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Welcome to NDSU!

Dear Parents and Family Members,

Besides my excitement for North Dakota State University, I share something in common with you. I am a parent of a college student. I understand the joys and anxiety that accompany the parenting journey. I am thrilled to be able to partner with you to make sure your student has the support and resources to be successful at NDSU. 

My name is Laura Oster-Aaland, Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at NDSU. My oldest son is a sophomore in college this fall and while I have worked in higher education for twenty years, experiencing it as a parent brings new perspective. I can relate to the mixed emotions you may be experiencing – excitement for him as he meets new people, grapples with new ideas, and finds his identity as a young adult. At the same time, anxiety, hoping that I have taught him the skills he needs to meet the challenges he may face.

As your student settles in to NDSU please know that we stand ready to support you and your family. I encourage you to note the many resources that are featured in this newsletter and remind your student that many at NDSU stand ready to help. I also encourage you to “like” and follow the “NDSU Class of 2022 – Family” facebook page. I am a member and find lots of helpful guidance there from NDSU staff and family members.

Your student’s time with at NDSU will go quickly. Let’s make the most of it together.

In service,

Laura Oster-Aaland

Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Your student just started the year a few short weeks ago, so I bet you’re thinking, “Great, I don’t have to worry about any of that financial aid stuff for a while.”  Believe it or not, applying for next year’s financial aid starts sooner than you think.  Starting October 1, 2018 families can fill out the 2019–20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for student who plan to attend college between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

The early submission date of October 1st, enables NDSU and the Department of Education to make sure all information submitted is correct and accurate before awarding financial aid for the 2019-20 year. It is important to complete the FAFSA every year as NDSU and the North Dakota state scholarship/grant office uses your FAFSA information to determine your student’s eligibility for state and school aid.  Some private financial aid providers may also use the FAFSA information to determine eligibility for their aid. 

On the FAFSA, students and parents will report income and tax information from the tax year that was two years prior. For example, on the 2019–20 FAFSA, students and their parents will report 2017 income and tax information. This makes the FAFSA easier to complete because you will have already filed your taxes by the time you and your student fill out the FAFSA, and you may be able to automatically retrieve and import your tax information directly from the IRS.  If your student files their own taxes, then they may be able to import their tax information too.

Household information for the 2019-20 FAFSA is based on the household where the student lived the majority of the time (50% or more) over the last 12 months.  If you’re not sure who to include in your FAFSA household, visit for some helpful videos, graphics and additional information.

For optimum consideration and to ensure the student meets NDSU’s priority funding deadline date, the 2019-20 FAFSA must be submitted by February 1, 2018.  Students planning to attend NDSU for the 2019-20 academic year who have completed a FAFSA and listed NDSU as their school choice, should receive an official award notice mid-June 2018. For more information on completing the FAFSA and financial aid at NDSU visit

NDSU Guide App for Students

This fall, NDSU launched the Guide App for all undergraduate students.  Guide is a tool to help students prioritize, stay organized, and quickly find the resources they need on campus.  Rolled out at orientation to new students, about 84% of students who attended orientation downloaded the app.

What is Guide?

Guide is a mobile advisor that helps get students from orientation to graduation. The app helps them choose the right major, navigate requirements from financial aid to course registration, and stay on top of important dates and deadlines.

How Do Students Use Guide?

1. Quickly Finding People and Places:  The resources tab provides quick access to email, phone numbers, and office locations for advisors and instructors.  It also helps students find physical resources using GPS like the Wellness Center and tutoring.

2. Knowing When Important Things Are Coming Up: From registering for classes to preparing for finals, now there’s a clear timeline of what needs to be done. Within each task, Guide connects students to the links and resources needed to get things done.

3. Finding the Right Fit: Guide’s Major Exploration tool connects interests and goals to the right major at NDSU—students fill out a short survey and Guide takes it from there!

4. Learning How to Get the Most Out of College: Guide provides all the steps to start college on the right foot. Handy tips are available on everything from getting involved in student organizations to paying for college.

5. Connecting to the Support They Need—Faster: Have questions or run into a problem? Guide’s appointment scheduler gets you face time with the people who can help. Best of all, the appointments sync onto your phone’s calendar.

Who Gets Guide?

While it doesn’t work for parents, it’s free for all students.  They can search the app store for Guide – College Simplified, or use the desktop version at

Updates to Student Health Service

Beginning January 1, 2019, Student Health Service will begin submitting medical claims for chargeable services to insurance companies. With this added service, the following changes will occur:

  • Students will no longer need to submit claims to their insurance company
  • Students will now be charged for office visits. Copays and out of pocket costs will depend on the individual insurance plan.
  • Students may request to opt out of having the claim submitted to insurance. In this case, the student is responsible for the full balance of charges incurred during their visit.

