Online Colleges in North Dakota

Home » Online Colleges in North Dakota
Ready to start your journey?

North Dakota is a land of vast prairieland and vast possibilities.

The state has top-notch colleges and universities many of which offer online learning programs, and some of the lowest tuition rates in the country.

If you’re thinking about pursuing a postsecondary degree in North Dakota, check out what’s in store for you!

Overview of Higher Education in North Dakota

North Dakota is home to 20 degree-granting institutions, according to a 2018-2019 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Of these, 14 are public institutions, 5 are non-profit private schools, and just 1 is a for-profit private school.

Many of the state’s publicly supported colleges and universities have come together to form the North Dakota University System (NDUS), which includes two research universities (North Dakota State University in Fargo, and the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks), as well as four regional universities and five community colleges.

In 2018, the NCES reported that the average tuition and fees for a 4-year public institution in North Dakota were $8,091 for in-state students and $15,565 for out-of-state students. When compared to the national averages, that is $1,121 less for residents, and $10,817 less for non-residents!

Students in the western states may get even deeper discounts, thanks to North Dakota’s partnership with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).  WICHE’s Student Exchange Program allows students to enroll in degree programs at any of the 16 participating states and territories for no more than 150% of the in-state tuition rate. in the 2019-2020 school year, these programs saved North Dakota students $3,481,838.

About Online Colleges in North Dakota

NCES data from 2018 showed that 26.5% of North Dakota’s higher education students were enrolled in fully online degree programs. And an additional 26.3% of students were participating in a hybrid of online and on-campus classes.

Today, most of North Dakota’s public and private institutions offer fully online learning opportunities.

The University of North Dakota, for example, offers more than 120 fully online programs, including certifications, undergraduate and graduate degrees. Twenty-five of their online program options can be earned entirely through self-paced online courses or a combination of semester-based courses.

Likewise, a private institution like the University of Jamestown offers fully online bachelor’s degrees in the business and communications fields, and online master’s programs in areas like leadership, education, and science.

Scholarships and Financial Aid in North Dakota

If you’re thinking about pursuing a degree in North Dakota, the first thing you should do is fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will give you access to federal, state, and even private financial aid.

The FAFSA becomes available each year on October 1st, and it’s important that you fill it out as early as possible because much of the financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Completing the FAFSA application is fairly simple. You will need to include financial information for yourself as well as your parents (unless you’re considered “independent”). The information you provide will be used to determine how much and what type of aid you qualify for.

The best forms of financial aid are grants and scholarships because these do not have to be repaid.

The state of North Dakota makes the following programs available to its college students:

The state also offers tuition and fee waivers for law enforcement officers, national guard members, dependents of veterans who were killed or disabled, and for senior citizens. Be sure to follow the links to learn more about eligibility and how to apply.

North Dakotans can also find privately funded scholarship programs, which award funds for need and merit, as well as unique factors like the region you live in, a particular hobby or talent, or the course of study you’ve chosen. 

Here are some scholarships open to residents of North Dakota:

Scholarship Name Details Scholarship amount
Celebrate The West High School Art Competition For students in grades 9-12; Submit original two-dimensional artwork inspired by your state or informed by living in the West (1) $1500
(1) $750
(1) $500
$200 each to state finalists
Marathon Petroleum Youth Leadership Awards For high school seniors with GPA of 3.0 or higher; Must demonstrate financial need (20) $2500
Victor & Verna Johnson Scholarship For a college junior or senior who graduated from a Walsh County High School, preferably Park River/Hoople area; Must demonstrate academic achievement and financial need Mulitple awards
Greater Midwest Chapter of Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Scholarship For undergraduates in a major directly related to the meetings or hospitality industry; Must be a student member of Greater Midwest PCMA; Must have GPA of 3.0 or higher $5000
Jack Shelley Scholarship Awarded based on dedication to broadcast journalism as a career, academic achievement, and experience in the field $1250

You can find even more opportunities by using scholarship search sites such as, where you can enter basic information about yourself and be matched with dozens of scholarships.

And finally, be sure to check with the financial aid office at the college or university you have chosen. They will have information about assistance that is unique to the school.

List of Online Colleges in North Dakota

Online Colleges in North Dakota Location Annual Tuition Accreditation Application Fee
University of Mary Bismarck, North Dakota  $17,445  Regional  $30
North Dakota State University Fargo, North Dakota  $8,327  Regional  $35
University of North Dakota Grand Forks, North Dakota  $8,136  Regional  $35
Valley City State University Valley City, North Dakota  $7,196  Regional  $35


North Dakota takes pride in providing a first-rate higher education system, and it should.

With many well-respected colleges and universities, plenty of online education programs, and generous financial aid programs, North Dakota is an excellent place to earn your postsecondary degree.

Ready to start your journey?
Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.