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Online Colleges in North Dakota

Most Affordable Online Colleges

COLLEGE FINDER

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Methodology

To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:

  1. Offer at least one degree or certificate in that subject online
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2014-15

Once we had our list of schools for each subject, we ranked them on six criteria, using the weights specified:

  1. In-state tuition, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 20%
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 10%
  3. Accessibility, based on the admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 10%
  4. Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded by the school in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 30%
  5.  Related subjects, based on the number of similar programs that the school offers at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 15%
  6. Variety of degree levels, based on the number of degree and certificate levels out of a possible nine that the school offers in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 15%

Methodology Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2014-15, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed January 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources :

  1. Bismarck State College, http://energy.bismarckstate.edu/programs/enrg/
  2. Bismarck State College people, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bismarck_State_College
  3. Cankdeska Cikana Community College, http://www.littlehoop.edu/content/index.php/about
  4. College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?
  5. Dakota College at Bottineau people, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakota_College_at_Bottineau#Notable_alumni
  6. Lake Region State College, http://www.lrsc.edu/academics/lrsc-online-campus
  7. Dakota College At Bottineau, http://www.dakotacollege.edu/online/online-programs-classes/online-associate-degree-programs/
  8. Mayville State University, http://www.mayvillestate.edu/msu-online/msu-online/programs/
  9. Dickinson State University people, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dickinson_State_University#Notable_alumn
  10. Minot State University people, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minot,_North_Dakota
  11. North Dakota State College of Science, https://www.ndscs.edu/academics/things-to-know-academics/academic-clusters-departments/#location:Online|view:all
  12. Rasmussen College, http://www.rasmussen.edu/locations/online-campus/degrees/
  13. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ga.htm
  14. U S. Census Bureau, The America Community Survey, http://www.census.gov/acs/www/
  15. U.S. Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_12_1YR_S1501&prodType=table
  16. University of North Dakota people, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_North_Dakota_people
  17. Valley City State University people, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valley_City_State_University#Notable_alumni
  18. North Dakota University System - North Dakota Grants & Scholarships, Accessed April 2017, http://www.ndus.nodak.edu/students/paying-for-college/grants-scholarships/
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With its long stretches of open country and spacious range lands and prairies, North Dakota is well suited to distance learning. With so many residents living in small towns or cities with limited resources, it's good to know that many of the state's universities and colleges are offering online degree programs or classes to help working adults advance their careers or earn a diploma.

There are 17 universities or colleges in North Dakota, and 12 of them are public institutions. National universities, such as Argosy, also offer degree programs and online classes to North Dakota residents, although none has a physical campuses in the state.

Students can earn a variety of degrees, diplomas, and certifications through online schools in North Dakota. Whether you are a registered nurse and you want to complete a BSN program, or you're looking for an associate degree in Business, North Dakota online degree programs can help you reach your educational goals from your living room, a coffee shop, the library, or anywhere else with an Internet connection.

There are just under 725,000 residents of North Dakota, and among the 85,000 who are between 18 and 24 years old, 55 percent have attended some college or earned a two-year associate degree. Among the 450,000 who are older than 25, almost 20 percent have a bachelor's degree and 7.5 percent have an advanced or professional degree.

Among the state's 422,000 workers, the annual mean wage is $42,410, which equates to a mean hourly wage of $20.39. That's also the median earnings level for an over-25 bachelor's degree holder in North Dakota, although those with a graduate or professional degree earn $57,258. The median earnings for high school graduates with no college degree is $21,003.

While many colleges and universities in North Dakota offer online classes in conjunction with face-to-face classes on campuses, a large number of colleges and community colleges are offering entire degree programs online, educating the next general of farm equipment sales people and petroleum and chemical engineers for the state from their home computers.

Affordable Online Colleges in North Dakota

The following list describes schools in North Dakota that offer online degrees at the lowest tuition costs &mdash a factor that is important to prospective students. The tuition data cited is what the schools reported to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a branch of the National Center for Education Statistics. To see how schools in North Dakota ranked on a variety of other factors, visit the Top Colleges tool. 

Affordable Two-Year Online Colleges in North Dakota

1

Cankdeska Cikana Community College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$3,300
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
17.02%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
School Type
2-year

About

Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten, North Dakota, is a small college that has been awarded land grant status by Congress. The school is chartered by the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation and it offers a number of online classes, including Composition, Introduction to Computers and Developmental Psychology. These course are taught using the online Moodle system.

2

Lake Region State College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$4,138
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
86.97%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
6
School Type
2-year

About

Lake Region State gets college students ready for a bachelor's degree program by helping them through the first half of their college studies. The school is located in the city of Devils Lake, a premier vacation destination. Lake Region State offers online associate degree programs in Arts; Accounting and Business Administration; Early Childhood Education; Fitness Trainer Technician; Law Enforcement; and Speech Language Pathology.

