The State Board of Higher Education reviewed its strategic planning process during its annual meeting this week, making post-pandemic adjustments to the plan and how the North Dakota University System would move forward.

Chair Nick Hacker, Chancellor Mark Hagerott and Vice Chancellor of Strategy and Strategic Engagement Jerry Rostad updated the Board on the strategic plan and any potential changes to it. Three main points were reviewed, including Policy 100.4 (Mission and Vision), Policy 100.5 (Beliefs and Core Values), and metrics that were related to the Board’s five current strategic goals.

Among the novel changes in policies and governance, was a modification of a tuition program approved by the board known as the "New North Dakotan" undergraduate tuition rate.

Under the program, the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education approved moves to make education more affordable for students at four-year universities in the state — which were already among the lowest in the region.

According to a 2020 review, the average tuition, fees, room and board for NDUS doctoral, masters and four-year universities is less than the regional peer institutions for 2019-20, and is in keeping with that trend over the last five years.

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“At Dickinson State, we provide a tremendous value,” Steve Easton, Dickinson State University president, said. “Our students have many opportunities inside and outside the classroom, at a very reasonable price. Students from throughout the American West will now have an even more affordable opportunity to obtain a small private school experience at Dickinson State at a low public school cost. We are pleased to help our students graduate with little or no debt.”

The “New North Dakotan” rate will remain unaltered through the summer 2023 semester, and guarantees in-state tuition rates for residents of the following states: Alaska, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, California, North Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Oregon, Idaho, Saskatchewan, Kansas, South Dakota, Manitoba, Texas, Minnesota, Utah, Montana, Washington, Nebraska, Wyoming.

DSU, as previously reported, announced its intent to freeze tuition and fee rates for two years in an effort guaranteeing that the cost of tuition and fees established in the 2020-2021 academic year will not change through summer 2023.

This plan, which was also approved during the State Board of Higher Education meeting, will lock in educational costs for new and returning, resident and non-resident students in an effort to help them and their families better afford higher education in the midst of rising educational costs across the country.

Freezing tuition and fees will allow DSU to better serve the region through recruiting and retaining students, and will support strategic enrollment management goals at the university aimed at increasing fulltime enrollment and credit production.