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Online and On-Campus Colleges in
SOUTH DAKOTA

Online and On-Campus Colleges in & South Dakota

Article Sources
  • Financial Aid Options, South Dakota Board of Regents, Accessed May 2017, http://www.selectdakota.org/resources/financialaidoptions/
  • Articulation, South Dakota Board of Regents, Accessed May 2017, https://www.sdbor.edu/administrative-offices/academics/Pages/Articulation.aspx
  • About NSU, Northern State University, Accessed May 2017, http://www.northern.edu/about-nsu
  • Why DSU? Dakota State University, Accessed May 2017, http://dsu.edu/about-dsu/why-dsu
  • USD at a Glance, University of South Dakota, Accessed May 2017, http://www.usd.edu/about-usd/usd-at-a-glance
  • Mission, Values and Vision, Augustana University, Accessed May 2017, http://www.augie.edu/mission-values-and-vision
  • Facts, South Dakota State University, Accessed May 2017, https://www.sdstate.edu/about-us/facts
  • About BHSU, Black Hills State University, Accessed May 2017, http://www.bhsu.edu/AboutBHSU/tabid/12828/Default.aspx
  • About USF, University of Sioux Falls, Accessed May 2017, https://www.usiouxfalls.edu/about-usf
  • About, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Accessed May 2017, http://www.sdsmt.edu/About/
  • Learn Strong, Dakota Wesleyan University, Accessed May 2017, https://www.dwu.edu/academics/learn-strong
  • About Presentation College, Presentation College, Accessed May 2017, http://www.presentation.edu/about/
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Students in South Dakota don't have to go far to get a good education. The state is home to a number of schools offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs in popular fields such as nursing, business administration and psychology.

The South Dakota Board of Regents oversees six public universities and two special schools. These include some of the best-known institutions in the state, such as the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University. There are also four technical institutes that have articulation agreements with the six public universities. These agreements allow students to begin their education at a technical school and then easily transfer credits to a four-year university.

South Dakota is also home to several tribal schools and private institutions. Some of these schools specialize in conferring online South Dakota degrees while others have traditional on-campus programs.

Best 4-Year Colleges in South Dakota

We looked at factors such as tuition costs and average net price, degree options and graduation rates to order South Dakota online schools and campus-based ones into the following top ten. Many of these schools have been serving students for more than 100 years.

Methodology
1Northern State University+
ADMISSION RATE
72%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$20
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
14

The number one school in South Dakota ranks high for affordability and flexibility. Northern State University has the lowest tuition and fees of any school surveyed in the state. It ranks second for its average net price for low-income students and third for its average net price for all students.

Located in Aberdeen, NSU has almost 60 academic programs and says 60 percent of its students receive financial aid. NSU Online offers several degree completion programs for those who want to earn an online bachelor's degree in South Dakota. The school also has night and weekend classes which can make earning a degree more convenient for adult learners.

Northern State University was founded in 1901 and is one of South Dakota's public universities.

Additional Info
2Dakota State University+
ADMISSION RATE
81%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$20
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
25

While NSU has the lowest sticker price for tuition and fees in the state, Dakota State University has the lowest average net price. That's the amount students pay out-of-pocket for tuition after financial aid has been factored. DSU, a public institution, ranks first for both its overall average net price and its average net price for low-income students.

Based in Madison and founded in 1881, Dakota State University has more than 35 undergraduate majors and notes several degree programs have a 100 percent career placement rate for graduates. In addition to bachelor's degrees, the school awards associate degrees, graduate degrees and certificates. DSU ranks second for the number of distance education programs it offers and third for the percentage of students enrolled in those programs.

Additional Info
3University of South Dakota+
ADMISSION RATE
74%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$20
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
15

The University of South Dakota, which encompasses nine colleges and schools, has solid rankings across all metrics used in this analysis. The school is the flagship institution within the state higher education system. Founded in 1862, it is the oldest public university in the state. Its campus in Vermillion has been noted for its elegance and natural beauty.

USD offers the second-greatest number of academic programs in South Dakota and is ranked third for its number of distance programs. While there are more than 200 choices at the undergraduate level, the most popular fields of study are nursing, business and health sciences. The University of South Dakota notes more than 80 percent of undergraduates receive financial aid, and the school ranks second for the low median student debt carried by graduates.

Additional Info
4Augustana University+
ADMISSION RATE
65%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
N/A
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
1

Augustana University is the oldest private institution in the state -- serving students since 1860. With an enrollment of almost 1,900, Augustana is a relatively small school that does an excellent job of keeping and graduating its students. The university ranks first in South Dakota for both its retention rate and its graduation rate. While enrolled, students have access to remedial support and academic counseling services to help them be successful in their studies.

Students can choose from more than 100 majors, minors and pre-professional specializations. To make those programs more affordable, Augustana University is generous with its financial aid. The school ranks first in the state for the amount of institutional grant aid it awards as a percentage of its tuition and fees.

Augustana University is a private institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Its campus is in Sioux Falls.