3

Dakota College at Bottineau

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$4,181
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
64.02%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
22
School Type
2-year

About

Dakota College at Bottineau is an accredited community college that offers many vocational programs that focus on job-readiness skills, as well as a liberal arts program with a strong foundation of classes that transfer to four-year institutions. Its associate degree programs online include Accounting Technician; Administrative Assistant; Advertising & Marketing; Bookkeeping; Caregiver Services; College Studies; Land Management; Medical Assistant; Medical Administrative Assistant; Medical Coding; Paraprofessional Educator; Recreation Management; Reception Services; and Urban Forestry Technology.

4

North Dakota State College of Science

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$4,571
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
62.28%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
14
School Type
2-year

About

The North Dakota State College of Science offers a variety of online classes from its campus in Fargo, N.D. These programs include Architectural Drafting; Business Technology Management; Liberal Arts; Health Information; Marketing Management; Medical Coding; Pharmacy Technician; Practical Nursing; Technical Studies; and Web Design and Development.

Affordable Four-Year Online Colleges in North Dakota

1

Bismarck State College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$3,604
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
41
School Type
4-year

About

In addition to its 19 online associate degree program, Bismarck offers the only bachelor's of Applied Science in Energy Management program in the nation. It's offered through the National Energy Center of Excellence and focuses on issues managers in the energy industry are faced with. Among the other programs, associate degrees are offered in Electric Power Technology; Electrical Transmission Systems Technology; Nuclear Power Technology; Petroleum Production Technology; Power Plant Technology; Process Plant Technology; Renewable Generation Technology; Bachelor of Applied Science in Energy Management; Instrumentation and Control Technology.

2

Mayville State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,380
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
56.85%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
11
School Type
4-year

About

Mayville uses hybrid schedules for many of its degree programs and many of its bachelor's and associate degree programs are fully online. The online associate degrees are in Business Management and Early Childhood and the bachelor's degree programs online are in Business Administration; Early Childhood; Mathematics Education; Mathematics; Nursing; Special Education; and University Studies.

3

Dickinson State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,172
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
41.38%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
22
School Type
4-year

About

At Dickinson State University, the distance education program is tailored for students who don't have time to travel to campus for face-to-face classes. DSU offers a variety of online degrees and has campuses in Bismarck, Williston and Dickinson. Associate degrees are offered in Agriculture Sales/Service Equine Management; Agriculture Sales/Service Equine Training; and Arts. Online bachelor's degrees are offered in Accounting; Applied Science; Business Administration; Finance; Human Resource Management; and University Studies.

4

Minot State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,390
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
48.81%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
15
School Type
4-year

About

Minot provides online bachelor's degree programs in Management, Management Information Systems; Marketing; International Business; Applied Management; Applied Business Information Technology; Nursing; and General Studies. Online master's degrees are offer in Management; Information systems; and Special Education. An online associate degree is available in Human Services, with a major in Intellectual/Development Disabilities.

The university is dedicated to online learning and carefully evaluates each online course to make sure it is the most effective it can be. The online programs are designed to be interactive, and some programs offer 24/7 mentoring and support from instructors.

5

Valley City State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,800
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
69.55%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
9
School Type
4-year

About

Valley City offers online master's degrees in Education in four disciplines, including Technology Education; Teaching and Technology; Library and Information Technologies; and Teaching English Language Learners. Bachelor's degrees are offered in Business Education; English Education; Career and Technical Education; History Education; Technology Education; Professional Communication; and Music.

College Accreditation in North Dakota

Colleges in North Dakota don't have to be accredited, but many reputable schools choose to do so. Accreditation demonstrates the quality of a college or university and also makes it possible for students to receive federal financial aid.

However, not all accreditations may be created equal. The state's regional accrediting body is:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Other national accreditations from organizations such as the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing are also well-respected. Ultimately, students should make sure any accreditation listed is recognized and legitimate. Check the Council on Higher Education Accreditation website for a complete list of accrediting agencies.

School Interviews

Kristen Warmoth
Over the years, online learning has evolved beyond a strictly text-based format. Today, information is delivered in ways that appeal to different learning styles and the result is an enhanced learning experience.

Dr. Kristen Warmoth

Dean for the Center for Extended Learning

Minot State University

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at MSU?

