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Online Colleges in South Dakota

COLLEGE FINDER

Article Sources

Sources :

  • 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

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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.

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Methodology
1

South Dakota State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition 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.
$8,441
Distance Education Participation Distance 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.
34%
Number of Programs Offered Number 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.
33
School Type
4-year

A significant portion of students at the public South Dakota State University, which is the largest university in the state, reside outside of South Dakota. This is possible thanks to SD State's robust collection of online degree programs. The university runs online associate programs and bachelor's programs in fields like geography, psychology, and early education and care, as well as multiple online master's degree programs addressing areas of study such as dietetics, merchandising and chemical education.

SD State offers several different types of student support services for distance learners, such as Smartthinking online tutoring, academic and career advising, and technical support.

2

Dakota State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition 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.
$9,147
Distance Education Participation Distance 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.
59%
Number of Programs Offered Number 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.
27
School Type
4-year

Founded as a teachers' college back in 1881, Dakota State University retains a link to the field of education, as well as technological subjects such as computer management and computer information systems. The university states that they combine their two specialties in order to put particular focus on educating would-be teachers how to use technology in the classroom.

There are many different degree programs available at DSU depending on what state you're enrolling from, from online associate degree programs and undergraduate certificate programs all the way up to online doctoral degree programs and graduate certificate programs. DSU's online courses are taught both synchronously and asynchronously, and their students must take proctored exams through an approved testing center.

3

Northern State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition 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.
$8,280
Distance Education Participation Distance 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.
72%
Number of Programs Offered Number 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.
12
School Type
4-year

Northern State University is a public university that was founded in the early 1900s to serve residents of the northeastern section of South Dakota. It is also home to the Center for Statewide E-Learning, which was established in 2001 to provide residents in remote areas with increased options for higher education.

NSU distance learners can choose from a variety of undergraduate degree programs, delivered online via the Desire2Learn learning management system. Areas of study include banking and financial services, international business, and management, to name a few. Graduate students can enroll in one of NSU's online master's degree programs; examples include teaching and learning, leadership and administration, and music education.

4

Dakota Wesleyan University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition 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.
$27,030
Distance Education Participation Distance 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.
36%
Number of Programs Offered Number 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.
7
School Type
4-year

Dakota Wesleyan University wants to help students play to their strengths, and they strive for this goal in multiple ways. The university uses the Clifton StrengthsFinder to help students identify their strengths and how to improve them; hosts the Kelley Center for Entrepreneurship and the McGovern Center for Leadership and Public Service to help students network; and offers multiple online degree programs through its online portal, DWU Online.

Students can complete various degree programs through DWU Online, including a RN-to-BSN nursing program, an M.A. in education or an M.B.A. program. Coursework delivered through DSU Online is asynchronous, so students can study when it best fits their schedule.

5

Presentation College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition 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.
$19,830
Distance Education Participation Distance 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.
72%
Number of Programs Offered Number 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.
9
School Type
4-year

The only college in the world sponsored by the Presentation Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Presentation College is a private Catholic institution that's steeped in faith and traditions. The college offers a handful of online programs focused on health care and nursing, among them a Bachelor of Science in health care administration; a bachelor's degree completion program in radiologic technology; and an RN-to-BSN nursing bridge program.

Support services for distance learners include academic advising and counseling, as well as access to the Career and Learning Center for tutoring. All degree-completion programs offered at Presentation College are intended for students who already hold an associate degree (or higher).

6

Black Hills State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition 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.
$8,602
Distance Education Participation Distance 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.
44%
Number of Programs Offered Number 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.
9
School Type
4-year

A public university that hosted training operations for Air Corp Cadets during World War II, Black Hills State University delivers online coursework to its students through the Desire2Learn learning management system. In addition to individual online courses, BHSU makes multiple online degree programs available to its students, such as a bachelor's of general studies program, a master's of strategic leadership program or a master's of sustainability program. A handful of minors and certificates can also be pursued through this university.

Students who enroll in BHSU's online learning have the same resources available to them as students on campus, including library services, a counseling center, writing center, career services and more.

Accreditation:

  • Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Location:

1200 University St,
Spearfish, SD 57799
 
7

Augustana University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition 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.
$31,960
Distance Education Participation Distance 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.
12%
Number of Programs Offered Number 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.
1
School Type
4-year

Augustana University is affiliated with the Lutheran Church, and its mission is to educate its students in the core values of service, community and personal excellence. The core curriculum at this private, Norwegian-heritage institution includes study in Christian religious traditions and personal well-being.