Additional Info
5South Dakota State University+
ADMISSION RATE
92%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$20
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
28

With more than 12,500 students, South Dakota State University is the largest school on this top ten list. This public university also has the greatest number of academic programs in the state. Plus, it's one of the best online colleges for South Dakota and takes the number one spot for the most programs offered via distance education.

At its campus in Brookings, SDSU offers a dynamic learning environment. More than 200 student organizations are available to meet practically any student interest. Its athletic programs compete in the NCAA Division I. Upon graduation, students apparently move on to positions that allow them to meet their financial obligations, based on data reported to College Scorecard. The university ranks second in the state for the three-year student debt repayment rate of its graduates.

South Dakota State University was founded in 1881.

Additional Info
6Black Hills State University+
ADMISSION RATE
84%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$20
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
7

Black Hills State University, established in 1883, is another affordable option for South Dakota students. This public university ranks third for the sticker price of its tuition and fees. It also came in the number two spot for its average net price and number three for its average net price for low-income students.

The school's main campus is in Spearfish, and BHSU takes pride in being located in a community that offers a small town atmosphere and numerous outdoor recreation opportunities. The university also offers classes at a Rapid City location. For those who want to earn an online bachelor's degree in South Dakota, the school offers two choices in addition to online master's degree and certificate programs.

Additional Info
7University of Sioux Falls+
ADMISSION RATE
92%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
N/A
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
4

At the University of Sioux Falls, students can choose from more than 40 undergraduate majors and 100 degree options. These include almost all the state's most popular fields of study, including nursing, elementary education and accounting. USF has a 14:1 student to faculty ratio and says 98 percent of alumni are employed in their chosen field within six months of graduation.

The school ranks third for the amount of institutional grant aid it awards as a percentage of its tuition and fees. That assistance may help students minimize their education debt. The University of Sioux Falls ranks first in the state for the median debt carried by its graduates. Also notable is the university's graduation rate. USF ranks second for that metric.

Founded in 1883 and affiliated with American Baptist Churches, U.S.A., the University of Sioux Falls is a private institution.

Additional Info
8South Dakota School of Mines and Technology+
ADMISSION RATE
84%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$20
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
5

For students interested in engineering and science, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology may be the right choice. This public school, founded in 1885, is a research-driven university that awards bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. While its 16 undergraduate degrees are focused largely on engineering and science specialties, there are also pre-law and pre-med interdisciplinary sciences degree programs available.

SD Mines has the second-best retention rate in the state. It also ranks first for the three-year student debt repayment rate of its graduates. The ability of graduates to pay their student loans may be linked to the healthy starting salaries offered by many engineering careers.

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has its campus in Rapid City.

Additional Info
9Dakota Wesleyan University+
ADMISSION RATE
74%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$25
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
8

Based in Mitchell, Dakota Wesleyan University is a small school offering more than 40 majors and minors. The student to faculty ratio is 14:1, and the school strives to provide a personalized learning environment. DWU has a Learn Strong program that helps students identify strengths and provides tools and support for a successful college and career experience.

The university also supports students by providing financial assistance to offset tuition costs. DWU ranks fourth in the state for the amount of institutional grant aid it awards as a percentage of its tuition and fees. Students who attend Dakota Wesleyan University seem to like what the school offers because the institution has the third-best retention rate in the state.

Dakota Wesleyan University is a private institution in the United Methodist tradition. It was founded in 1885.

Additional Info
10Presentation College+
ADMISSION RATE
62%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$25
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
15

The final college on this list is the smallest one and its 1951 founding date also identifies it as the youngest one. In 2015, Presentation College enrolled close to 800 students, making this Catholic institution a good choice for anyone seeking an intimate learning environment. It is also an option for those interested in online South Dakota degree programs. Presentation College ranks third for the number of distance education programs offered. Nearly two-thirds of its students enrolled in at least one distance education course in 2015.

Presentation College has academic programs in three divisions: health and natural science, social science and humanities, and nursing. Students have access to remedial support services and academic counseling. Upon graduation, career placement services are also available. Adult learners may be eligible to earn credit for previous work or life experience.

The school's main campus is in Aberdeen, and it has a satellite location in Fairmont.

Additional Info

Most Popular Degree Programs in South Dakota

The most popular degree programs in South Dakota cover a range of fields including science, health and business.

In-Demand Careers in South Dakota

The job market in every state is different. When selecting a major, you may want to consider whether it could lead to one of these fast-growing South Dakota careers.

Career Title Total Employment Projected Job Growth Annual Salary
Family and General Practitioners430-3.1%$205,530
Dentists, All Other Specialists303.6%$189,050
Nurse Anesthetists32010.8%$181,270
Dentists, General35013.4%$142,380
Marketing Managers607.9%$124,300
Financial Managers6109.1%$121,810
Computer and Information Systems Managers21014.8%$121,790
Sales Managers3007.8%$117,830
Pharmacists1,2403.6%$115,670
Architectural and Engineering Managers1109.4%$115,590

Financial Aid and Scholarships in South Dakota

Students at both private and public schools in South Dakota may be eligible for state and federal financial aid. Federal assistance includes loans, grants and work-study programs. Meanwhile, the state offers the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship and a Need-Based Scholarship, among others, to eligible students. Many of the state's public universities have their own scholarship programs as well.

