North Dakota State extends new scholarship brought amid worries about Minnesota tuition program

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota State University announced Wednesday that it’s extending a new scholarship brought about due to neighboring Minnesota’s program to cover tuition for income-eligible residents, beginning next year.

North Dakota higher education leaders are worried about losing Minnesota students. Earlier this month, North Dakota State announced its new Tuition Award Program, which is similar to Minnesota’s North Star Promise program. Both programs begin in fall 2024. The university has extended the scholarship to a second year.

The North Star Promise program will cover undergraduate tuition and fees at the state’s public post-secondary schools and tribal colleges for Minnesota residents whose family income is under $80,000, after they have used other sources of financial aid, such as grants and scholarships.

North Dakota State’s new scholarship is for Minnesota and North Dakota first-year students who are eligible for the federal Pell Grant and whose family income is $80,000 or less. Returning, second-year students will be considered for one year of the scholarship in the 2024-25 school year.

The scholarship will cover eligible students’ tuition and fees after other aid is used. The NDSU Foundation is covering the cost of the new scholarship, estimated to be $3.5 million for its first year.

North Dakota State University President David Cook has spoken of “catastrophic implications” due to North Star Promise. The university is the top out-of-state choice for first-year Minnesota students, who make up nearly half the school’s student body.

About 15,000 to 20,000 Minnesotans could use North Star Promise in its first year, according to Minnesota’s Office of Higher Education.

About 1,400 Minnesota students at five schools in eastern North Dakota might be eligible for the Minnesota program, according to the North Dakota University System.


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