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Northern State University

Northern State University Data & Information Overview

This overview covers the essential stats on Northern State University, including its rankings, majors, diversity, and more. All you need to do to learn more about a stat is click on its tile, and you’ll be taken to another page that analyzes that data more closely. Also, you can use the links below to scroll to any section of this page.

How Well Is Northern State University Ranked?

Value Badge

2022 Rankings

College Factual analyzes over 2,000 colleges and universities in its annual rankings and ranks them in a variety of ways, including most diverse, best overall quality, best for non-traditional students, and much more.

Northern State University was awarded 234 badges in the 2022 rankings. The highest ranked major at the school is biological and biomedical sciences.

Overall Quality

College Factual ranked NSU as #885 out of 2,576 colleges and universities in the country on its 2022 Best Colleges list. This is an improvement over the previous year, when NSU held the #920 spot on the Best Overall Colleges list.

NSU also holds the #9 spot on the Best Colleges in South Dakota ranking.

See all of the rankings for Northern State University.

Is It Hard to Get Into NSU?

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at Northern State University is 79%. That's higher than the rate at many schools, but still low enough to be considered somewhat selective. If you want to get in, you'll need good grades and to be able to show that NSU is a good fit for you.

Average Test Scores

About 2% of students accepted to NSU submitted their SAT scores. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores ranged between 480 and 580. Math scores were between 510 and 560.

SAT Reading and Writing Scores for Northern State University  ( 480 to 580 )

SAT Math Scores for Northern State University  ( 510 to 560 )
NSU received ACT scores from 89% of accepted students. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, ACT Composite scores ranged between 19 and 25.

ACT Composite Scores for Northern State University  ( 19 to 25 )

Learn more about Northern State University admissions.

Northern State University Faculty

Student to Faculty Ratio

The student to faculty ratio at Northern State University is about average at 18 to 1. This ratio is often used to gauge how many students might be in an average class and how much time professors will have to spend with their students on an individual level. The national average for this metric is 15 to 1.

Percent of Full-Time Faculty

Another measure that is often used to estimate how much access students will have to their professors is how many faculty members are full-time. The idea here is that part-time faculty tend to spend less time on campus, so they may not be as available to students as full-timers.

The full-time faculty percentage at Northern State University is 95%. This is higher than the national average of 47%.

Full-Time Faculty Percent  95 out of 100

Retention and Graduation Rates at Northern State University

Freshmen Retention Rate

The freshmen retention rate of 76% tells us that most first-year, full-time students like Northern State University enough to come back for another year. This is a fair bit higher than the national average of 68%. That's certainly something to check off in the good column about the school.

Freshmen Retention Rate  76 out of 100

Graduation Rate

The on-time graduation rate is the percent of first-time, full time students who obtain their bachelor's degree in four years or less. This rate is 27% for first-time, full-time students at NSU, which is lower than the national rate of 33.3%.

On-Time Graduation Rate  27 out of 100

Find out more about the retention and graduation rates at Northern State University.

Northern State University Undergraduate Student Diversity

During the 2017-2018 academic year, there were 2,968 undergraduates at NSU with 1,149 being full-time and 1,819 being part-time.

How Much Does Northern State University Cost?

The overall average net price of NSU is $15,851. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group. See the table below for the net price for different income groups.

Net Price by Income Group for NSU

$0-30 K $30K-48K $48-75 $75-110K $110K +
$13,133 $12,861 $16,673 $18,678 $17,251

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.Note that the net price is typically less than the published for a school. For more information on the sticker price of NSU, see our tuition and fees and room and board pages.

Student Loan Debt

It's not uncommon for college students to take out loans to pay for school. In fact, almost 66% of students nationwide depend at least partially on loans. At NSU, approximately 62% of students took out student loans averaging $7,286 a year. That adds up to $29,144 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at NSU is 6.2%. Although this is lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, you'll still want to keep this in mind when taking out student loans.

Get more details about paying for Northern State University.

How Much Money Do NSU Graduates Make?

Although some majors pay more than others, students who graduate from NSU with a bachelor's degree go on to jobs where they make an average salary of $35,300 in their early years. Unfortunately, this is 11% less that the average college graduate's salary of $39,802 per year. However, graduates in your major field may make more.


See which majors at Northern State University make the most money.

Location of Northern State University

Located in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Northern State University is a public institution. The location of NSU is a good match for students who are interested in living in a college town while they pursue their degree.

Get more details about the location of Northern State University.


Contact details for NSU are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 1200 S Jay St, Aberdeen, SD 57401-7198
Phone: 605-626-3011

Northern State University Majors

During the most recent year for which we have data, students from 37 majors graduated from Northern State University. Of these students, 295 received undergraduate degrees and 66 graduated with a master's or doctor's degree. The following table lists the most popular undergraduate majors along with the average salary graduates from those majors make.

Most Popular Majors Bachelor’s Degrees Average Salary of Graduates
Business Administration & Management 40 $40,089
Teacher Education Grade Specific 28 $37,856
Health & Physical Education 24 $34,298
General Biology 23 $35,274
Teacher Education Subject Specific 19 $41,342
Marketing 15 $35,060
Finance & Financial Management 13 $41,007
Special Education 12 NA
General Psychology 10 NA
General English Literature 9 $22,578

Learn more about the majors offered at Northern State University along with which ones have the highest average starting salaries.

Online Learning at NSU

Online learning is becoming popular at even the oldest colleges and universities in the United States. Not only are online classes great for returning adults with busy schedules, they are also frequented by a growing number of traditional students.

In 2019-2020, 2,349 students took at least one online class at Northern State University. This is an increase from the 1,958 students who took online classes the previous year.

Year Took at Least One Online Class Took All Classes Online
2019-2020 2,349 1,545
2018-2019 1,958 1,467
2017-2018 1,918 1,448
2016-2017 1,971 1,504
2015-2016 2,569 2,057

Learn more about online learning at Northern State University.

If you’re considering Northern State University, here are some more schools you may be interested in knowing more about.

Curious on how these schools stack up against NSU? Pit them head to head with College Combat, our free interactive tool that lets you compare college on the features that matter most to you!

Notes and References


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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