Northern State University Admissions: Everything You Want to and Need to Know

Overview of Northern State University

Northern State University is a 4-year public institution situated in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The institution has 41 undergraduate bachelor’s degree programs, nine graduate degree programs, eight associate degree programs, and eight certificates. Northern’s 3,500 students are backed by a 21 to 1 student/faculty ratio. Students are robust outside of the classroom, and Northern is home to numerous intramural sports and over 70 student organizations and clubs. The Northern State Wolves play in the NCAA Division II Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).


  • Total Enrollment: 3,493 (3,051 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 42% Male/58% Female
  • 44% Full-time

Cost of Attendance Information

  • Tuition and Fees: $8,750 (in-state); $11,821 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $1,200
  • Room and Board: $8,925
  • Other Expenses: $4,100
  • Total Cost: $22,975 (in-state); $26,046 (out-of-state)

Financial Aid Information

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 97%
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 90%
    • Loans: 71%
  • Mean Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $5,515
    • Loans: $6,548

Academic Programs Offered

  • Most Popular Majors: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Education; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies; and Social Sciences

Retention and Graduation

  • First-Year Student Retention (full-time students): 75%
  • Transfer Out Rate: 30%
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 27%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 50%

NCAA Athletic Programs

  • Men’s Sports: Wrestling, Football, Basketball, Cross Country, Baseball, Track and Field
  • Women’s Sports: Softball, Swimming, Volleyball, Soccer, Basketball

Overview of Northern State University Admissions

With an acceptance rate of 88%, Northern State University is not highly selective. Students whose SAT/ACT scores and GPA are within the institution’s requirements have a good chance of being admitted. Applicants must complete an online application and send test scores from either the SAT or ACT and high school transcripts. Glowing recommendation letters can bolster your application, along with being involved with student organizations and attempting a challenging course load. Students with unique talents and accomplishments can still receive strong consideration even if their GPAs are outside of the mean range. After applying, students will receive a message from an admissions counselor about the application process’s next steps. Interested students should check out the university’s website, which has helpful tips and contact information for the admissions offices.

Admissions Data                        

  • Northern State University Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Test Scores — 25th/75th Percentile
    • SAT Critical Reading: 470/600
    • SAT Math: 460/600
    • SAT Writing: -/-
    • ACT Cumulative: 19/24
    • ACT English: 16/23
    • ACT Math: 17/24

Safety Net Schools: Easy to Gain Admission

If past admission data predicts that you would be a competitive candidate for Northern State University, it should be easy to gain admissions to the schools below. If Northern State University is currently out of your reach, then you are sure to be a competitive candidate for the schools below.

University of Texas at El Paso, California State University Sacramento, California State University Northridge, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, California State University East Bay, Kean University, California State University Los Angeles

Same Tier: Just As Hard to Gain Admission

If you’re a competitive candidate for Northern State University, you should have an equal chance of gaining admissions at these schools.

East Carolina University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Old Dominion University, Texas State University, Georgia State University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Reach Institutions: Gaining Admissions Will Be More of a Challenge

These schools are more challenging to gain admission into than Northern State University. If you improve your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, you’ll be a competitive candidate.

University of Alabama, Quinnipiac University, Ohio University, University of North Texas, University of Texas at Arlington, California State University Long Beach, Pace University

Applying to Northern State University

Application Deadline: Rolling

Undergraduate Admissions Website:

Undergraduate Application Link(s):

Graduate Admissions Website:

Graduate Application Link(s):

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