- Articulation, South Dakota Board of Regents, Accessed November 2018, https://www.sdbor.edu/administrative-offices/academics/Pages/Articulation.aspx
- Augustana College, http://www.augie.edu/news/2011-04/augustana-offer-online-masters-degree-education
- Black Hills State University, http://www.bhsu.edu/Academics/OnlineDistanceLearning/tabid/109/Default.aspx
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ga.htm
- College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?
- Dakota State University, http://www.dsu.edu
- Dakota Wesleyan University, http://www.dwu.edu
- Lake Area Technical Institute, http://lakeareatech.edu/edegree/index.html
- Mitchell Technical Institute, https://www.mitchelltech.edu/programs
- National American University-Ellsworth AFB Extension, http://www.national.edu/locations/south-dakota/ellsworth-afb
- Northern State University, http://www.northern.edu/Online/Pages/programs.aspx
- Oglala Lakota College, http://www.olc.edu/academics/virtualcampus.htm
- Presentation College, http://www.presentation.edu/pc-virtual/online-programs/
- South Dakota State University, http://www.sdstate.edu/cee/distance/
- Southeast Technical Institute, http://www.southeasttech.edu/futurestudents/flexibledegreeoptions/onlineaccounting/
- United States Census Bureau The America Community Survey, http://www.census.gov/acs/www/
- U.S. Census Bureau American Fact Finder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_12_1YR_S1501&prodType=table
- University of South Dakota, http://www.usd.edu/continuing-and-distance-education/off-campus-and-distance-programs.cfm
- Western Dakota Technical Institute, http://www.wdt.edu/degree-programs/online-programs/
- SDBOR - Paying for College, Accessed April 2017, https://www.sdbor.edu/student-information/Pages/Paying-for-College.aspx
- On-Campus Tuition and Mandatory Fee Schedule, South Dakota Board of Regents, accessed November 15, 2018, https://www.sdbor.edu/student-information/Documents/FY19TuitionFeeSchedule.pdf
- Residency Requirements, South Dakota State University, accessed November 15, 2018, https://www.sdstate.edu/admissions/residency-requirements
- Search Results, South Dakota, Western Undergraduate Exchange, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, accessed November 15, 2018, https://wuesavingsfinder.wiche.edu/search-results.php?q=south+dakota
- South Dakota's Key Industries, Governor's Office of Economic Development, Accessed December 2018, http://www.sdreadytowork.com/KeyIndustries
If you're thinking about pursuing a job in one of South Dakota's key industries — bioscience, value-added agriculture or financial services — or if you're interested in a different field like nursing, earning a degree through an online college in South Dakota can prepare you for a variety of career paths. Plus, the flexibility of online degree programs also means you may take classes at times that are convenient for your schedule.
Let's take a closer look at online colleges in South Dakota:
- 9 of the online colleges in South Dakota are public, while 8 are private, including four faith-based colleges.
- 15 online colleges in South Dakota offer associate degree programs, 12 feature bachelor's degree programs, and 9 have master's degree programs available.
- The most online degree programs can be found at National American University-Rapid City and South Dakota State University.
If you've already earned some college credits, know that the Higher Board of Education of South Dakota has implemented an articulation agreement to give students — including online students — the opportunity to continue their education by transferring credits earned at a technical college in South Dakota to a public university in the state that best fits their needs.
Read on to learn about our ranking of the 10 best online colleges in South Dakota and to see some South Dakota-specific scholarships that may make distance education more cost effective.
What Makes a Good Online College?
Here at OnlineColleges.com, we've created multiple rankings to help students find an online college in South Dakota that's right for them. Every school displayed on this page is accredited by at least one officially recognized accrediting agency. (For details on why accreditation matters, visit our "What is College Accreditation?" page.) Many colleges and universities in South Dakota are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). However, some may be accredited by other national, programmatic or faith-based agencies instead of or in addition to the HLC. To learn more about what constitutes valid accreditation in the state, check with the South Dakota Board of Regents.
Students can use our rankings to compare online colleges in South Dakota, helping them to gain insight into what these schools offer in the realm of online education. We've compiled data such as cost of in-state tuition, academic and career services offered, the percentage of students receiving federal financial aid and the average amount awarded, and many other important factors that can influence a student's decision. Learn more about these factors and why we chose them in the "What Makes a Good Online College?" section of our "About Us" page.
Best Online Colleges in South Dakota for 2018-19
Finding the right college is as important as choosing the right major. To help students be well-informed about their decision, we have put together this list of the 10 best online universities in South Dakota. Our rankings are created using data gathered from the National Institution for Data Statistics (NCES) and our special methodology (details at the bottom of this page). If you'd like to try making rankings of your own, our Top Colleges Tool can help. Otherwise, we present our list of the top 10 best online colleges in South Dakota.