MSU began offering online courses in the 1990's. Today, we offer 10 undergraduate degrees, seven graduate degrees, three undergraduate certificates, and one graduate certificate completely online (http://www.minotstateu.edu/online/degrees.shtml). The curricula for our online degrees are the same as that used on campus. Courses are taught predominantly by campus faculty.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

First, make sure that the institution from which you are seeking your degree is regionally accredited. There should be information on the institution homepage. Take the time to do a little research before you apply. Second, make sure that learning online is a good fit for you. If you have trouble managing your time or setting a schedule and sticking to it, online learning is probably not a good fit. Finally, make sure you have the tools to help you be successful. This would include a high speed Internet connection, relatively new equipment and the support of your family and friends.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

Over the years, online learning has evolved beyond a strictly text-based format. Today, information is delivered in ways that appeal to different learning styles and the result is an enhanced learning experience. I expect that tools to enrich the online learning environment will continue to evolve. I believe that many institutions are finding that by the time their students graduate, they have taken at least one online course. Distance education provides students with ways to add flexibility to their class schedules and speed up the time it takes to graduate. I believe that in order for institutions to remain competitive, even those who have a strong brick-and-mortar tradition, they must to some degree engage in online learning.


Lynette Krenelka
Technology will continue to evolve and impact how, when and where we learn.

Lynette Krenelka, Ph.D.

Director, Office of Extended Learning

University of North Dakota

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at UND?

UND offers over 40 Bachelors, Masters, Doctoral and graduate certificate programs online. Undergraduate and graduate disciplines from various colleges are offered online and include: Arts and Sciences, Business, Communication, Education, Engineering, Medical and Health Sciences, Nursing, and Psychology. Many of the programs are completely online, while others have an on-campus visit required. Some of programs offer synchronous delivery, while others utilize asynchronous delivery. All of the online degree and certificate programs have the same accreditation and admission standards as the on-campus curriculum and programs. The rigor, learning outcomes and assessment process is the same for online as it is for on campus programs. Students at a distance receive the same student services as an on-campus student receives. UND also offers many more online, semester-based courses and labs, as well as enroll-anytime, self-paced online courses to meet students’ needs. UND continues to support its lifelong learners through non-credit, online and face-to-face activities, as well.  

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

Take time to research the institution and degree program that you are seeking.  Is the institution accredited and/or is the program curriculum accredited (if applicable)?  Before starting an online program or course, make sure you are ready for online education; ensure you have the right tools to be successful in an online environment.  Ask yourself:

  • Do I have the time each week to spend on an online course (the same way you would spend on a campus-based course)?
  • Can I navigate through the learning management system and complete the tasks necessary within the course, such as uploading homework assignments?  Is there an online orientation offered?
  • Do I have the right computer, software and Internet connection that is needed?
  • What support systems will I need to be successful? Is there tutoring available if I need it?

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

I anticipate there will be many more competency-based learning programs in the future. These give learners more flexibility with their lifelong learning plan including time to completion and affordable options. Busy adults and working professionals are seeking flexible programs that they can access as their schedules allow.  The number of online learners will continue to increase. Technology will continue to evolve and impact how, when and where we learn.

Financial Aid in North Dakota

North Dakota Loans

North Dakota does not provide any state-based education loans, preferring to focus their efforts on offering a multitude of scholarships and grants instead. There are, however, two state programs that help to reduce loan indebtedness for college graduates who work in teaching or STEM-related fields identified as having shortages. For now, you should look into any and all scholarship and grant opportunities for which you are eligible, and pursue federal or private loans as a secondary source of funding. If you do seek federal financial assistance for your degree, keep in mind that you will need to fill out the FAFSA with details about your family's financial situation in order to apply. Private lenders have their own application process.

Learn more about student loans in the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in North Dakota

  • North Dakota University System details all of North Dakota's state-based scholarships and grants, as well as the state's loan forgiveness programs and information on possible tuition and fee reductions for applicable students.

Featured Cities in North Dakota

Data for these featured metropolitan areas is sourced from the 2015 American Community Survey (census.gov).

Fargo, ND-MN Metro Area

Total Population

223,379

Median salary for high school grads

$30,811

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$42,001

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

44.8%

Median rent

$714

Fun Facts

The city of Fargo boasts several cultural benefits as a location, thanks in part to the three universities located in the city. The Plains Art Museum in Fargo is the largest museum in the state, and there is an opera and orchestra in the city as well. Fargo is also known for its long, snowy winters and warm, thunderstorm-punctuated summers.

Bismarck, ND Metro Area

Total Population

123,407

Median salary for high school grads

$31,602

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$47,650

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

25.2%

Median rent

$746

Fun Facts

Bismarck is the state capital of North Dakota, and is the seventh fastest-growing small city in the country. The state capitol is the tallest building in North Dakota, and there are five colleges and a university located there. Despite the long, cold winters, outdoor recreation is popular here; the parks system is extensive and includes many miles of exercise trails.

 
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