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Founded in 1918, Dickinson State University is located in Dickinson, North Dakota. This four-year public university offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. It provides more than 75 academic programs at an affordable price. DSU’s motto is “Small community, big opportunity.” The total student enrollment is 1,350 with 1,321 of them being undergraduates. Almost all students applying to the school meeting the requirements are admitted and 70% of undergraduates attend full-time while 30% are part-time attendees.

Overview of Dickinson State University

DSU President Steve Easton, Class of 1980, says, “The magic of DSU is the close relationship between our students and the faculty and staff. Our low student to faculty ratio establishes this, but it is the faculty’s dedication to student success that makes this more than just a number.”

Seventy-eight percent of DSU students are white. Latino students make up 6% of the student body and black students 4%. Two-thirds of students live in North Dakota, while one-third of students hail from another state. DSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. DSU’s nursing program are accredited by the North Dakota Board of Nursing and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Town: Remote
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 12:1
Graduation Rate 41%
Year Founded 1918

Student Enrollment

Total Students1,350


Undergraduate Student

Male 502
Female 819

Graduate Student

Male 11%
Female 18%

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Male 159
Female 217


Male 157
Female 217

Acceptance Rate100%

Male 99%
Female 100%

Enrollment 203

Male   83
Female 120
Application Fee $35
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline August 15
Common Application Accepted No

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

In a recent academic year, in-state tuition was $7,784 and out-of-state tuition was $11,044. On-campus room and board was $7,268. And the average graduate student tuition was $5,826.

Approximately 93% of freshman students who entering postsecondary education for the first time at Dickinson State University received some form of financial aid. Of those, 81% received some type of grant or scholarship aid averaging $5,273. And 46% received federal student loan aid averaging $6,012.

The average net price at DSU for full-time, freshman, undergraduate students who paid the in-state or in-district tuition rate and were awarded grant or scholarship aid from federal, state, or local governments, or the institution was $10,817 in a recent year. This average net price is what the students are responsible for after all financial aid has been applied. Your final net price may be higher or lower depending on the amount of financial aid you apply and are eligible for.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $10,817
Average Total Aid $5,141
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Room & Board $7,268

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $7,784
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $11,044
  • Books and Supplies - $1,260
  • Room & Board - $7,268
  • Other - $3,612


You may want to pay special attention to certain benchmarks when considering schools. As an example, retention rates show the number of first-time students who came back to the school the following year. Low retention rates can indicate underlying problems at the institution. Graduation rates reveal the percentage of first-time students completing their degrees within six years, considered 150% of the standard program time. The same underlying issues may affect schools with low graduation rates.

DSU’s student-to-faculty ratio is 12 to 1. There are 70 full-time faculty members and 52 part-time faculty members. The retention rate is also quite high at 68%. The four-year graduation rate is 17%, which is low, but the six-year graduation rate more than doubles to 40%. While both of these seem somewhat low, you may also want to check out transfer rates. Though the school may not graduate all its students, it may still prepare them for success elsewhere.

Student Population Total

Student Population 1,350

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 83 Total Graduates / 37%
Business Administration and Management, General 34 Graduates
Accounting 27 Graduates
Finance, General 11 Graduates
Business/Commerce, General 5 Graduates
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 27 Total Graduates / 12%
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 27 Graduates
All Education Majors 24 Total Graduates / 11%
Elementary Education and Teaching 11 Graduates
Mathematics Teacher Education 3 Graduates
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching 3 Graduates
Chemistry Teacher Education 2 Graduates
Social Science Teacher Education 2 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 19 Total Graduates / 8%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 19 Graduates
All Computer Information Science Majors 16 Total Graduates / 7%
Computer and Information Sciences, General 9 Graduates
Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician 7 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 25%

Outcome & Salary

College graduates will earn considerably more than non-college graduates over their careers. Early graduates of Dickinson State University can expect to earn $49,400 annually in their early-careers, with a later mid-career average salary of closer to $76,100.

So, the total average net cost of this education is $43,268. The net cost is what’s left for the student to pay after financial aid has been applied, so this might be different for you, but we’ll use the average for this. With the previously mentioned average incomes, a graduate’s 10-year earnings potential is $607,590, while their 20-year earnings potential is $1,368,590. If you do the math, that makes a DSU graduate’s 10-year projected return on investment (ROI) $564,322 and their 20-year projected ROI around $1,325,322. Now that doesn’t look bad does it?

You can compare that to the national average salary of $38,792 for someone without a college education. Their 10-year projected income is $387,920 and their 20-year projected outcome is $775,840.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $49,400
College Grads Average Salary $60,759
College Grads Mid Career Salary $76,100
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $607,590
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,368,590
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $43,268
10 Year Projected ROI $564,322
20 Year Projected ROI $1,325,322
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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