Should I go to Fort Lewis College or Northern State University? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if FLC or NSU is the better college for you.

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Fort Lewis College vs. Northern State University comparison
Fort Lewis College Northern State University College 3 College 4
Fort Lewis College
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Location Durango, CO Aberdeen, SD
Setting Remote Town Remote Town
Students 3,319 3,493
Type Public 4 Year Public 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - - - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $7,056 $7,540
Tuition (Out of State) $17,712 $10,611
Room & Board $11,704 $8,925
Avg Net Price $16,204 $15,575
Avg Grant Aid $13,048 $5,167
% Receiving Grant Aid 89% 86%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 91.4% 84.5%
Avg High School GPA 3.21 3.14
Admissions Standards Easy Moderate
Applicant Competition
ACT Range 17/23 19/25
SAT Range 980/1200 980/1190
Application Deadline Aug 1, 2020 Sep 1, 2020


Graduation Rate 37% 42%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $39,000 $37,400
Making Student Loan Payments 57% 63%
Median Student Loan Debt $19,500 $24,399
Median Loan Payment $201 $252
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Comparable Facts

  • Northern State University is larger than than FLC based on total student enrollment (3,493 students vs. 3,319 students)

FLC vs. NSU Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, FLC or NSU?

  • Northern State University is 6.9% more expensive to attend than FLC for in-state tuition ($7,540.00 vs. $7,056.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 66.9% higher at FLC than Northern State University ($17,712.00 vs. $10,611.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Northern State University than FLC ($15,575 vs. $16,204)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at Northern State University are 31.1% lower than costs at Fort Lewis College ($8,925 vs. $11,704)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at Fort Lewis College than Northern State University (89% vs. 86%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by Fort Lewis College students is 152.5% larger than aid received Northern State University ($13,048 vs. $5,167)

FLC vs. NSU Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, FLC or NSU? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between NSU or FLC .

  • The average SAT score at Northern State University (1024) is 12 points higher than at FLC (1012)
  • Incoming FLC students have at the same average ACT score (22) as students at NSU (22)
  • FLC has a higher acceptance rate (91.4%) than NSU (84.5%)

FLC vs. NSU Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, FLC or NSU? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between NSU and FLC.

  • The graduation rate at NSU is higher that Fort Lewis College (42% vs. 37%)
  • Graduates from Fort Lewis College earn on average $1,600 more per year than NSU graduates after ten years. ($39,000 vs. $37,400)
  • Fort Lewis College students graduate with a $4,899 lower median federal student loan debt than NSU graduates. ($19,500 vs. $24,399)
  • FLC graduates are paying $51 less per month on federal student loans than NSU graduates. ($201 vs. $252)
  • More NSU graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former FLC students, three years after graduation. (63% vs. 57%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov IPEDS and College Scorecard https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/