Augustana offers a handful of undergraduate classes online, primarily during the summer and winter break periods. It also offers a fully online Master of Arts in education program for students who hold a bachelor's degree in education. This M.A. program has several different concentrations, including technology, reading, instructional strategies and special populations, among others. The program runs for approximately 19 months, and a thesis is not required.

8

University of Sioux Falls

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition 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.
$27,980
Distance Education Participation Distance 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.
33%
Number of Programs Offered Number 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.
5
School Type
4-year

This private, nonprofit, liberal arts university is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, U.S.A. and uses online and on-campus learning methods to convey a Christian-inspired education to its students. Faith and academics are integrated in the university's online degree programs, which include bachelor's degree programs, master's degree programs and professional certificate programs. Professional development courses, continuing education, alternative certification, degree completion programs and an RN-to-BSN nursing bridge program are also available.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

1101 W 22nd St,
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
 
9

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition 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.
$10,400
Distance Education Participation Distance 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.
10%
Number of Programs Offered Number 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.
4
School Type
4-year

Affectionately known as "Mines," the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology was founded in 1885 to educate South Dakotan students about the region's primary industry: mining. The school's focus has broadened since those early days, however, as have the school's methods of delivering education to its students.

Through online learning, SD Mines is able to make a handful of its master's degree programs available for distance learners. These programs are designed for students who have already earned a bachelor's degree in science or engineering, or experience in a closely-related field. Most online coursework is delivered directly by the course instructors, but the master's in construction engineering and management program uses the D2L course management system instead.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

501 E Saint Joseph St,
Rapid City, SD 57701
 
10

Lake Area Technical Institute

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition 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.
$5,264
Distance Education Participation Distance 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.
17%
Number of Programs Offered Number 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.
16
School Type
2-year

Founded in 1965, Lake Area Technical Institute was the first technical college in South Dakota. This public college offers several "e-degrees" -- hybrid programs that blend online and on-campus learning. The hybrid format allows students flexibility in their class time and assignments, while still offering the opportunity for hands-on training and/or clinical work at the Watertown campus.

Students who are interested in an e-degree must complete a LATI-specified online student orientation and "online learning essentials" course prior to beginning their program. Certain programs at the college don't follow the typical fall or spring start dates, either -- students should check with the campus to determine the start date for the e-degree they wish to pursue.

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 NAMETUITION & FEES/YEAR
    Tuition 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 PARTICIPATION
    Distance 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 OFFERED
    Number 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$5,26417%16lakeareatech.edu
    Southeast Technical Institute$6,11035%11southeasttech.edu
    Mitchell Technical Institute$6,59222%8mitchelltech.edu
    Western Dakota Technical Institute$7,36036%3wdt.edu
  • COLLEGE NAMETUITION & FEES/YEAR
    Tuition 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 PARTICIPATION
    Distance 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 OFFERED
    Number 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$8,28072%12northern.edu
    South Dakota State University$8,44134%33sdstate.edu
    Black Hills State University$8,60244%9bhsu.edu
    University of South Dakota$8,77244%17www.usd.edu
    Dakota State University$9,14759%27dsu.edu

Financial Aid Resources in South Dakota

1.Joe Foss, An American Hero Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicants must have at least a 3.5 GPA and an ACT score of 21 or above. Students must reside in South Dakota.
Award Amount
N/A
Application Deadline
March 15
Renewable
No
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
2.F.W. Hatterscheidt Educational Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be a South Dakota resident graduating from a South Dakota high school with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Transcripts, three letters of recommendation, FAFSA, and full-time enrollment required.
Award Amount
$1,000
Application Deadline
March 15
Renewable
Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 2.0 GPA.
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
Yes
Application URL
3.John Edward Hess Memorial Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must have a minimum 2.0 GPA, enroll for 16 credit hours each semester, and be a Native American resident of a South Dakota reservation. Incoming freshman applicant must submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, or principal. Continuing student applicant must submit a letter of recommendation from his/her advisor.
Award Amount
$1,000
Application Deadline
None
Renewable
No
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
Yes
Application URL
4.South Dakota Boys State Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Awarded to the Speaker of the House of Boys State South Dakota.
Award Amount
$500
Application Deadline
None
Renewable
No
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
Yes
Application URL

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.

 
Article Sources
Methodology

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:

  1. Number of programs offered via distance education
  2. Ratio of students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
  3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
  4. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
  5. Graduation rate
  6. Retention rate
  7. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Guaranteed, Other)
  8. Services (Academic/Career, Placement for Completers)
  9. Credit offerings (Dual, Life, AP, Military)
  10. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
  11. 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.

Methodology Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
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