Last Updated: September 29, 2021
North Dakota - Peace Garden State
North Dakota is situated in the midwestern part of the United States and is the 19th largest state. The population of North Dakota is approximately 781,000. Bismarck is the capital city of the state whereas Fargo is the largest or the most populated city in North Dakota. It was declared as a state in the year 1889. The state is surrounded by the borders of Canada, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Montana. The state experiences a mix of both temperate and continental climates depending on the region. The overall temperature may be anywhere between 37° F (mostly northern regions) to 43° F (mostly southern regions). English is the widely spoken language in this state, followed by German, Spanish, Norwegian, and French.
The region was originally inhabited by the Lakota and Dakota Sioux tribes which is how the state got its name. The moniker "Peace Garden State" was given by the North Dakota Motor Vehicle Department in 1956 referring to the International Peace Garden. The name was used for the state's license plates and later on became popular enough to be the state's official nickname. There are many other nicknames for this state such as the 'Flickertail State', 'Roughrider State', 'The Sioux State', 'Norse Dakota', and so on.
Major Cities in North Dakota
With a population of around 122,000, Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota. It was established in 1871 and was initially known as 'Centralia'. The city was later renamed Fargo to honor William Fargo, the director of the Northern Pacific Railway and the Wells Fargo Express Company. It was also nicknamed 'Gateway to the West' due to the presence of the Northern Pacific Railway. Apart from being a major industrial center, Fargo is also known for being an educational hub. The North Dakota State University-Main Campus is situated in this city.
Bismarck is the capital city of North Dakota and also the second-largest city in the state. The estimated population of this city is roughly 73,000 and is situated in Burleigh County. The city is a major center for healthcare and business. Bismarck was originally named after Edwin M. Johnson, an engineer for the Northern Pacific Railway company, and was called Edwinton. To honor the German chancellor Otto Von Bismarck, the city was later renamed, Bismarck. The University of Mary and Bismarck State College are situated in this city.
Established as a city on February 22, 1881, Grand Forks is the third-largest city in North Dakota. The estimated population is around 57,000. The city was once nicknamed 'the Maroons' and the 'Redskins' but this was later dropped due to its controversial racist connotations. Healthcare services, food processing, manufacturing, and agriculture, are some of the major industries in this city. Popular sites in this city include the North Dakota Museum of Art, Sherlock Park, Splashers of the South Seas, and more. The most reputed institute in the state, the University of North Dakota, is situated in this city.
With an estimated population of around 49,000, Minot is the fourth-largest city in North Dakota. It is one of the most livable cities in the state because of its excellent transportation system, and low crime rates and is also known as "The Magic City". It was founded in the year 1886 and was established as a city in 1887. The city was named to honor H.D. Minot. Agriculture, transport, energy, and healthcare services are the major industries in the city. The Scandinavian Heritage Association, Roosevelt Park Zoo, Dakota Territory Air Museum, Oak Park, Minot Park District, are popular tourist attractions in Minot.
- Agriculture and livestock farming have been a significant part of the state's economy, where farmlands and ranches occupied almost 89 percent of the state. Major crops include soybeans, flaxseed, sugarbeets, corn, wheat, and canola. North Dakota is also the largest honey-producing state in the US.
- Mining (especially coal), and petroleum extraction are the leading sectors in North Dakota.
- Some of the largest companies situated in this state are Noridian Mutual Insurance Company, MDU Resources Group, MDU Construction Services Group, Scheels All Sports, ICS, North Dakota State University, and Altru Health System.
- After the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic the economic outlook of the state was experiencing gradual improvements. However, the growth was supposedly short-lived and is predicted to face a decline or even stagnation in the coming months.
- The unemployment rate in the state is 3.6% (August 2021) which is lower than the national unemployment rate of 5.4%. Despite the prediction of economic decline, unemployment rates have been steadily decreasing in North Dakota.
- Major sectors driving the state's economy currently are healthcare and education services, business, finance, manufacturing, construction, and mining.
- The state's GDP growth is 7.6% and is predicted to face a decline in the coming months.
Tuition Fee and Living Cost in North Dakota
The cost of living in the 'Peace Garden State' is lower than the national average with housing and transportation costs being the lowest. Major cities like Surrey, Grand Forks, Watford City, Fargo, and Bismarck are the most expensive cities in the state. The most affordable cities to live in are Harvey, Gwinner, Cooperstown, and Langdon. The median household income in North Dakota is around $65,000 and the per capita income is around $59,500.
Educational costs in this state are also reasonable or rather extremely lower than the national average. Both in-state and out-of-state tuition costs are less in North Dakota's public institutions. Private institutions that are generally expensive, with an average tuition of approximately $39,000, are affordable in North Dakota. For instance, the University of Mary (Bismarck) charges a fee of around $21,000. Moreover, the state also offers several scholarships and grants to make the dream of quality education an achievable reality for students.
