School of Law

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Tuition and Financial Aid

USD Law has made every attempt to control costs and keep a legal education as affordable as possible for its students.  Whether a resident or not, our costs are very competitive.  As education costs have risen over the last few years, we have maintained some of the lowest rates in the country without sacrificing the quality of education.  In fact, USD Law was ranked the #5 Best Value Law School by PreLaw magazine, a National Jurist publication 2010-2014.

Tuition and Fees for 2014-2015

Full-time Annual Tuition and Fees (Fall/Spring Semesters)

Resident Minnesota Reciprocity
$13,904 $20,785$29,518

Full-time costs are based on a flat rate of 12-18 credits per semester and include all tuition and fees for the academic year. The first year curriculum consists of 32 credits, 16 per semester. 

Costs per Semester/Credit Hour

Resident Full-time (flat rate per semester) $3,827
Resident Flex-time (per credit hour)
Minnesota reciprocity (flat rate per semester)
Minnesota Flex-time (per credit hour)
Nonresident Full-time (flat rate per semester)
Nonresident Flex-time (per credit hour)
Fees assessed for full- and flex-time each semester

Estimated Cost of Living

Room $4,624
Board $3,073
Books $1,400
Travel $2,663
Personal $2,604


Important Dates and Refund Information

University of South Dakota Financial Aid/Business Office Refund Information

Fall 2014
Spring 2015
First day of Law classes
8/15/2014 1/7/2015
Last day to add/drop classes 8/26/2014 1/12/2015
Last day to withdraw with a 'W"
9/29/2014 2/19/2015

Residency Information

As a public school, tuition costs vary based on residency status. You can determine your eligibility for South Dakota residency by reviewing the South Dakota Board of Regents Policy. If you wish to apply for a change of residency status, you must contact the University Registrar's Office. The South Dakota Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 3-2(C) states, in part: Physical presence in South Dakota for the predominant purpose of attending an institution of higher education controlled by the Board does not count in determining the twelve month period of residence.

Veterans, South Dakota National Guard members and other military personnel may be eligible for discounted tuition rates or a waiver of the residency time requirement. For additional information, please contact the Military & Veteran's office.

Who is automatically considered a resident for tuition purposes?

  • Anyone who has lived in South Dakota for 12 consecutive months prior to enrolling in a state institution controlled by the Board of Regents.
  • Active Duty Personnel and Spouse stationed in South Dakota
  • Anyone who has graduated from a South Dakota High School
  • Anyone who marries a South Dakota resident
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Financial Aid

In order to receive financial aid, you will need to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  This application for the 2015-2016 academic year is available after January 1, 2015 and will require your tax information for the previous year.

Additional questions regarding Federal Financial Aid can be directed to:
Office of Financial Aid
Phone: 605-677-5446
Toll Free: 877-269-6837


All admitted students are considered for merit and need-based scholarships upon admission.  USD Law has guarded its tuition rates and striven to keep a legal education affordable.  While scholarships for merit and need are available, those funds are limited.

Those seeking need-based scholarships may submit a letter indicating their need to  This letter should include the student's name and an indication that the student wishes to be considered for need-based scholarships.  The letter may also include any information the student deems necessary to inform the Scholarship Committee regarding their need status.

Students seeking merit-based scholarships do not need to take any further action.  The Scholarship Committee will make a determination based on the admitted student's application.