NDSU Tuition Award Program


NDSU is a land grant institution committed to addressing the workforce needs of North Dakota and the region. We strive to support students in their pursuit of a career by providing an attainable, affordable and high-quality education.

For the 2024-25 academic year, eligible North Dakota and Minnesota students with family income levels of $80,000 or less and are Pell-eligible will have base tuition and mandatory student fees fully covered through the NDSU Tuition Award Program if they are in their first or second year at NDSU.


How It Works

This scholarship program is intended to provide financial support to eligible students by covering any remaining base tuition and mandatory student fees after other gift aid has been applied (ex: grants, scholarships, waivers from federal, state, institutional or external sources). For example:

  • An eligible student from North Dakota enrolls full-time in fall semester, totaling to $5,528.50 in base tuition and fees.
  • The student receives $2,500 in grants and $1,500 in scholarships, leaving $1,528.50 to be covered.
  • The Tuition Award Program will cover the remaining $1,528.50 after all other grants and scholarships are applied.



Students talking between classes

For full consideration, students must meet the following criteria during the 2024-2025 academic year:

  • Be a North Dakota or Minnesota resident receiving the in-state or reciprocity tuition rate
  • Be a new, first year or transfer degree-seeking student beginning summer or fall 2024, or a returning NDSU student who first enrolled at NDSU in summer 2023, fall 2023 or spring 2024
  • Have a family income (annual adjusted gross income) of $80,000 or less and be Pell-eligible as reported on the 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Enroll full-time (12+ credits per semester) for fall and spring semesters
  • Be in good academic standing and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Be pursuing first bachelor’s degree
  • Not be in default on a state or federal student loan
  • Be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident


Application Process for New Students

  1. Apply for Fall 2024 admission (currently enrolled NDSU students do not need to re-apply for admission)
  2. Complete the 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)


Renewal Options

This program is currently available to eligible students through Spring 2026. NDSU is exploring options for continued funding.


Report External Scholarships and Awards

Please promptly notify Financial Aid and Scholarships of any scholarships or awards that will be coming from organizations outside of NDSU:

  1. Log in to Campus Connection
  2. From the Student Homepage, click the Financial Aid tile
  3. Select the appropriate Aid Year by clicking Change on the left side bar
  4. Click Outside Aid on the left side bar
  5. Click the Plus Sign
  6. Enter the following:
    • Award: Select from the drop-down menu or select Other
    • Category: Select Scholarship
    • Award Description: Who will the money be coming from for example: Dollars for Scholars, Smith Family Foundation, etc.
    • Amount
  7. Click Submit in the upper right corner
  8. Click Yes to confirm


Frequently Asked Questions

What is “gift aid”?

Generally speaking, gift aid refers to financial assistance students receive that does not have to be repaid. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NAFSAA) defines gift aid on their website.

What does “Pell-eligible” mean?

Pell-eligible refers to eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant. Students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree and show high financial need on the FAFSA application may be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant if additional factors are met. The FAFSA application is required to determine eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant. Learn more about the Federal Pell Grant on our website.

Am I required to submit the FAFSA to be considered?

Yes, the 2024-2025 FAFSA application is required for consideration.

When can I complete the FAFSA?

The 2024-2025 FAFSA application is anticipated to become available December 2023. NDSU has a FAFSA priority deadline of March 1. Our Federal FAFSA School Code is 002997. 

What is the amount of this scholarship?

  • This is a “last dollar” scholarship, meaning it is applied after all other gift aid is applied (ex: grants, scholarships, waivers from federal, state, institutional or external sources). Examples of gift aid include but are not limited to:
    • Grants
      • North Dakota State Grant
      • Federal Pell Grant
      • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
    • Scholarships
      • NDSU-funded (e.g., departmental, Foundation, athletics)
      • External (e.g., high school and other community-based scholarships such as VFW or Dollars for Scholars)
    • Tuition Waivers
      • NDSU-funded (e.g., Cultural Diversity Tuition Waiver)
      • State-mandated (e.g., Veteran dependent, ND National Guard, Law Enforcement)
  • The dollar amount of the scholarship program will vary depending on the amount of other gift aid received.
  • If eligible, the program will cover base tuition and mandatory student fees for the fall and spring semesters.

When will I know if I’m receiving this scholarship?

If you meet the eligibility criteria outlined above, you will be considered for this scholarship program. NDSU hopes to provide a preliminary scholarship amount in May when financial aid award notices are sent. If you receive gift aid from other sources after you receive your financial aid award notice, the amount of this scholarship will be adjusted. In other words, the amount of this scholarship can change over time depending on a number of factors.

I’m a legal Minnesota resident. How do I know if I’m receiving the Minnesota reciprocity tuition rate?

An agreement between North Dakota and Minnesota makes students eligible for tuition comparable to resident tuition. Students graduating from a Minnesota high school who enroll at NDSU within 12 months of graduating automatically qualify for this rate. Transfer students, home-schooled students and students earning a GED must apply for this rate at www.ohe.state.mn.us. Students are welcome to email a screenshot of the application approval page to ndsu.registrar@ndsu.edu to expedite the update in our system. Learn more about the Minnesota reciprocity tuition rate on the NDSU One Stop and Minnesota Office of Higher Education websites. 

I am an international student – am I eligible for this program?

No – International students are not eligible for federal financial aid and thus cannot complete the FAFSA.  However, NDSU does offer some partial scholarships specifically for international undergraduate applicants. More information on these awards can be found on our international undergraduate scholarships page.

What if income levels of me or my family have changed since I submitted the FAFSA?

NDSU Financial Aid and Scholarships recognizes the information reported on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may not reflect your current financial situation or ability to pay for educational expenses. If you are an undergraduate student and you or your family has experienced one or more of the special circumstances listed on our website, you may submit the Special Circumstance Form to have your financial aid eligibility re-evaluated. Generally, Special Circumstance Forms are based on drastic changes in a family’s financial situation.  The Special Circumstance process does not include minor adjustments in a family’s income.

Since this scholarship only provides financial support for base tuition and mandatory student fees, are there other options to help cover additional NDSU costs such as housing, meal plan, and differential tuition?

External scholarships (non-NDSU scholarships), federal loans or private loans can be considered to cover additional college costs. We encourage you to review NDSU’s estimated cost of attendance on our website.

Is there a deadline to be considered for this scholarship?

This scholarship is awarded on a funds-available basis. For maximum consideration, we encourage you to apply for admission and submit your FAFSA early.

I plan to enroll full-time (12+ credits) and some of my credits will be completed collaboratively through another institution. Am I still eligible for this program?

  • Collaborative course enrollment will only count toward the full-time requirement for students enrolled in Bismarck Nursing, Elementary Education and Social Work undergraduate programs.
  • Costs of all other collaborative course enrollment are not eligible to be covered by this program. 

I plan to be a new NDSU student in 2025. Am I eligible for this program?

  • New first-year and transfer students starting in spring 2025 will considered for one year on a fund’s available basis.
  • Summer/Fall 2025 start: New first-year and transfer students starting in summer or fall 2025 are eligible to be considered for the program for one year through spring 2026. 

Can I be eligible for the Tuition Award Program, but not receive an award?

Yes, this can happen if you meet the eligibility requirements but are receiving enough gift aid from other sources to cover the costs of base tuition and mandatory student fees. 

Learn More

We’re ready to answer your questions. Contact your Admission Counselor to gather additional information about this scholarship.