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2021 Best Colleges for the Money (With Aid) in South Dakota

11 Colleges
$20,460 Avg Cost (With Aid)*
4.4 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

It's not easy to decide which college to attend when you have so many options available. One of our goals at College Factual is to give you as much information as we can - such as our Best South Dakota Schools For The Money For Those Getting Aid ranking - to help you make that decision.

After analyzing 11 schools, we came up with our list of those that were the best for overall value for the money with aid in South Dakota. This ranking isn't just a listing of 'cheap' schools. Instead, it is noting which schools offer a high quality education for a reasonable price. Because of this, it is possible for one college to rank better than another, even if the latter college has a lower average cost.

See what other factors we include in our ranking methodology.

When determining average cost, we look at total expenses, such as tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and board, and other living expenses, and then deduct the average amount of financial aid awarded to a student. This estimate is meant to give you a better picture of how much money you'll have to pay each year, either through self-pay, loans, or external scholarships.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location and field of study as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors, such as those of importance to veterans and returning adults or those seeking diversity and overall quality.

One of our other unique offerings is College Combat. This tool lets you build your own customized comparisons utilizing the factors that are most important to you. If you're torn between two schools, you can use it to help you see how they stack up against one another!

Top Colleges for the Money (With Aid) in South Dakota

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

South Dakota State University

Brookings, South Dakota

South Dakota State University tops this year’s ranking as the best school for overall value for the money with aid in South Dakota. This fairly large public school is located in Brookings, South Dakota, and it awarded 2,026 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at South Dakota State about 4.4 years to graduate, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $17,466. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the South Dakota State is $76,850. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 4.2%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. South Dakota State not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #3 on our Best Colleges in South Dakota list.

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#2

University of South Dakota

Vermillion, South Dakota

A rank of #2 on our Best Colleges for the Money in South Dakota list means University of South Dakota is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Located in Vermillion, South Dakota, the medium-sized public school awarded 1,352 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average student at U of South Dakota graduates in less than 4.4 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $18,097 for students who receive aid. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the U of South Dakota is $78,903. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The low student loan default rate of 4.8% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%. U of South Dakota did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #4 on our Best Colleges in South Dakota list.

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The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for the money in South Dakota. Rapid City, South Dakota is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 465 students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at SD Mines about 4.8 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $20,387 for students who receive aid. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from SD Mines is about $98,469. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.5%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. SD Mines also took the #2 spot in our Best Colleges in South Dakota rankings.

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#4

Augustana University

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Augustana University helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for the money in South Dakota. Augustana Sioux Falls is a private not-for-profit institution located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The school has a small population, and it awarded 442 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Augustana Sioux Falls is 4.3 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $27,732 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Augustana Sioux Falls is $118,416. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 86%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Augustana Sioux Falls not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #1 on our Best Colleges in South Dakota list.

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#5

University of Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of Sioux Falls. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in South Dakota list. Sioux Falls, South Dakota is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 363 students in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at University of Sioux Falls is 4.4 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $14,128 for students who receive aid. This means that the average student pays around $61,881 to get a bachelor’s degree from University of Sioux Falls. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.5%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

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#6

Northern State University

Aberdeen, South Dakota

With a ranking of #6, Northern State University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in South Dakota list. Located in Aberdeen, South Dakota, the small public school awarded 305 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at NSU about 4.5 years to graduate, and it costs students who receive aid about $17,560 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $79,196 to get a bachelor’s degree from NSU. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, NSU is ranked #5 for overall quality in South Dakota.

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#7

Dakota State University

Madison, South Dakota

Dakota State University landed the #7 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in South Dakota ranking. Madison, South Dakota is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 307 students in 2018-2019.

At Dakota State, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.6 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $18,179 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Dakota State is $83,987. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#8

Black Hills State University

Spearfish, South Dakota

Black Hills State University ranked #8 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in South Dakota list. Located in Spearfish, South Dakota, the small public school awarded 438 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at BHSU is 4.7 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $16,947 for students who receive aid. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from BHSU be around $78,973. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#9

Dakota Wesleyan University

Mitchell, South Dakota

Dakota Wesleyan University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in South Dakota ranking, coming in at #9. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Mitchell, South Dakota, and it awarded 187 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Dakota Wesleyan University is 4.2 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $21,919 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Dakota Wesleyan University is $93,156. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

With a student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed.

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#10

Mount Marty College

Yankton, South Dakota

Mount Marty College ranked #10 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in South Dakota list. Mount Marty is a private not-for-profit institution located in Yankton, South Dakota. The school has a small population, and it awarded 119 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Mount Marty is 4.2 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $25,636 for students who receive aid. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Mount Marty be around $107,671. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#11

Presentation College

Aberdeen, South Dakota

Presentation College came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in South Dakota ranking. Located in Aberdeen, South Dakota, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 163 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at Presentation College to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $27,011 for students who receive aid. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Presentation College is about $114,527. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 11 schools only.

  • For our state-specific rankings, we use in-state tuition to calculate average cost. For our national and regional rankings, we use a weighted average of in-state and non-resident tuition.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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