2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 18, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Tuition, Fees, & Financial Assistance

SDSU students walking on campus

This section outlines policies and general information on tuition, fees and financial aid at South Dakota State University. For additional information, the South Dakota State University Policy and Procedure Manual may be viewed online at:  www.sdstate.edu/policies.  That website is the definitive source for the most current South Dakota State University policies.  Policies duplicated on other websites or in print may not be the most current version.  All policies documented on the site are official and supersede policies located elsewhere.  South Dakota State University is governed by state and federal law, administrative regulations, and policies of the South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR) and the State of South Dakota.  South Dakota Board of Regents policies may be viewed online at:  https://www.sdbor.edu/policy/Pages/Policy-Manual.aspx.

Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.

Tuition, Living, & Other Expenses

Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fee rates are set according to the policies of the South Dakota Board of Regents and are subject to change without prior notice.  For current information see the website: www.sdstate.edu/admissions/financing/undergrad/cost/index.cfm or https://www.sdbor.edu/student-information/Pages/Tuition-and-Fees.aspx.

Residence Hall & Meal Plan Costs

SDSU offers many on-campus residential housing and meal plan options.  For current information see the website: http://www.sdstate.edu/reslife/reshalls/costs/index.cfm.

Billing & Payment of Student Accounts

All tuition, fees, housing, food service and miscellaneous charges to student accounts will be on an electronic billing (eBilling) system and can be viewed on SDePay, a secured website via the Internet. Payment of the student account can also be made electronically (ePayment) through SDePay. Students can authorize parents, spouse and other individuals to view the eBill and make ePayment on their student account.

By the day after census date, each student makes a full payment of charges based on the number of registered credits, residency status, and campus housing. Late fees will be assessed starting on the day after the established payment due date. SDSU encourages students to mail payments before the due date. Payment of tuition and fees can be made by cash, check or electronic bank transfer directly to the University Cashier’s Office Morrill Hall 136, PO Box 2201, Brookings, SD 57007-2098.

Payment of tuition and fees using a debit or credit card can only be made through SDePay, electronic billing and payment system. American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards are accepted by SDePay. A 2.75 percent service fee is assessed by and payable to NelNet, host provider of SDePay. Authorized payers may view and pay the students’ account by going to the South Dakota Public Universities Authorized Payer login at SDePay.  Students may link to SDePay through their secure account on WebAdvisor.


If you are indebted to the University and do not satisfy financial obligations when due, you may be denied admission to the University. You may be administratively withdrawn from the University after notice from the University and you will not be permitted to register or receive a transcript of grades until the indebtedness is paid. This applies to your indebtedness to the University for tuition, fees, required deposits, room and board, financial aid, but not obligations due to student organizations. All accounts that the University is unable to collect will be submitted for collection and forwarded to a credit reporting bureau.  The University will recover from the debtor all collection fees and attorney’s fees that result from collection of an account.   

Minnesota Reciprocity Agreement

Minnesota residents shall be charged the rate established in the tuition reciprocity agreement between the South Dakota Board of Regents and the Minnesota Higher Education Coordinating Board. For further information on this program, contact Enrollment Services.

Special Tuition Rates

In addition to the reciprocity agreements, the South Dakota Board of Regents and the South Dakota State Legislature have allowed special tuition rates for students enrolled in state support courses for children of alumni, Iowa residents, persons 65 years of age or older, graduate fellows and assistants, Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadets, military science courses, employee of the State of South Dakota, member of the SD National Guard, Veterans and others who performed war service, children and spouses of National Guardsmen disabled or deceased in line of duty, visually impaired person, children of residents who died during service in armed forces, dependents of prisoners or missing in action, certain elementary and secondary teachers and vocational instructors, survivors of certain fire fighters, certified law enforcement officers and emergency medical technicians, rehabilitation services’ clients, and non-resident South Dakota National Guard members. (See SDBOR Policy 5.5.1).


SDSU processes student withdrawals in compliance with federal and Board of Regents policies. A petition process does exist for students or parents who feel that individual circumstances warrant exception from the published refund policy. Contact the Registrar, Enrollment Services Center, for information. (See SDBOR Policy 5:7)

Tuition & Fees Refund Policy

The end of the drop/add period for standard (those that conform to the regular semester schedule) and non-standard courses offered in a semester is the date the first 10 percent of the term ends or the day following the first class meeting, whichever is later.