South Dakota State University
Dakota State University
Northern State University
Dakota Wesleyan University
Black Hills State University
University of Sioux Falls
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Lake Area Technical Institute
Affordable Online Colleges in South Dakota
The following list presents several of the schools in South Dakota where you can attain online degrees at low tuition costs. These selections were made based on a number of factors that are important to prospective students such as the actual degree programs that are taught online, and information on tuition fees and accreditation. Tuition figures are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics and reflect in-state tuition (when in-state tuition is available) for all students, including online students.
- School Type - 2 Years
- School Type - 4 Years
COLLEGE NAME TUITION & FEES/YEARTuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. DISTANCE EDUCATION PARTICIPATIONDistance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. NUMBER OF ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFEREDNumber of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.. SCHOOL WEBSITE Lake Area Technical Institute $5,264 17% 16 lakeareatech.edu Southeast Technical Institute $6,110 35% 11 southeasttech.edu Mitchell Technical Institute $6,592 22% 8 mitchelltech.edu Western Dakota Technical Institute $7,360 36% 3 wdt.edu COLLEGE NAME TUITION & FEES/YEARTuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. DISTANCE EDUCATION PARTICIPATIONDistance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. NUMBER OF ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFEREDNumber of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.. SCHOOL WEBSITE Northern State University $8,280 72% 12 northern.edu South Dakota State University $8,441 34% 33 sdstate.edu Black Hills State University $8,602 44% 9 bhsu.edu University of South Dakota $8,772 44% 17 www.usd.edu Dakota State University $9,147 59% 27 dsu.edu
Financial Aid Resources in South Dakota
Student Loans in South Dakota
South Dakota does not currently offer students any state-based loans. However, if you find that you are in need of financial assistance, you should fill out the FAFSA and supply information about your family's financial situation in order to qualify for federal grants, loans and other programs. It's also wise to explore any and all scholarship and grant opportunities for which you are eligible, since those do not have to be repaid. Lastly, private student loans are available to help cover any leftover costs.
Learn more about student loans in the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.
Additional Resources for Financial Aid in South Dakota
- Paying for College is a resource for South Dakota students to learn more about the financial aid process, the cost of college based on their program of study, and the money that is available to fund their education.
Costs for Out-of-State Students in South Dakota
Certain colleges and universities in South Dakota offer lower out-of-state tuition rates to non-resident students from neighboring states who meet a specific set of criteria. Here's a quick list of institutions that offer such agreements and the eligible origins of their out-of-state students:
- Black Hills State University: Colorado, Montana, Minnesota, Wyoming
- Dakota State University: Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota
- Northern State University: North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota
- South Dakota School of Mines & Technology: Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota
- South Dakota State University: Iowa, Montana, Minnesota
- University of South Dakota: Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota
There are also some regional programs that can help bring out-of-state tuition down closer to resident levels. The Western Undergraduate Exchange program allows students from 15 western states to get a break on the cost of attendance at South Dakota universities.
It's always best to have as much information as possible before making big decisions about your education, so try to find a Net Price Calculator for your destination school and chat with an adviser or registrar about your options.
Featured Cities In South Dakota
Data sourced from the 2015 American Community Survey (census.gov).
Sioux Falls, SD Metro Area
Median salary for high school grads
Median salary with a bachelor's degree
% of the population enrolled in college or grad school
Sioux Falls calls itself the Heart of America, and its location along the eastern border does put it smack dab in the middle of America's prairie lands. Falls Park, the Great Plains Zoo and the St. Joseph Cathedral are all popular attractions for this mid-sized city.
Rapid City, SD Metro Area
Median salary for high school grads
Median salary with a bachelor's degree
% of the population enrolled in college or grad school
Nestled up to the east slope of the famous Black Hills of South Dakota, Rapid City is a popular area for outdoor pursuits. The historic town of Deadwood is nearby, and so is the famous Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the Badlands National Park.
Using the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we generated a list of colleges and universities that met the following criteria:
- Level of institution is either "Four or more years" or "At least 2 but less than 4 years"
- Data is reported for all 11 ranking variables listed in the Methodology section
- At least 1 percent of students are taking at least some of the classes via distance education
- "Number of programs offered via distance education" was an integer greater than 0
We ranked the resulting 1,813 colleges on 11 criteria, using provisional 2016-17 data from IPEDS:
- Number of programs offered via distance education
- Ratio of students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
- Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
- Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
- Graduation rate
- Retention rate
- The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Guaranteed, Other)
- Services (Academic/Career, Placement for Completers)
- Credit offerings (Dual, Life, AP, Military)
- Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
- Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students
All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.
NOTE: Schools' tuition amounts are based on 2016-17 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/