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Online Colleges in
SOUTH DAKOTA

Online Schools in South Dakota

Hybrid and Online Degree Programs: Making Education Accessible

Students interested in higher education in South Dakota have a number of colleges and universities to choose from. The South Dakota Board of Regents (selectdakota.org) illustrates that the majority of the state’s largest postsecondary institutions are located in urban areas, including Sioux Falls and Rapid City.

Institution type No. offering bachelor's degrees No. offering associate's degrees No. offering certificates and other non-degree awards No. offering advanced degrees (master's, Ph.D., etc.)
Private for-profit5561
Private nonprofit6686
Public712127

However, colleges are few and far between in the northern half of the state, as well as the rural areas running along the South Dakota-Nebraska border, limiting options for residents who wish to receive on-campus education. Hybrid and online degree programs enable students and working professionals to pursue higher education regardless of their location, increasing convenience and schedule flexibility.

City Total estimated population
(U.S. Census, 2015)
No. of enrolled students
(NCES, 2016)
No. of students as a percentage of total population % of residents with bachelor's degrees
(U.S. Census, 2015)
Sioux Falls164,34111,0946.75 percent 32.8 percent
Brookings22,9748,12135.35 percent 47.2 percent
Rapid City71,6925,7237.98 percent 29.3 percent
Vermillion10,7464,77444.43 percent 51.9 percent
Aberdeen27,4182,3178.45 percent 28.5 percent
Spearfish10,9801,78616.27 percent 29.7 percent
Watertown21,9191,5156.91 percent 20.4 percent

Online Schools in South Dakota Help Meet Increased Occupational Demand

Some online schools in South Dakota offer programs that can align with growing occupations. The state’s largest postsecondary institution, South Dakota State University (sdstate.edu), offers a master of science in nursing, with a nurse educator specialization. The online program’s coursework covers health policy, disease prevention, nursing instruction and curriculum development. Coursework is intended to educate graduates about planning, implementing and evaluating nursing education programs. According to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (dlr.sd.gov), the number of nursing instructors is expected to increase 12.9 percent between 2010 and 2020. The increase is directly tied to projected future demand for registered nurses. The occupation is expected to be one of the fastest-growing in South Dakota, adding more than 1,500 positions for an estimated growth rate of 23.9 percent over the next decade.

Institution type No. offering 4-year degrees No. offering 2-year degrees No. offering certificates and other non-degree awards No. offering advanced degrees (master's, Ph.D., etc.)
Private for-profit1 - - -
Private nonprofit3122
Public5385

The University of South Dakota (usd.edu) has established a master of professional accountancy program, giving students the option of completing all coursework online, or combining web-based elements with face-to-face instruction on the university’s Sioux Falls campus. Coursework covers topics such as accounting theory, tax planning, auditing and business policy. The program is designed to prepare students for a career in public accounting, meeting the 150-hour educational requirement that helps ready them for the certified public accountant exam. Successful completion of the exam, which was developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), is required for individuals to become licensed as U.S. certified public accountants. The state’s Department of Labor and Regulation (dlr.sd.gov) anticipates that the number of accountants and auditors will grow 14.9 percent between 2010 and 2020, adding approximately 700 jobs.

Distance Learning Benefits Working Professionals

Offering students flexible scheduling and the ability to complete coursework online, distance learning can help working professionals pursue their educational goals while they continue full-time employment. Designed to help teachers develop skills that may help advance their careers, Black Hills State University (bhsu.edu) offers a master of science degree in curriculum & instruction, with specializations in either math, science or technology integration. Coursework for the technology integration specialization is completely online, except for clinical practice experiences during the last semester of study. The program prepares students to utilize technology and apply it to adult learning and professional development. The math and science degree programs let students take core courses online and specialization courses in a site-based format. The program prepares graduates to fill roles as math or science teachers, department heads and school district leaders.

Largely focused on technology education, Dakota State University (dsu.edu) offers more than 20 distance learning degree programs, including a master of science in health informatics. In this master’s program, coursework is delivered entirely online, using a combination of both live and recorded videos of classes, interactive message boards, course websites and e-mail. The program aims to help prepare students to design, develop and manage health information systems in healthcare facilities, agencies and organizations. Graduates often pursue positions where they facilitate real-time healthcare delivery and support critical information management decision making. Today, health records are increasingly being converted to electronic formats, requiring skilled individuals who can manage information. The number of medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase 15.9 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (dlr.sd.gov).

Industries for Job Growth in South Dakota

South Dakota employed approximately 424,000 working professionals in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2012). Trade, transportation and utilities was the state’s leading employment industry in 2012, accounting for more than 83,000 jobs. Government occupations followed close behind, making up approximately 77,000 jobs as the second-highest industry for employment in South Dakota. Education and health services employed roughly 67,000 people, ranking third among state industries.