Refunds for Dropped Courses

A student receives a 100 percent refund of tuition and per-credit-hour fees for courses dropped within the drop/add period. No refund shall be provided for courses dropped after that time, except by administrative action. Any course meeting within a standard semester but for less time than the standard semester shall be treated as a non-standard semester course for refund purposes. Courses offered during summer school session and correspondence courses are considered non-standard courses.

Students who withdraw, drop out, or are expelled within the drop/add period receive a 100 percent refund of tuition and per-credit-hour fees. Students who withdraw, drop out, or are expelled after the drop/add period for which they are assessed may be entitled to a pro-rated refund as set forth herein.

Refunds for Withdrawals

Students who withdraw from the University may be entitled to a refund of tuition and fees and institutional charges calculated through 60 percent of an enrollment period. The refund shall be determined by computing the percentage of an enrollment period remaining after the date of withdrawal multiplied times the tuition and fees originally assessed the student. At no time will refunds be awarded after the 60 percent point of the enrollment period.

Cancelled Registration

If a student’s registration is cancelled, no tuition and fee payment is due. If payments have been made, a student is eligible for a full refund.

Extensions & Waivers

The University president, or a designee, may extend or waive the time periods in the following circumstances:

  1. The death of the student;
  2. The student’s disabling condition or severe illness;
  3. The death, disability, or severe illness of immediate family members causing severe financial hardship to the student;
  4. Other extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control.

Refunds for Residence Hall Fees

Students with a room contract who withdraw from the Regental system will receive a proportional refund at the time of withdrawal up to the 60 percent point after which no refund is available

Refunds for Food Service Fees

Students with a food service contract who withdraw from the Regental system will receive a proportional refund at the time of withdrawal up to the 60 percent point, after which no refund is available. The balance of flex plan dollars will be refunded at 100 percent.

Military Service - Withdrawal without Penalty

Academic Credit
Students required to withdraw from the Regental system before completing a semester may receive credit or refund privileges if they are regularly enrolled and belong to a military unit called for duty or are drafted and not eligible for deferment and the discontinuance of class attendance is on the last practicable day before reporting for duty as determined by the student’s home university. Eligible students who are required to report for military duty not earlier than four (4) calendar weeks prior to the date a semester ends as stated in the official catalog of the home university, or after completion of at least seventy-five per cent (75%) of the enrollment period in a non-standard semester course, may, when authorized by the instructor, be given full credit for all courses for which they have an average of “C” or better. Eligible students who receive credit, or an incomplete, in progress, or normal progress grade for any course for which they are enrolled shall not be entitled to any refund of tuition or fees paid. Eligible students who do not receive an incomplete, in progress, or normal progress grade or credit for a course in which they are enrolled shall be entitled to a full refund of tuition and academic fees.

Options for Final Grades and Refunds
  Weeks Remaining in Standard Semester
  More Than 4 Weeks Less Than 4 Weeks
Course Grade Refund Student Options
A Refund A or Refund
B Refund B or Refund
C Refund C or Refund
D Refund Refund
F Refund Refund
S Refund S or Refund
U Refund Refund
I, IP, NP Refund I, IP, NP or Refund
NOTE: Course Grade is as determined by the instructor, either the grade to date or the final grade earned to date.

Refunds for Room and Board
Refunds for room and board shall be pro-rata refunds for the entire semester. Board flex plans will be refunded at 100% of the unused value.

Refunds for Books
Refunds for books for military personnel called up for active duty is as follows:

  1. New books with no markings or writing – 100% of purchase price
  2. New books with highlighting or writing – 75% of purchase price
  3. Books purchased used – 100% of used price

Books must be returned within the semester. Normal campus refund policies apply to books that are not returned prior to the end of the semester.

