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Timothy Peck
6 Scholarships

10 North Dakota Scholarships to Save You Thousands on College

What’s Covered:


Teddy Roosevelt famously remarked, “I never would have been President if it had not been for my experiences in North Dakota.” Almost a century-and-a-half later, Rough Rider country continues to crank out impressive young people, thanks in part to the state’s great colleges and universities. Helping young North Dakotans afford college are numerous scholarships specifically for students from the Flickertail State. 


10 North Dakota Scholarships


1. North Dakota Indian Scholarship 


Amount: $2,000

Deadline: July 15 

Eligibility: North Dakota resident and enrolled member of a federally recognized Indian tribe accepted by a North Dakota institution of higher learning or vocational program and planning to attend full time 

Application Requirements: Minimum 2.0 (for need) or 3.5 (for merit) GPA, transcript, and verification of tribal enrollment 


This North Dakota scholarship aimed at supporting the state’s Native American students is awarded on both merit and need. Merit-award recipients must have a minimum GPA of 3.5, while need-based recipients are required to possess a minimum 2.0 GPA. The scholarship is open to students pursuing a variety of outcomes, such as an associate, bachelor, or graduate degree, or a certificate. The North Dakota Indian Scholarship is awarded annually. 


2. Edward Nesheim Memorial Scholarship


Amount: $1,500

Deadline: April 1

Eligibility: High school senior who is a direct descendant of a U.S. veteran, a North Dakota resident, and is planning to pursue a degree in agriculture, human nutrition, or


Application Requirements: Minimum 2.75 GPA, transcript, essay, three letters of recommendation, and proof of service/lineage 


The Edward Nesheim Memorial Scholarship is awarded to North Dakota high school seniors who are direct descendants of U.S. veterans and plan to pursue a degree in agriculture, human nutrition, or medicine—such as a medical doctor, physician assistant, dentistry, dental hygiene, pharmacy, or chiropractic. Recipients may use the scholarship at any post-secondary institution in North Dakota that grants associate or higher degrees. This scholarship is renewable provided the recipient maintains certain academic standards, including a minimum 2.5 GPA. 


3. Erickson Merkel Foundation Scholarships


Amount: $1,000

Deadline: March 30 

Eligibility: North Dakota, Colorado, or Minnesota resident enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at a two-year college, four-year college/university, or technical/vocational school

Application Requirements: Essay and budget 


The Erickson Merkel Foundation awards four $1,000 annual scholarships:


  • Jerome P. Merkel Scholarship
  • Donald Erickson Scholarship
  • Susan McGuire Scholarship
  • Duane Reznechek Scholarship


The deadline to apply for an Erickson Merkel Foundation Scholarship is March 30. However, the foundation closes the application window when it reaches 250 applications, which can happen before March 30, so apply early! Applicants are required to submit an essay explaining how their educational goals are tied to their professional goals and a budget detailing how they are trying to avoid accruing student debt. 


4. Academic, Career & Technical Education, and the North Dakota Scholarships


Amount: Up to $6,000

Deadline: N/A

Eligibility: North Dakota high school student 

Application Requirements: Minimum 2.75 GPA 


These North Dakota scholarships seek to encourage North Dakota high school students to take challenging coursework in preparation for college. To qualify for one of these awards, applicants must meet certain academic benchmarks, such as completing specific coursework at a certain level of performance. Recipients can use the award at any accredited state public, private, or tribal institution, or at any accredited career or technical education school. 


5. The North Dakota Association of Counties/Institute of Local Government (NDACo/ILG) Scholarship


Amount: $2,000

Deadline: May 27

Eligibility: Child or grandchild of a current North Dakota county employee or county official who is enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program at any accredited North Dakota college/university or vocational/technical certification program

Application Requirements: Transcript, essay, resume, personal statement, and two letters of recommendation


The NDACo/ILG Scholarship provides financial support to the children and grandchildren of North Dakota county employees pursuing post-secondary education. The goal of the scholarship is to inspire future leaders for a career in public service, whether on the community, country, or state level. Applicants are evaluated on the following criteria:


  • Leadership and volunteerism
  • Honors and awards
  • Personal statement and essay 


In 2022, six $2,000 NDACo/ILG Scholarships will be awarded. 