List of Few Major Universities/Colleges
The top universities/colleges in the state of North Dakota are:
- University of North Dakota Situated in the city of Grand Forks, the University of North Dakota is one of the most prestigious public institutions in the state. Being the oldest institution of higher learning in the state, it was founded in 1883. The university is popular for offering the best learning experience at affordable rates. It provides more than 200 academic programs with the medicine program being the strongest. With more than 17,000 students and around 800 teachers, the student-to-teacher ratio is 17:1. The tuition fee for undergraduate in-state students is around $11,000 and about $17,000 for out-of-state students.
- North Dakota State University-Main Campus Founded in the year 1890, North Dakota State University is a public institute that is one of the largest in the state. The university is situated in the largest city of the state, Fargo. It offers more than 100 academic majors and is well known for its excellent faculty and high-quality research. It is also extremely popular for its spirited campus life and extracurricular activities. With approximately 15,000 students and more than 600 faculty members, the student-to-teacher ratio is 16:1. The tuition fee for undergraduate in-state students is around $11,000 and about $15,000 for out-of-state students.
- University of Mary This is a private university located in the second-largest city of Bismarck. Established in 1959, the institution is affiliated with the Catholic Church (Order of Saint Benedict). With about 5,000 students, the student-to-teacher ratio is 11:1. The university is known for providing the best education with greater importance to building character. It offers more than 60 academic programs with Education, Business, and Nursing being the strongest. Being a private institute, the education provided here is extremely affordable when compared to most private universities. The tuition fee for undergraduates in this university is around $21,000 for all students.
- Trinity Bible College Located in the city of Ellendale, it was founded in 1948 and is affiliated with the General Council of the Assemblies of God. The college is ideal for students willing to pursue a career in divinity as it offers an extensive curriculum for Bible and Theology. The institution has a small student body of around 300, and the student-to-teacher ratio is 11:1. The tuition fee in this college is roughly $19,000 for all undergraduate students.
Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students
- North Dakota State Student Incentive Grant Program: This is a need-based grant provided by the state to help high-school graduates who are planning to attend college. To be eligible for the program, the student must be a legal resident of North Dakota, must have graduated high school from an institution in North Dakota, and should plan to pursue an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. The student should also display the required level of financial need. The award amount varies from roughly $800 to $1,200 each year based on the institution's academic calendar.
- North Dakota Scholarship Program: This is a state grant based on exceptional academic merit. To be eligible for the program, the applicant must be a permanent North Dakota resident, must have graduated high school from an institution in North Dakota, and should plan to pursue an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. The applicant should also have a score above the 95th percentile among all ACT or SAT examinees. The student's rank in class will also be considered if required. The award will cover the tuition amount of the selected students' institution but may vary based on the availability of funds.
- North Dakota Academic Scholarship: This is a merit-based grant program for high school graduates of North Dakota. To be qualified, the students are required to attend an accredited institution of higher learning on a full-time basis, secure a minimum score of 3.0 GPA (high school) and 2.75 GPA (during college), cover the minimum number of credits or clock hours, and secure a minimum composite score of 24 for the ACT. The total award amount is $6,000 where students will be offered $1,500 per academic year, or $750 per semester, or $500 per quarter. The reward will be automatically renewed provided the students maintain the required level of academic progress.
- North Dakota Career and Technical Education Scholarship: This is a grant program similar to the North Dakota Academic Scholarship. To be qualified, the students are required to attend an accredited institution of higher learning on a full-time basis and cover the minimum number of credits or clock hours. The students are required to secure a minimum score of 3.0 GPA for the required high school curriculum as stated in the grant rules, and a 2.75 GPA during college. The candidate should also secure a minimum composite score of 24 for the ACT, or a minimum score of '5' on each of the 3 designated WorkKey assessments. The total award amount is $6,000 where students will be offered $1,500 per academic year, or $750 per semester, or $500 per quarter.
- North Dakota Indian Scholarship Program: This is a scholarship program based on economic need and academic merit for members of federally accepted Indian tribes. Students who are eligible for the merit-based award should secure a score of more than 3.50 CGPA, and those who demonstrate financial need should score a minimum of 2.0 CGPA. The student should also be a resident of North Dakota and attend an accredited institution on a full-time basis. The candidates are also supposed to submit academic transcripts, and proof of tribal enrollment. The award amount offered will be up to $2,000 per academic year.
The state of North Dakota is usually not extremely popular as a place full of exciting tourist attractions. However, the state has its share of scenery and sites for tourists to explore. The North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum is the most popular historic site that beautifully showcases the roots and origins of the Peace Garden State. Other popular destinations in North Dakota include the Maah Daah Hey Trail, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, National Buffalo Museum, Lake Sakakawea and Garrison Dam, Turtle Mountain Chippewa Heritage Center, North Dakota Heritage Center, Scandinavian Heritage Park, The Enchanted Highway, Dakota Zoo, and more. Due to the Norwegian, German, and Native American influences, North Dakota has a vast variety of cuisines to offer. Popular cuisines available here are Kuchen - German cake, Lefse - traditional Norwegian flatbread, Goulash - Hungarian soup, Fleischkuekle - Russian-German meat-filled pastry, Krumkake - Norwegian waffle, and a lot more.
Universities & Colleges in North Dakota
*UG - Undergraduate
*G - Graduate
*in - In-state Fees
*out - Out-of-State Fees
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