Federal Financial Aid Recipients

The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions to use the Return of Title IV Funds policy for students withdrawing from school and who are receiving Federal Title IV student financial aid. Title IV funds refers to the federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and includes the following programs: Federal Stafford Direct Loan, Unsubsidized Stafford Direct Loans, Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal Supplemental Grants. Also, the Federal Nursing Loans and Federal Health Professions Loans use the Return to Title IV Funds calculation.

A student’s withdrawal date is 1) When the student began the withdrawal process or officially notified SDSU of intent to withdraw by contacting the SDSU Registrar’s Office; or 2) The midpoint of the period for a student who leaves without notifying SDSU; or at SDSU’s option, the student’s last documented date of academically-related activity.

Return of Title IV Funds
When a student receiving federal financial Title IV financial aid withdraws from SDSU during the enrollment period, the amount of the Title IV funds (not including Federal Work Study) that the student earned during the enrollment period is calculated as of the student’s withdrawal date. Title IV funds are earned at a fixed rate on a per day basis up to the 60 percent point in the enrollment period. Title IV funds are 100 percent earned if the withdrawal date is after the 60 percent point in that period.

If the date a student withdraws from SDSU is prior to or on the 60% point of the semester, SDSU is required to determine the portion of the aid disbursed that was “earned” by the student before the withdrawal date. The “unearned” Title IV funds must be returned to the respective federal aid programs. Unearned aid is the amount of disbursed Title IV aid that exceeds the amount of Title IV aid earned based on attendance in the enrollment period.

For students who fail to officially withdraw when they stop attending classes and are assigned an “F” grade for all courses for the semester, the Return to Title IV Funds policy requires SDSU to calculate the “earned” amount based on the 50 percent point of the semester. Unearned federal aid must be returned as described above. If a student was disbursed aid after the 50 percent point of the semester, the student is assumed ineligible for those funds and will be required to return those funds.

Responsibilities of SDSU include providing information on the Return of Title IV Funds policy and procedure to students. This information is available at www.sdstate.edu and from the SDSU Financial Aid Office. SDSU is also responsible to complete calculations of the Return of Title IV Funds for federal financial aid recipients who are withdrawing from SDSU and to return any Title IV funds to the respective Title IV funds account. The student is responsible to repay any Title IV funds that the student was determined to be ineligible for via the Return to Title IV funds calculation.

Financial Assistance

Approximately 88% of the SDSU students attending full-time receive some type of financial assistance to help pay their educational costs. Financial assistance includes both need-based financial aid (grants, loans, work) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and other financial aid (scholarship, agency assistance, etc.) not based on need. Financial need is defined as the portion of educational costs not covered by family contributions. Average educational costs are determined by the Financial Aid Office and family contribution is a federal calculation from the FAFSA.

The SDSU award policy gives priority for Federal Supplemental Grant, and Work Study to students completing the FAFSA before March 15. However, the largest financial aid programs, the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Stafford (Direct) Loan, do not have priority processing dates. Students must reapply for federal financial aid every academic year. Please refer to the SDSU web page for eligibility, aid programs, consumer information, policies, and other financial aid related information: www.sdstate.edu (Keyword: financial aid).

General Eligibility Requirements

  1. Enrolled as a regular student in a SDSU degree program.
  2. Enrolled as a full-time student to receive full award. Eligible students not enrolled full-time may be eligible for some aid programs based on a completed FAFSA.
  3. United States citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  4. Cannot be in default on a federal student loan or owe a refund to a federal student grant program.
  5. Selective Service laws require male students born after December 31, 1959, to be registered with Selective Service.
  6. Maintain Satisfactory Progress as described in detail in the SDSU Satisfactory Progress Standards (on SDSU Financial Aid website). Satisfactory Progress is the measurement of a student’s academic performance (credits completed, cumulative grade point average, and maximum credits attempted) toward the completion of the student’s degree program. Students not meeting Satisfactory Progress Standards will have their federal financial aid eligibility suspended and can appeal, as applicable.

SDSU participates in all of the federal financial aid programs. Specific information, including other aid programs not listed below, is available at www.sdstate.edu. A SDSU Financial Aid award letter identifies the specific awards, and other information is enclosed for the financial aid recipient.


Grants are gift aid based on financial need.

