From the Hawks’ Nest: The Affordable DSU Experience

“From the Hawks’ Nest” is a monthly column by Dickinson State University President Steve Easton

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Dickinson State University President Steve Easton, author of the monthly column “From the Hawks’ Nest”

Bucking national trends of rising tuition and fees, Dickinson State University (DSU) is proud that we have frozen our tuition and course fees for the next two years.

Yes, you read that correctly. For the upcoming two academic years of 2021-22 and 2022-23, DSU will charge our students the same tuition and fees that we charged in 2020-21!

How did we do it? DSU has been zealous in holding its costs down, but we could not freeze our tuition without your help. As taxpayers, you provide about half of the general funding for DSU and the 10 other North Dakota University System (NDUS) campuses. Before the last session of the Legislature, Governor Doug Burgum estimated that the taxpayer support for the NDUS system would be reduced by about 7.5%. Fortunately, state revenue forecasts presented a brighter picture, so the Legislature and the governor agreed to a full NDUS budget, without these reductions.

The other 10 NDUS undergraduate institutions increased their tuition, often by about 4%. We were tempted to do likewise, because increased tuition revenue can always be put to some use on campus. But we went a different route—holding the line on expenses and using the increased taxpayer funds to support our students and their families.

Why did we do it? This, of course, is the more important question.


We want our students to graduate looking forward, financially, not backward. We want our Blue Hawks to be able to graduate—be it with a certificate, an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree—with little or no debt. That’s part of the magic of DSU.

The DSU Experience. The value proposition extends well beyond affordability. Our faculty provide a personal, high-quality education that has long been a hallmark of this University. Our small campus offers ample opportunity to engage in any number of activities including sports, the performing arts, leadership programs, community service and more.

Our graduates succeed, contributing to their professions and to their communities.

Now is the time! If you know someone who would benefit from the DSU experience, they can contact our admissions staff by stopping in at May Hall 107, calling (701) 483-2175 or visiting

Related Topics: DICKINSON
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