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2022 best colleges in North Dakota best-colleges

Founded in 1883, the University of North Dakota was established as the state’s first institution of higher education six years before North Dakota was granted statehood. It was also the first university nationwide to enroll in the United States Space Force University Partnership Program in 2021. The state’s largest university, North Dakota State University, is most known for its agricultural research and provides a vibrant social scene with easy access to downtown Fargo. What the state lacks in liberal arts colleges it makes up for in tribal colleges, such as Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College and United Tribes Technical College.

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Net cost: The median annual cost of all students that receive any aid. This does not refer to the “sticker price”, the price listed by the college.

Earnings: The median earnings of all bachelor-level students 10 years after enrollment. This includes both students that do and do not graduate, across all majors.

Payback: The amount of time in years it takes to pay off the median net cost by the median earnings. For this calculation, the median earning of high school graduates (in the school’s home state) are deducted from the median earnings.

Degree premium: The difference between the school’s median earnings and the median earnings for all schools in the same state. This is called “Vs. state average” in school profiles below.

Ranking: The payback rate is divided by the degree premium (set as a percentage), the lower the number the higher the rank. (i.e. payback=1, degree premium 20% higher than state school median: 1/120% = .883.

Net cost
Earnings
Payback
Degree premium
Rankings
Ranking methodology
#1 in North Dakota

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Admission rate: 87%

Grad rate: 51%

Net cost: $15,738

Payback: 2.7 Years

Earnings: $57,299

Vs. state average: + $3,593

Economic score: 2.53

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#2 in North Dakota

North Dakota State University-Main Campus

Fargo, North Dakota

Admission rate: 95%

Grad rate: 58%

Net cost: $16,584

Payback: 3.0 Years

Earnings: $56,246

Vs. state average: + $2,540

Economic score: 2.85

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#3 in North Dakota

University of Mary

Bismarck, North Dakota

Admission rate: 72%

Grad rate: 55%

Net cost: $17,410

Payback: 3.0 Years

Earnings: $55,720

Vs. state average: + $2,014

Economic score: 2.88

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#4 in North Dakota

Dickinson State University

Dickinson, North Dakota

Admission rate: 99%

Grad rate: 44%

Net cost: $10,855

Payback: 2.9 Years

Earnings: $48,098

Vs. state average: - $5,608

Economic score: 3.28

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#5 in North Dakota

Valley City State University

Valley City, North Dakota

Admission rate: 81%

Grad rate: 46%

Net cost: $11,981

Payback: 3.7 Years

Earnings: $45,429

Vs. state average: - $8,277

Economic score: 4.43

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#6 in North Dakota

University of Jamestown

Jamestown, North Dakota

Admission rate: 72%

Grad rate: 44%

Net cost: $19,413

Payback: 5.4 Years

Earnings: $49,050

Vs. state average: - $4,656

Economic score: 5.89

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#7 in North Dakota

Minot State University

Minot, North Dakota

Admission rate: 78%

Grad rate: 43%

Net cost: $11,898

Payback: 3.7 Years

Earnings: $45,458

Vs. state average: - $8,248

Economic score: 4.41

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#8 in North Dakota

Mayville State University

Mayville, North Dakota

Admission rate: 54%

Grad rate: 42%

Net cost: $12,378

Payback: 5.0 Years

Earnings: $42,211

Vs. state average: - $11,495

Economic score: 6.32

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#9 in North Dakota

Trinity Bible College and Graduate School

Ellendale, North Dakota

Admission rate: 100%

Grad rate: 38%

Net cost: $19,978

Payback: 23.2 Years

Earnings: $35,040

Vs. state average: - $18,666

Economic score: 35.48

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