  • Federal Pell Grant awards are determined by a federal formula for the student’s first bachelor degree.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant awards are based on Pell Grant eligibility and available funds.
  • TEACH Grant for teacher education in “high need” fields and who agree to teach at a Title I school as defined by the U.S. Department of Education.


Loans provide an opportunity to borrow money for educational expenses. Loans must be repaid. First time loan recipients are required to complete Entrance Loan Counseling at www.studentloans.gov.

  • The Federal Direct Loan Program is the largest financial need-based loan program for eligible students. The Direct Loan requires a completed Master Promissory Note. The federal government pays the interest while the student is in school and during deferment periods. Interest and repayment begin six months after half-time enrollment ends. The Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan can be used by students who are not eligible for need-based loans as determined by the FAFSA. The interest is paid by the student or capitalized if not paid.
  • The Federal PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students): The PLUS loan is requested online by the parent at www.studentloans.gov (sign in using parent FSA username and password). A monthly payment may start beginning 60 days after the PLUS is disbursed.
  • The Federal Perkins Loan is an SDSU award based on financial need and SDSU award policy. Interest (5%) and repayment begin nine months after half-time enrollment ends.
  • The Nursing Student Loan is for nursing majors based on financial need and SDSU award policy. Interest (5%) and repayment begin nine months after half-time enrollment ends or ending the nursing degree program.
  • The Health Professions Student Loan is for pharmacy majors based on financial need and SDSU award policy. Interest (5%) and repayment begin 12 months after full-time enrollment ends or ending the pharmacy degree program.

Student Employment & Work-Study Program

Work opportunities may provide part-time employment for students.

  • The Federal Work Study financial aid awards are based on financial need, available funds, and SDSU award policy. Most jobs are on campus. There are some community service job opportunities.
  • Other employment opportunities may be available through the Career and Academic Planning Services and South Dakota Job Service.


State of South Dakota no-need aid program information is available at www.sdstate.edu (Keyword: Scholarships).

  • South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship is for students who are South Dakota residents at the time of high school graduation who have a minimum ACT composite of 24 and met the Regents Scholar requirements.
  • Dakota Corps Scholarship for new high school graduates from South Dakota who will major in a degree that will prepare the student to work in a critical need occupation.
  • South Dakota Need Based Grant Program is for South Dakota high school graduates who are enrolled at least part-time in an eligible program.

The SDSU scholarship programs have increased yearly with additional scholarships for new, continuing, and transfer students. SDSU awards over 4,700 scholarships to undergraduate students. There are approximately 1,400 new-freshman student scholarships. A single scholarship application available from SDSU or from your high school needs to be completed and returned to the SDSU Scholarship Office before January 25 for priority consideration for the new student academic scholarships.

  • Selected new freshman scholarships.
    • Renewable scholarships, upon meeting academic standards, include: Briggs; Lohr; May; Nichols; and many named Foundation scholarships.
    • Jackrabbit Guarantee (JG) eligibility for new, first-time freshman students who score a 24 or higher ACT composite score. Scholarship is renewable when academic requirements as defined by the JG program are attained. The $1,000 minimum in scholarship assistance can be met by any academic SDSU scholarship award.
    • Many general, departmental, and talent awards are also available.
  • Upper class student scholarships are awarded by the college/ department based on a student’s academic record through an annual competitive scholarship application process.
  • Talent and participation scholarship awards are available by contacting the specific areas: 4-H: County Agents or Program Leader, SDSU Air Force ROTC: Professor of Aerospace Studies, SDSU Army ROTC: Professor of Military Science, SDSU Music: Music Department, SDSU Theatre: Theatre Department, SDSU
  • Local and national scholarship information and applications may be available through your high school, various organizations and groups.

Sources of Other Aid

  • Financial assistance may also be available through various agencies including Vocational Rehabilitation and other special services agencies.
  • SDSU is fully accredited for Veterans Assistance benefits for qualified students.

Please contact the SDSU Financial Aid Office, Box 511A, Enrollment Services Center, Brookings, SD 57007. Phone 605-688-4695, or e-mail: sdsu.finaid@sdstate.edu for specific applications, forms, and information. Additional information can be accessed on the SDSU Home Page: www.sdstate.edu.