 
7th GotScholarship $20K Give Away
Applicant must be a current or future college student/graduate with outstanding loans in any area of study. Applicant must be 18 years of age or older and register with GotChosen.com in ordered to be entered into the random drawing. Selection not based upon GPA, essay, or financial need. Award required to be used for educational expenses.
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$20,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

February 28

 

 

 
Provost Scholarship
Applicant must be an out-of-state resident with a minimum 3.75 GPA and minimum combined SAT Reasoning score of 1400 (composite ACT score of 32).
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$20,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

November 15 (Early Action admissions deadline)

RENEWAL CRITERIA

Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 3.25 GPA and full-time status.

 
President's Non-Resident Scholarship
Applicant must be an incoming freshman student who is not a resident of Utah. Applicant is automatically considered with application for admission.
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$17,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Not Available

RENEWAL CRITERIA

Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 3.6 GPA.

 
Amigo Scholarship
Applicant must have a minimum 3.5 high school GPA with minimum composite ACT score of 23 (combined SAT Reasoning score of 1070) or have a minimum 3.0 high school GPA with a minimum composite ACT score of 26 (combined SAT Reasoning score of 1170). Applicant must not be from New Mexico.
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$14,815

APPLICATION DEADLINE

February 1 (fall); October 1 (spring)

RENEWAL CRITERIA

Renewable for four years.

Additional Resources

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
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Augustana University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
2001 S Summit Ave
City
Sioux Falls
State
SD
Zip Code
57197
Website
www.augie.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
480-650
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
520-660
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
23-28
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Private not-for-profit
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
1,613
UnderGraduate Application Fee
N/A
Admission Rate
65%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$30,090
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
12
Number of Online Programs Offered
1
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
100%
Black Hills State University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1200 University St
City
Spearfish
State
SD
Zip Code
57799
Website
www.bhsu.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
430-500
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
428-555
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
425-528
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
19-23
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Distant
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
3,896
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$20
Admission Rate
84%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$8,004
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
34
Number of Online Programs Offered
7
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
39%
Dakota State University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
820 N Washington Ave
City
Madison
State
SD
Zip Code
57042
Website
dsu.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
440-550
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
440-580
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
20-25
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Distant
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
2,820
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$20
Admission Rate
81%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$7,974
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
29
Number of Online Programs Offered
25
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
57%
Dakota Wesleyan University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1200 W University Ave
City
Mitchell
State
SD
Zip Code
57301
Website
www.dwu.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
353-521
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
423-508
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
368-502
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
18-24
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Remote
School Type
Private not-for-profit
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
905
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$25
Admission Rate
74%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$24,800
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
20
Number of Online Programs Offered
8
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
35%
Northern State University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1200 S Jay St
City
Aberdeen
State
SD
Zip Code
57401
Website
www.northern.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
420-490
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
440-550
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
19-25
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Remote
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
2,991
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$20
Admission Rate
72%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$7,887
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
34
Number of Online Programs Offered
14
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
48%
Presentation College
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1500 N Main
City
Aberdeen
State
SD
Zip Code
57401
Website
www.presentation.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
390-490
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
420-520
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
370-460
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
18-21
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Remote
School Type
Private not-for-profit
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
769
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$25
Admission Rate
62%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$18,358
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
15
Number of Online Programs Offered
15
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
73%
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
501 E Saint Joseph St
City
Rapid City
State
SD
Zip Code
57701
Website
www.sdsmt.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
500-630
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
550-670
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
24-29
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Small
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
2,872
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$20
Admission Rate
84%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$11,170
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
19
Number of Online Programs Offered
5
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
9%
South Dakota State University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
Administration Lane
City
Brookings
State
SD
Zip Code
57007
Website
www.sdstate.edu/
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
430-560
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
470-600
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
20-26
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Remote
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
10,994
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$20
Admission Rate
92%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$8,172
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
20
Number of Online Programs Offered
28
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
33%
University of Sioux Falls
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1101 W 22nd St
City
Sioux Falls
State
SD
Zip Code
57105
Website
www.usiouxfalls.edu/
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
470-550
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
440-540
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
20-25
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Private not-for-profit
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
1,224
UnderGraduate Application Fee
N/A
Admission Rate
92%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$26,240
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
20
Number of Online Programs Offered
4
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
26%
University of South Dakota
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
414 E Clark St
City
Vermillion
State
SD
Zip Code
57069
Website
WWW.USD.EDU
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
440-520
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
460-610
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
450-590
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
20-25
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Distant
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
7,435
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$20
Admission Rate
74%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$8,457
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
23
Number of Online Programs Offered
15
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
47%
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