Skip to main content

Regents OK Resident Tuition for New Iowa Students

Iowa In-State Tuition

RAPID CITY, S.D. – 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 breakeven 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.

“Iowa is and will always be an important part of USD’s enrollment given that we are only miles from the Iowa border," said Scott Pohlson, vice president of enrollment, marketing and university relations. “This decision by the BOR supports our goal of keeping USD competitive in the Iowa now and into the future.”

Northern State and Black Hills State already offer in-state tuition to their nearest neighbors.

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.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News