in terms of eligibility.

High school graduates seeking a graduate or undergraduate degree within North Dakota would do well to investigate grant opportunities. For more about qualification and amounts awarded, be sure to read the information below carefully and apply based on the grant and institution requirements.

Unlike many states, North Dakota also offers a state grant.

Check out the descriptions below to familiarize yourself with all the most relevant information. We’ve provided a link for further details and instruction.

North Dakota State Grant Program

The North Dakota State Grant Program is for prospective students of North Dakota State University seeking an undergraduate degree. Eligibility states that the student must be a North Dakota resident and a graduate of a North Dakota high school.

The program requires that the student meet all college admission requirements, as well as demonstrate financial need. It is what the grant was intended to achieve.

Restrictions include the requirement that the student has not previously earned a professional or bachelor’s degree of any kind and is not in default for any federal loans.

The student must not have already received grant funding more for over eight semesters or twelve quarters. The student must maintain “Satisfactory Academic Progress,” which is a set of guidelines that you can learn more about here.

The times and dates of your enrollment, as specified by your Campus Connection account, determines the details followed by the North Dakota State Grant. Plan registration with this enrollment in mind.

What Student Loan Programs Does North Dakota Have?

Student loans should be considered by students, mainly as a last resort. Before exploring loan options, we strongly urge you to first go through all of the items listed in our How To Pay For College Checklist.

If taking on student loans is a necessary step for continuing one’s education into college or university, North Dakota offers a unique student loan program through the Bank of North Dakota. It’s for residents of North Dakota attending college in-state.

Bank of North Dakota Loan Deal

The Bank of North Dakota has its own loan program designed to help prospective students residing in North Dakota afford college. It boasts impressive zero-fees for in-state students and low interest rates compared to most student loan programs.

The borrowing amount is more limited than some other loan programs.

Federal Student Loans

Prospective students and residents of North Dakota have the option of seeking government assistance in the form of federal student loans.

You’ll need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Private Co-Signed Student Loans

For private student loans, there is an array of options. Students seeking assistance in addition to federal student loans may opt for a private co-signed student loan, for example.

No Co-Signer Student Loans in North Dakota

Prospective students who don’t have or need a co-signer can take advantage of Funding U’s no co-signer student loans.

Eligibility and restrictions include minimum GPA requirements and graduation rate of the chosen college or university. These can be used in addition to federal student loans to receive further financial support. If you’d like to learn more, click here.

NOTE: Funding U does not offer loans to residents of the state of North Dakota.  However, if you are attending a school located in North Dakota and are a resident of another state that is eligible you may apply.

What Schools Does Funding U Lend To In North Dakota?

Funding U’s no co-signer loans are meant for students attending four-year, non-profit, or undergraduate degree-granting universities. Funding U does not lend to for-profit schools, 2-year schools, graduate, or trade schools.

Eligibility and requirements include minimum comprehensive GPA and are also created in observation of graduation rates. For individual schools to be added, the attending students are expected to meet specific 6-year graduation rates. Learn more in-depth information about eligibility and requirements here.

The table below provides every school in North Dakota that Funding U lends to currently.

School NameFreshman
6 yr
Grad Rate
Dickinson State UniversityNoNoNoNo3464
Mayville State UniversityNoNoNoNo2856
Minot State UniversityNoNoNoNo4669
North Dakota State University-Main CampusNoNoYesYes5879
Trinity Bible College and Graduate SchoolNoNoNoNo3951
University of JamestownNoNoNoNo4372
University of MaryNoNoYesYes5575
University of North DakotaNoNoYesYes5581
Valley City State UniversityNoNoNoNo4172
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