6. Dollars for Scholars Opportunity Scholarship


Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 1

Eligibility: North Dakota high school seniors planning to pursue post-secondary education in North Dakota 

Application Requirements: GPA between 2.5 and 3.25


This great North Dakota scholarship opportunity is provided by North Dakota Dollars for Scholars, an organization that encourages high schoolers to pursue post-secondary education by providing financial support. The Dollars for Scholars Opportunity Scholarship is a $1,000 award for use at any accredited two-year college, four-year college/university, or vocational/trade school in North Dakota. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years. 


7. North Dakota United (NDU) Foundation Ethnic Minority Scholarship 


Amount: $750

Deadline: April 15 

Eligibility: Minority students preparing to teach

Application Requirements: Essay


The NDU Foundation, a group representing those working in public education and public service in North Dakota, is responsible for funding this great scholarship focused on minority students planning on a career in teaching. As part of the scholarship application, students are required to submit an essay about themselves—between 300 and 500 words—detailing their background, goals, strengths, weaknesses, and education philosophy. Special consideration for the NDU Foundation Ethnic Minority Scholarship is given to students attending a tribal college. 


8. CAWS Women’s Opportunity Scholarship Fund


Amount: Varies

Deadline: June 15

Eligibility: Low-income North Dakota women planning to attend an in-state college, university, or trade school

Application Requirements: Financial information, acceptance letter, essay, and three references 


This scholarship provided by CAWS—an organization devoted to ending sexual and domestic violence—provides financial support to low-income North Dakota women pursuing post-secondary education and ultimately improving their lives and the lives of their families. To qualify for this scholarship, an applicant must meet the 125% federal poverty guideline. Applicants must also submit an essay between 500 and 1,500 words detailing their motivation for wanting a college education and their future plans. 


9. Jan Jordan Scholarship Fund 


Amount: $1,000

Deadline: March 18 

Eligibility: Registered full-time student at any accredited North Dakota college, university, or vocational/technical certification program who is the child or grandchild of a city employee or elected official 

Application Requirements: Transcript, resume, personal statement, essay, and two letters of recommendation 


This scholarship offered by the North Dakota League of Cities (NDLC) helps the children and grandchildren of city employees and elected officials cover the cost of post-secondary education. To qualify for this award, the applicant must be between the ages of 17 and 22 and attend school in North Dakota. Three $1,000 scholarships are awarded annually. 


10. Catholic Charities North Dakota Hassing Scholarships 


Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 15 

Eligibility: North Dakota resident for at least four years and accepted and enrolling in a social work degree program 

Application Requirements: Personal statement and three letters of recommendation 


The intent of these scholarships is to draw attention to the needs of rural North Dakota and ensure the values of the Catholic Church are present in the state’s welfare system. Applicants are expected to have the academic ability to earn a bachelor’s degree, an understanding and acceptance of Catholic teachings, and plan to practice social work in North Dakota after earning their degree. 


11. CollegeVine Scholarships


Amount: Up to $500

Deadline: Weekly

Eligibility: High school student and U.S. resident

Application Requirements: Create a free CollegeVine account 

CollegeVine weekly scholarships aren’t limited to North Dakota students, but they do present a great opportunity for them to earn money for college. CollegeVine Scholarships are valued at up to $500—and to become eligible, all you need to do is join our free admissions platform and earn Karma, the free CollegeVine “currency.” Earn Karma by reviewing essays through our Peer Review tool and answering questions in our Community Forums, then use it to enter our scholarship drawing. If you don’t win, we will return your Karma so you can “spend” it on essay reviews and expert advice. 

Awards are paid out directly to students to help them cover any educational costs. Learn more about the CollegeVine scholarships.


Tips on Applying to Scholarships


Competition for scholarships continues to grow, but luckily there are some steps you can take to improve your odds of winning an award. 


Institutional Aid 


Colleges and universities have substantially more funds available for scholarships than outside organizations. Schools award $175 billion annually in scholarship money compared to just $11 billion in scholarship dollars granted by other organizations. Prioritize maximizing the scholarship dollars you can get from an institution before moving on to other scholarship sources. 


“Safety” School Scholarships 


Many of the most selective schools in the nation do not offer scholarships, and competition for scholarships is intense at those that do. However, some schools use impressive awards to tempt high-achieving students to their campuses. When building your college list, consider applying to one or two “safety” schools where your profile is particularly strong and you have a good chance of winning a significant award. 


Apply to a Private School 


Although private schools commonly have a higher price tag than their public counterparts, they are more generous when awarding scholarships. All of the schools on CollegeVine’s list of colleges that give out the most merit aid are private. Private colleges award more scholarships for various reasons, including the desire to attract top students, compete on price with public institutions, keep alumni happy, and simply fill empty seats.


Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.