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President's Desk

President’s Column: Prioritizing affordability

Mar 11, 2024

Greetings from VCSU!

As I pen this article, spring break is winding down, the outstanding community event – the annual North Dakota Winter Show – is in full swing, athletic teams are competing in Arizona, Florida, and South Dakota (indoor track and field national championships), and we are preparing to host our annual scholarship auction!

Prioritizing affordability has been a focal point of conversation and driving force in our recruitment and retention efforts for decades at Valley City State University. With rising costs of tuition across the nation, coupled with high student loan debt, we continue to strive to deliver a college degree that is both affordable and attainable. As a result, we recently announced our renewed pledge –  Viking Promise – as a continuous effort to alleviate the cost of tuition through financial aid and scholarship support.

Did you know that 95% of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Western Undergraduate Exchange, and Midwest Student Exchange Program students who are Pell Eligible have their tuition fully covered thanks to financial aid, scholarships, and talent-based awards? Students from these twenty states who are full Pell eligible will have full-time tuition (12-13 credits) covered at VCSU for the 2024-25 academic year. This is made possible by the outstanding scholarship support provided by our alumni, supporters, and friends. This year we will award nearly $2 million in scholarships to our students. These are real dollars, not tuition discounts, made possible through the generous support of our alumni, donors, and friends.

Another important area of affordability is in residence life. Our “Stay and Save” program locks in the freshman year room cost and guarantees that those rates will not increase if the student chooses to remain on campus in subsequent years. The savings associated with this program are significant and provide families with the assurance that those costs will not increase.

We recognize these are challenging times for students, parents, and families as they navigate a FAFSA (federal financial aid) process that is still unresolved, impacting students and universities across the nation. Our pledge is to continue providing outstanding quality at a price point that helps students attain their higher education goals in a timely and affordable manner. I believe the focused efforts listed above, coupled with one of the lowest tuition rates in North Dakota, are helping students and contributing to the growth of our outstanding institution.

Viking Softball and Baseball have been on the road during this past week. Softball competed at the Tucson Invitational Games and baseball had a series of games in Florida. Additionally, congratulations to Jaiden Peraza for earning All-American honors and taking fourth place in high jump at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships in Brookings, SD. Peraza, a sophomore from Kindred, ND, successfully cleared the bar at 2.05 meters (6 feet, 8.75 inches) to take fourth place out of 30 competitors from around the nation. We look forward to welcoming these teams and athletes back to North Dakota and following them, along with track and field and golf throughout the spring schedules. The 29th Annual VCSU Scholarship PresentsGet Groovy Vikings, April 26, 2024

Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to attend the 29th annual VCSU scholarship auction on Friday, April 26 at the Valley City Eagles Club. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with a buffet dinner at 6:00 p.m. followed by the live auction at 7:00 p.m. The theme for this year’s auction is “Get Groovy Vikings” and is sure to be a fun-filled, festive, and celebratory time!

The Silent Auction is virtual again this year. Bidding starts Monday, April 22th at 10 a.m. and ends Friday, April 26th at 8:30 p.m. To join in the fun, you will need to download the Handbid App, create an account and search for our auction “VCSU Scholarship Auction 2024”. If you participated in our 2023 silent auction, you’ve already created an account. Use your same username and password (there is an option to reset password if needed). All proceeds from this event go toward student scholarships. For tickets or more information, contact the VCSU Foundation Office at (701) 845-7203.

Go Vikings!