Skip to main content

Great Plains Promise | Bismarck State College

to the top of the page
Home Page

Great Plains Promise

The Great Plains Promise Application has closed!

The Great Plains Promise application is no longer available. The deadline to complete was June 1, 2024.

However, Bismarck State College offers close to $1.3 million in scholarships annually and several tuition waivers. All students should apply, as not all scholarships and waivers are need-based. Applying is easy—no essays are necessary!


    BSC Waivers     

Free Tuition is our Promise to North Dakota, our community and YOU!

great plains logo holding handsThe Great Plains Promise is Bismarck State College's promise to remove financial barriers by offering free tuition for individuals to pursue an education – opening the doors even wider to building North Dakota's workforce.

During the 2024-25 academic year, North Dakota first-time BSC freshman and transfer students with a combined household adjusted gross income (AGI) of $80,000 or less will have their tuition fully covered for their first year at BSC.

This waiver program is available to eligible students for the Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 semesters. Funding is limited, and class registration is required by June 1, 2024.

Families earning an AGI of over $80,000 are still encouraged to apply to BSC, fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), and apply for BSC Scholarships. While you may not qualify for the Great Plains Promise tuition waiver, you may still qualify for additional scholarships and waivers, as not all funding is need-based. 

How It Works

This free-tuition waiver program is our promise to you to provide financial support by covering any remaining tuition after all other eligible aid (grants, scholarships, waivers from federal, state, institutional or external sources) has been applied, excluding student loans.


For full consideration, students must meet the following criteria during the 2024-2025 academic year:
  • Be a North Dakota resident
  • Have a family income (annual adjusted gross income) of $80,000 or less after taxes and deductions
  • Must have applied to BSC, be accepted into program of study
  • Be a new, first-year or transfer student with no prior BSC credits other than BSC Dual Credit beginning Fall 2024
  • Be a degree-seeking student pursuing a certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree
  • Be enrolled and maintain full-time status with a minimum of 12 credits for Fall 2024 semester by June 1, 2024 (Payment available up to enrollment of 15 credits)
  • Have completed the BSC Scholarship Application
  • Have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2024-25
  • Student must exhaust all other forms of funding (Grants, scholarships, 3rd party, etc.) to be considered.
  • If a transfer student be in good academic standing and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Not in default on a state or federal student loan
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident
To get the Great Plains Promise Waiver, you must stay enrolled full-time. If you drop below full-time, you'll lose the waiver. This doesn't cover fees or other costs.


  1. Apply to BSC as soon as possible to begin the class registration process.
  2. Register for Fall 2024 classes by June 1, 2024

Have questions? Contact us!

Have questions about eligibility criteria, application deadlines, or the application process itself? Contact BSC Admissions today, and we'll provide you with the information and guidance you need to take advantage of this incredible opportunity. Your pursuit of higher education is our priority, and we're here to help make it a reality. Reach out to us through our official channels, and let's explore the possibilities together!
Call: 701-224-5429

Text: 701-390-1075


Admissions and Outreach Services
Jack Science Center, Room #111
1420 Schafer Street, 
Bismarck, ND  58506   

Great Plains Promise FAQs

I am accepted as a new First-Year Freshman or Transfer student for Summer 2024, can I qualify?
This waiver is for NEW degree-seeking, first-year and transfer students for the Fall 2024 term.

NEW first-year or transfer students accepted into the Summer 2024 Lineworker (Electrical) program may apply for the Great Plains Promise to apply towards Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 tuition. 
What is “eligible aid”?
Eligible aid refers to financial assistance that a student qualifies for and receives that does not have to be repaid (gift aid). The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NAFSAA) defines gift aid on its website.

Students must submit any additional required documents as requested by BSC.

What is the deadline for this waiver?
To be considered for eligibility, program acceptance and class registration must be completed by June 1, 2024.
When can I complete the FAFSA?
The 2024-2025 FAFSA application is open now. Our Federal FAFSA School Code is 002988.
Where can I find out if my family income is under $80,000?

Your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) will be verified via submission of your 2024-2025 FAFSA or review your 2022 Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax returns. 

What is the amount of this waiver?

This is a “last dollar” waiver, meaning it is applied after all other eligible aid is applied (grants, scholarships, waivers from federal, state, institutional or external sources). As a result, the dollar amount of the waiver will vary depending on the amount of other eligible aid received. The amount you receive will cover the entire tuition for the 2024-25 academic year after all other aid is applied.

When will I know if I’m receiving this waiver?

If you meet the eligibility criteria outlined above, you will be considered for Great Plains Promise waiver. BSC hopes to provide a preliminary waiver amount when your financial aid award notices are sent. If you receive eligible aid from other sources after you receive your financial aid award notice, the amount of this waiver will be adjusted. In other words, the amount of this waiver can change over time depending on a number of factors.

I am an international student – am I eligible for this waiver?

No – International students are not eligible for federal financial aid and thus cannot complete the FAFSA.  However, BSC does offer some waivers specifically for international undergraduate applicants. Applicants must be a citizen of the United States of America or a permanent resident alien at the time of application with residency in North Dakota. More information on these awards can be found on our waivers page.

I previously attended BSC but didn’t finish my degree. Do I qualify?
No – Previous BSC students are not eligible for the Great Plains Promise. To qualify, you need to be a new, first-year or transfer “degree-seeking” student, meaning someone with no prior BSC credits who is seeking a certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree. However, previous and current students do qualify to apply for the more than $1 million in scholarship funding that is awarded annually. More information on scholarships can be found on our scholarships and waiver page.
Do only certain programs or majors at BSC qualify?
No – You do not need to enroll in a certain program or major at BSC. You just need to be a new, first-year or transfer “degree-seeking” student in any program pathway – meaning you are seeking a certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree and have no prior BSC credits.
How many credits do I need to take each semester?
Recipients need to enroll as a full-time student in a minimum of 12 credits. 
What is the maximum number of credits that will be covered with this waiver?

This waiver will cover a maximum of 15 credits per semester.

I took Dual Credit classes at BSC in high school. Would I still be eligible?
Yes – BSC Dual Credit students are not considered degree-seeking, so students who have previously taken Dual Credit classes through BSC are still considered first-year, degree-seeking BSC students.
Can the Great Plains Promise cover the tuition costs of my Dual Credit classes at BSC while I’m still in high school?

No – The Great Plains Promise will not cover tuition of Dual Credit or Early Entry classes while a student is still in high school. High school Dual Credit students are classified as non-degree seeking and to qualify for the Great Plains Promise the student needs to be degree-seeking.

If I qualify for the Great Plain Promise, will I have all my expenses covered at BSC?

No – The Great Plains Promise covers ONLY tuition for the 2024-25 academic year. Fees, books, room and board are not included and are the responsibility of the student. 

Is there a maximum number of students who will be awarded a Great Plains Promise waiver?

There is not a maximum number of students, awards are first-come, first-serve until funding is exhausted.

I am on the waitlist for my program, can I qualify?
In order to be considered, students must be accepted into their program of study. If you would like to switch your program, please contact the BSC Admissions or Academic Records Office. This would not impact the status of your waitlisted program. 
To qualify for the Great Plains Promise free tuition program at Bismarck State College, applicants must have a combined household adjusted gross income of $80,000 or less (verified by the FAFSA), be a North Dakota resident, and enroll in Fall 2024 as a new first-year or transfer degree-seeking student with a full-time course load with a minimum of 12 credits but will not cover tuition in excess of 15 credits. Must enroll by June 1, 2024, and have applied for all other eligible aid. Funding is limited. This offer is valid for one academic year.