Northern graduate finds success at Huron, Aberdeen campuses

Female student standing outside on campus

ABERDEEN, S.D. – KawLar Dah’s love for Northern State University started well before she became a student.

“I already loved Northern before I even enrolled here,” said Dah, who will graduate Saturday with a business administration degree.

Dah toured Northern when she was in high school and said people around campus were so nice.

“They welcomed the high school students,” she said. “I feel like I was already welcome before I even got here. That’s why I chose Northern. The community is super nice, too.”

Even though Dah knew she wanted to attend Northern since high school, she didn’t immediately come to campus in Aberdeen. A native of Huron, Dah first decided to take Northern classes through Huron Community Campus. The choice, she said, was based on cost savings and convenience.

“The reason why I took that is because it’s so cheap and it was a great opportunity for me to work full time, earn some money, save up, and also go to school at the same time,” said Dah.

Northern began offering undergraduate courses at Huron Community Campus in fall 2012. HCC is located on the site of the former Huron University and Si Tanka University. Because of an agreement among Northern, the South Dakota Board of Regents, and Huron University Foundation, students pay only $50 per credit in tuition and fees.

Saved Money at HCC

Dah said it was nice to save money with the lower tuition rate, and also by living at home with her parents, as she took general courses through HCC. Eventually, though, she needed more classes not offered there.

“That’s when I realized that if I want to continue with my degree, then I should come down here and do it face to face,” Dah said.

She transitioned to the Aberdeen campus, where she got to experience the benefits of services such as the NSU Tutoring Center, Counseling Center and Career Center. She also enjoyed the ease of setting up appointments to meet with professors or her advisor if she needed to.

Became Involved at NSU

Another benefit of moving to campus: Dah became highly involved at Northern. She worked as an RA for more than a year, and also participated in international clubs, the Residence Hall Association, and women’s rugby.

“Coming over here gave me a lot of opportunities,” she said. “I made friends and got involved in activities.”

The best part of coming to Northern, she said, has been celebrating Gypsy Day.

“It seems like, on Gypsy Day, everybody gets involved,” she said. “In the parade, you don’t only see Northern State University students, you also see all the people in the Aberdeen community.”

Advice for Students

For students considering studying at HCC, Dah suggests taking as many required courses as they offer so you can save money.

Her advice for students transitioning from HCC to the main NSU campus: Get involved.

“To adjust to life from community campus to a university, I think it’s a little different, but the main goal is just to get used to your morning schedule; get involved; get to know your advisor, your professor – those kind of people who will guide you through your college life,” she said.

And her reminder for all students: Don’t forget to have fun.

“Enjoy your university life because you never know when it’ll be gone. I can’t believe I’ll be graduating. I feel like yesterday I just came here. It goes so fast,” Dah said. “Treasure every moment that you have at Northern State University because time goes very fast. One day you’ll be a senior and there’s a lot of things to look back on the past year.”

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a regional university that offers outstanding academics and exceptional extracurricular activities at an affordable price on a safe, welcoming campus. Northern State recently announced its Educational Impact Campaign, with a goal of raising $55 million for a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, new athletic and recreation fields, and an on-campus regional sports complex. Once the campaign is complete, NSU will be the recipient of more than $100 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.