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2021 Best Colleges for the Money in South Dakota

11 Colleges
$23,056 Avg Cost*
4.4 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

When pursuing a degree in today's world, there are many different options to choose from. At College Factual, we're committed to helping you make that decision by providing information such as that found in our Best Value South Dakota Schools ranking.

We analyzed 11 colleges and universities to determine which were the best for overall value in South Dakota. Quality is an important component in this ranking, so it is not just naming the schools with the cheapest price tag. Instead, it is identifying those institutions that offer the most value when taking their educational quality into consideration. Thus, one college may rank better than another, but the second school could have a lower average cost.

Find out more about our ranking methodology.

To calculate the average cost amount, we sum up the total expenses to attend a school - such as tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other living expenses - and then subtract the average financial aid award a student receives. So it is an approximation of how much you will have to pay out-of-pocket each year on average.

Customizing Your List

Since one ranking on its own is not enough to give you a complete understanding of your educational options, you can refine this list by location and field of study. We've also developed a number of other tools and rankings based on other factors. These other rankings highlight colleges that excel in other factors such as overall quality or diversity as well as schools that excel in serving different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

You can create your own custom comparison that focuses on the factors most important to you using our tool, College Combat. We encourage you to try it out and pit your favorite colleges and universities head to head!

Top Colleges for the Money in South Dakota

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

South Dakota State University

Brookings, South Dakota

Our analysis found South Dakota State University to be the best school for overall value in South Dakota in this year’s ranking. South Dakota State is a public institution located in Brookings, South Dakota. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 2,026 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At South Dakota State, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.4 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $19,599. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State is $86,236. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The low student loan default rate of 4.2% 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%. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, South Dakota State is ranked #3 for overall quality in South Dakota.

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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.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at U of South Dakota to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $20,589. 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 U of South Dakota is $89,768. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 4.8%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, U of South Dakota is ranked #4 for overall quality in South Dakota.

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#3

Augustana University

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Out of the 11 schools in South Dakota that were part of this year’s ranking, Augustana University landed the #3 spot on the 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 442 students 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 $28,546. 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 $121,891. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 0.4%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Augustana Sioux Falls did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #1 on our Best Colleges in South Dakota list.

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Out of the 11 schools in South Dakota that were part of this year’s ranking, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology landed the #4 spot on the list. SD Mines is located in Rapid City, South Dakota and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 465 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes about 4.8 years for the average student at SD Mines to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $22,736. 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 SD Mines is $109,815. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.5%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. SD Mines also took the #2 spot in our Best Colleges in South Dakota rankings.

Full South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Report

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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. University of Sioux Falls is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 363 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes the average student at University of Sioux Falls about 4.4 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $16,169. 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 University of Sioux Falls is $70,820. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The low student loan default rate of 4.5% 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%.

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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 about 4.5 years for the average student at NSU to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $21,090. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from NSU is $95,116. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

NSU also made our Best Colleges in South Dakota list, coming in at #5.

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#7

Dakota State University

Madison, South Dakota

Dakota State University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in South Dakota ranking, coming in at #7. Dakota State is a small public school situated in Madison, South Dakota. It awarded 307 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Dakota State graduates in less than 4.6 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $20,728. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Dakota State is about $95,763. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#8

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 #8. Mitchell, South Dakota is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 187 students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Dakota Wesleyan University about 4.2 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $23,447. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Dakota Wesleyan University be around $99,650. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one.

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#9

Black Hills State University

Spearfish, South Dakota

Black Hills State University ranked #9 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in South Dakota list. Spearfish, South Dakota is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 438 students in 2018-2019.

The average student at BHSU graduates in less than 4.7 years, and it costs about $19,595 per year to attend the school. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the BHSU is $91,313. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#10

Mount Marty College

Yankton, South Dakota

Mount Marty College came in at #10 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in South Dakota ranking. Mount Marty is located in Yankton, South Dakota and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 119 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

At Mount Marty, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $33,604. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Mount Marty be around $141,137. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#11

Presentation College

Aberdeen, South Dakota

Presentation College did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in South Dakota ranking, coming in at #11. Aberdeen, South Dakota is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 163 students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at Presentation College to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $27,511. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Presentation College is $116,647. 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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