New students from adjacent states will soon experience the South Dakota Advantage, a tuition program that state public universities will offer, starting next summer, to new freshmen and new transfer students from six surrounding states.
The South Dakota Board of Regents adopted the new tuition policy in action taken Wednesday at its meeting on the campus of Northern State University. “Our goal is to grow enrollments, meet South Dakota’s workforce needs, and bring additional financial resources to our universities and the state,” said Regents President Kevin Schieffer. “Our data show 30 percent of nonresident students stay in South Dakota to pursue a career after graduation. This is an important demographic for us to engage.”
The adjacent state tuition program, to be called the South Dakota Advantage, offers new freshmen students and new transfer students from Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Colorado a tuition rate equivalent to the resident undergraduate rate set at each South Dakota public university. Minnesota is not part of the new program since the state of South Dakota has a long-standing tuition reciprocity agreement with Minnesota.
Several adjacent-state tuition plans already exist in South Dakota between certain universities and states. For example, Black Hills State University currently offers a rate equivalent to in-state tuition to new students from Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. At the University of South Dakota and at South Dakota State University, adjacent state arrangements are in place for new students from Iowa and Nebraska.
“Given the number of arrangements already in place between universities and neighboring states, the move to a surrounding state program for all of our universities seemed logical,” said Paul B. Beran, the regent’s executive director and CEO. “This provides an opportunity for the regents’ system and its campuses to effectively market in all of the surrounding states, with the goal to grow our enrollments and build a stronger workforce for South Dakota.”
The program is effective with the academic term beginning summer 2019. At its meeting next April, the Board of Regents will set tuition rates for the coming year.