Regent says state nearing ‘dangerous territory’ with tuition, feesBROOKINGS — Escalating costs for students’ tuition and fees have pushed prices to attend South Dakota’s public universities past some neighboring states and into the region’s upper tier.
By: Bob Mercer, Republic Capitol Bureau
BROOKINGS — Escalating costs for students’ tuition and fees have pushed prices to attend South Dakota’s public universities past some neighboring states and into the region’s upper tier, according to a report delivered Wednesday to the state Board of Regents.
“It’s something we need to start monitoring,” Monte Kramer, the university system’s vice president for finance and administration, said.
Tuition and fees for 30 credit hours for the 2012-2013 school year will cost a South Dakota undergraduate student a minimum of $7,320 at Black Hills State University up to $8,406 at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
That’s more than resident undergrads will pay in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and several state campuses in Nebraska and Minnesota.
South Dakota is in the same price range as Iowa’s public universities and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
The only campuses far more expensive than South Dakota’s are the University of Minnesota at Duluth and the U of M Twin Cities. They run about $5,000 more.
Regent Jim Hansen, of Pierre, repeated the warning he’s been giving for years. “We are still approaching what I consider dangerous territory in tuition and fees,” he said.
Kramer said South Dakota’s universities are still somewhat more economical for room and board. The regents, whose members govern South Dakota’s public campuses, raised tuition and fees for resident undergrads for next school year by 4.3 percent to 7.5 percent, depending on the school.
The Legislature recently named members to a study committee that will look at the purpose and funding of post-secondary education in South Dakota, including the public universities. “This focuses that conversation,” Kramer said. “What can students afford and what can the state afford?”