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Regents approve undergraduate resident tuition for new Iowa students at DSU

April 1, 2016

Iowa high school students now have another reason to choose a university in South Dakota. Friday’s action by the South Dakota Board of Regents allows Iowa students who are new first-time freshmen or new transfer students to qualify for undergraduate resident tuition at the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, Dakota State University and Northern State University.

The tuition discount, based on current-year rates, is a $2,170.50 reduction for each new Iowa student over the course of a full academic year. The change is effective with the summer 2016 academic term.

“Reducing nonresident tuition rates helps us strategically manage enrollments where needed,” said Mike Rush, the regents’ executive director and CEO. “This effort is intended to counter some of the push within Iowa to retain their students in state.” According to an analysis prepared by the regents’ staff, full-time equivalent enrollment would need to increase by 143 Iowa students each year to break-even on the discounted rate.

The SDBOR reported that, on average, an in-state undergraduate student taking 30 credit hours in the current academic year paid $8,380.49 for tuition and the two fees paid by all students—the University Support Fee and the General Activity Fee.

"The technology-forward mission of Dakota State University has created a distinctive array of majors that are desirable to both prospective students and employers interested in hiring our graduates," said Dr. Judy Dittman, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Dakota State. "By taking advantage of this more affordable price point, Iowa students have yet another reason to pursue one of DSU’s diverse programs.”

Northern State and Black Hills State University already offer in-state tuition to students from their nearest neighboring states, North Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. Minnesota students enrolled at South Dakota public universities pay tuition based on a negotiated reciprocity agreement between the states.

The SDBOR reviewed the topic following reports of a decreasing number of first-year freshmen and new transfer students coming from Iowa. In particular, USD noted a decrease of nearly 5 percent of first-year freshmen attending its Vermillion campus.