Students will need to check with their insurance company prior to an appointment in Student Health Service AFTER January 1, 2019 to see if their network status has changed and to verify their coverage. For more information, please see our Billing page or contact Student Health Service at 701-231-7331.

Homecoming Events

North Dakota State University celebrates Homecoming to connect with traditions of the past and strengthen connections for the future. Encourage your student to participate in these great events!

Homecoming 2018 September 17 - September 22


Monday, September 17

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Homecoming BBQ and Pep Fest, Administration Ave. west of Memorial Union

Tuesday, September 18

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Serve with the Herd - Community Service Project Day

Contact the NDSU Volunteer Network at or 701-231-1055 to sign up

Friday, September 21

10 a.m. President State of the University Address, Festival Concert Hall. *Live streaming video of the event will begin at 9:55 a.m. at  

11:30 a.m. Athletic Hall of Fame luncheon, Sanford Health Athletic Complex

5:30 p.m. Homecoming parade, downtown Fargo

7:00 p.m. Bison volleyball vs. South Dakota, Bentson/Bunker Fieldhouse

Saturday, September 22

8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Tailgating for the Homecoming football game, Fargodome. All fans are welcome to tailgate. 

1 p.m. Kickoff: NDSU Bison vs. Delaware, Fargodome

To see a full listing of events or get more information about Homecoming, please visit the website at

Welcome Week 2018 Wrap-Up

Welcome Week is designed to ensure that your student has everything that they need to start the year off right. Students had a chance to attend events that enabled them to meet new people and learn more about NDSU's departments and resources. They were led through the weekend's events by their Welcome Week Leader, a current student that volunteers their time to assist the new students in their transition to campus. 

Saturday, August 18

Around 1,200 students came to Club NDSU in the Memorial Union!

Monday, August 20

Around 2,300 students attended the Presidents' Welcome on Churchill Field. A class photo was taken from the roof of the A. Glenn Hill building, followed by remarks from President Dean Bresciani, Interim Provost Ken Grafton, Student Body President Chase Grindberg, Student Body Vice President Marisa Pacella, and Sydney Warcup, a student chosen to represent the Class of 2022. Following the welcome, students attended events hosted by their academic college.

 Other events included:

Green and Yellow Rally                                YOGOWYPI Factor
Welcome Week Group MeetingsRHA Block Party
ActivateUStreet Dance
HypnotistCampus Live: Street Dance After Party
Find Your Voice in the HerdStudent Involvement Expo

Sending Mail to Your Student

When mailing items to your students in the residence halls, it is incredibly important that you are addressing them exactly as instructed on the Residence Life website:


FedEx, UPS, etc:

For example:

Line 1: Student NameSamantha Student
Line 2: Room Number and Hall                  121 Burgum Hall
Line 3: Street Address1333 12th Ave N
Line 4: Fargo, ND 58102Fargo, ND 58102

For example:

Line 1: Student NameSamantha Student
Line 2: Room Number and Hall                  121 Burgum Hall
Line 3: PO Box #PO Box 5348
Line 4: Fargo, ND 58102-4 digit PO Box Number               Fargo, ND 58102-5348

For students who reside in Niskanen Hall, Bison Court East/West Apartments, Apartment 1701, and University Village, the mailing format will be different. Please visit the Residence Life website for more details.

*Addresses for all of the halls can be found at:

When you are sending mail via the US Postal Service, please know that it can take up to a week from the time it arrives at NDSU for it to be placed in your student’s mailbox. Mail from the USPS is first delivered to a site downtown and then sorted and sent to the appropriate campus location. Mail with tracking numbers may be marked as delivered, but in reality it can still take several days to reach the student. If it has been longer than 10 days since your package arrived at NDSU and your student has still not received it, encourage them to ask at the front desk of their hall or approach their hall director to see if they know why there is a delay in delivery.

For students living in Residence Halls (except Niskanen Hall), all packages, including USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc., can be picked up by your student at the NDSU Bookstore. Students will receive an email and/or text alert when packages are available for pickup. Even though packages are picked up at the NDSU Bookstore, please use their Residence Hall mailing address. Do NOT mail packages to the bookstore address. For students who reside in Niskanen Hall, Bison Court, University Village, Niskanen Apartments, and Apartment 1701, the pick up location will be different. Please visit the website for more details.

Visiting Campus

We encourage you to visit your student at the time that makes the most sense for your schedules. We keep the Family Program's website up to date with events taking place on campus and in the Fargo-Moorhead community so that it can be a resource in planning your trip. Please visit our website to plan your visit.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Orientation and Student Success
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8379 or Toll free: +1 (800) 488-NDSU menu option 2 / Fax: (701) 231-6253
Campus address: West Dining Center Lower Level
Physical/delivery address: 1340 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 2838 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Orientation and Student Success

Last Updated: Friday, August 31, 2018 1:25:50 PM
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