Online colleges in South Dakota offer a number of information technology and software engineering programs. The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (dlr.sd.gov) estimates that the number of network system and data communication analysts will increase by more than 44 percent between 2010 and 2020, and anticipates a 31 percent increase in software application engineers during that timeframe.

Article Sources
Methodology

To get our list of the best colleges, we ranked 1,649 4-year colleges and universities in the U.S. Each school was scored on a 100-point scale, using the most recent data available from government sources. Our data points include:

  • The in-state tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • The estimated cost of books and supplies, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • The average net price for students receiving Title IV grant and scholarship aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-15
  • The average net price for low-income students receiving Title IV grant and scholarship aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-15
  • The average amount of institutional grant aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduate students as a percentage of in-state tuition and fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-15
  • Median debt of graduates, College Scorecard, 2014-15
  • 3-year student loan repayment rate of graduates, College Scorecard, 2014-15
  • No. of degree and certificate programs offered, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • No. of degree and certificate programs offered via distance education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of students enrolled in any distance education classes, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Average retention rate for full-time and part-time students, National Center for Education Statistics, Fall 2015-16
  • Graduation rate within six years, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Flexibility and student services, based on whether the school offers the following services, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
    • Dual credit
    • Credit for life experience
    • Advanced Placement credit
    • Programs of study that can be completed entirely on weekends or in the evening
    • Remedial services
    • Academic and career counseling
    • Job placement services for graduates
    • Guaranteed tuition plan
    • Tuition payment plan
    • Any other alternative tuition plan
X
21st Century eSchool
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
7106 South Avenue
City
Middleton
State
WI
Zip Code
53562
Website
http://www.21eschool.com/index.html
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
School Type
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
0
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
In-State Tution & Fees
$0
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
0
Number of Online Programs Offered
-
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
0%
21st Century Virtual Academy
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1829 Denver West Drive #27
City
Golden
State
CO
Zip Code
80401
Website
http://www.jeffcopublicschools.org/online/
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
School Type
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
0
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
In-State Tution & Fees
$0
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
0
Number of Online Programs Offered
-
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
0%
Academy Online High School
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1110 Chapel Hills Drive
City
Colorado Springs
State
CO
Zip Code
80920
Website
http://www.asd20.org/education/school/school.php?sectionid=3858
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
School Type
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
0
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
In-State Tution & Fees
$0
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
0
Number of Online Programs Offered
-
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
0%
ACCESS Distance Learning
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
5351 Gordon Persons Building PO Box 302101
City
Montgomery
State
AL
Zip Code
36130
Website
http://accessdl.state.al.us/
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
School Type
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
0
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
In-State Tution & Fees
$0
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
0
Number of Online Programs Offered
-
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
0%
Alabama A & M University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
4900 Meridian Street
City
Normal
State
AL
Zip Code
35762
Website
www.aamu.edu/
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
383-470
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
360-480
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
370-457
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
16-19
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
4,505
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admissions Rate
65%
Offers On-Campus Housing
1
In-State Tution & Fees
$9,366
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
19
Number of Online Programs Offered
2
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
15%
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
Administration Bldg Suite 1070
City
Birmingham
State
AL
Zip Code
35294
Website
www.uab.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
520-630
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
520-668
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
22-28
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
11,511
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admissions Rate
60%
Offers On-Campus Housing
1
In-State Tution & Fees
$7,766
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
13
Number of Online Programs Offered
6
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
67%
Amridge University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1200 Taylor Rd
City
Montgomery
State
AL
Zip Code
36117
Website
www.amridgeuniversity.edu
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Private not-for-profit
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
308
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$50
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
0
In-State Tution & Fees
$10,860
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
10
Number of Online Programs Offered
22
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
100%
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
301 Sparkman Dr
City
Huntsville
State
AL
Zip Code
35899
Website
www.uah.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
520-650
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
550-680
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
24-30
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
6,013
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admissions Rate
81%
Offers On-Campus Housing
1
In-State Tution & Fees
$9,128
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
20
Number of Online Programs Offered
15
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
12%
Alabama State University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
915 S Jackson Street
City
Montgomery
State
AL
Zip Code
36104
Website
www.alasu.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
370-450
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
360-460
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
16-19
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
4,764
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$25
Admissions Rate
46%
Offers On-Campus Housing
1
In-State Tution & Fees
$8,720
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
18
Number of Online Programs Offered
4
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
13%
University of Alabama System Office
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
500 University Blvd. East
City
Tuscaloosa
State
AL
Zip Code
35401
Website
www.uasystem.ua.edu
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
0
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
-1
In-State Tution & Fees
$0
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
0
Number of Online Programs Offered
-
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
0%
X