2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jun 21, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Tuition, Fees, & Financial Assistance

This section outlines policies and general information on tuition, fees and financial aid at South Dakota State University. The South Dakota State University Policy and Procedure Manual 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.

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 view the SDSU Financial Aid webpage or SDBOR Tuition and Fees webpage.

Residence Hall & Meal Plan Costs

SDSU offers many on-campus residential housing and meal plan options.  For current information view the Residential Life Housing and Meal Plan Costs webpage.

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 MyState.


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, students from the following states as part of the SD Advantage Tuition program: Colorado, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming, persons 65 years of age or older, graduate fellows and assistants, Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadets, military science courses, Western Regional Graduate Programs, employees of the State of South Dakota, members 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 persons, 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. (SDBOR Policy 5.5.1)


(SDBOR Policy 5:7)

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.

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:

  • the death of the student;
  • the student’s disabling condition or severe illness;
  • the death, disability, or severe illness of immediate family members causing severe financial hardship to the student; or
  • 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 of their food service plan and 100 percent of the unused flex dollars at the time of withdrawal up to the 60 percent point. After the 60 percent point no refund is available.

Refunds for First Day Access Charges

Refunds for First Day Access charges arising from a dropped course or withdrawal from the Regental system will be treated the same as refunds of tuition and fees. Access to the First Day content will be removed upon a student’s drop date or date of withdrawal.

Refunds for Parking Permits

A student holding a valid parking permit for fall and spring semesters may receive a refund after the completion of the fall semester provided the student withdraws from the university and returns the actual permit or terminates the virtual permit prior to the beginning of the second semester.

Military Service - Withdrawal without Penalty

Refund of Tuition & Fees

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
  • they 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 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.

The following table determines the eligibility for a grade or refund.

Options for Final Grades & 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 & 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:

  • New books with no markings or writing – 100% of purchase price
  • New books with highlighting or writing – 75% of purchase price
  • 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

U.S. Department of Education regulations define the process institutions must use to calculate financial aid that has been earned by students who withdraw and the financial aid that must be returned to the Federal Financial Aid Programs. When a SDSU student who is receiving Federal Title IV Financial Aid withdraws, the SDSU Financial Aid Office processes a Return of Title IV Funds Calculation for the student. Title IV Financial Aid includes Federal Direct Loans, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal Supplemental Grants.

For purposes of the Return of Title IV Funds calculation, a student’s withdrawal date is the date the student began the withdrawal process by contacting the SDSU Registrar’s Office; or the midpoint of the period for a student who leaves during the term 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 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 will be prorated as of the student’s withdrawal date. Students earn Title IV funds based on the percentage of days completed through the 60 percent point in the enrollment period. Once a student has completed more than 60 percent of the enrollment period, the student has earned 100 percent of Title IV funds.

If a student withdraws before completing 60 percent of the enrollment period, SDSU determines the portion of the aid disbursed that was earned by the student before the withdrawal date. The unearned Title IV funds are 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.

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 financial aid amounts based on the 50 percent point of the semester. Unearned federal aid is returned as described above. If the aid was disbursed after the 50 percent point of the semester, the student will be required to return those funds.

SDSU is required to provide information on the Return of Title IV Funds policy and procedure to students. This information is available at on SDSU’s website and from the SDSU Financial Aid Office. SDSU is also required to calculate the Return of Title IV Funds for federal financial aid recipients who withdraw 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

The majority of SDSU students receive some type of financial assistance to help pay their educational costs. Financial assistance includes both need-based financial aid such as Pell Grants, Subsidized Direct Loans, and Federal Work-Study and non-need-based aid such as merit scholarships and Unsubsidized Direct Loans.  A student’s financial need is calculated by subtracting the student’s Expected Family Contribution from the student’s cost of attendance. The Financial Aid Office determines the student’s cost of attendance. The Expected Family Contribution is a federal calculation based on the student’s FAFSA.

The SDSU award policy gives priority for Federal Supplemental Grant and Work-Study to students completing the FAFSA before March 1. However, the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Direct Loan programs do not have priority processing dates. Students must reapply for federal financial aid every academic year. Please refer to the SDSU website for eligibility, aid programs, consumer information, policies, and other financial aid related information.

General Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for federal financial aid students must:

  1. Be enrolled as a regular student in a SDSU degree program
  2. Be enrolled at least half-time
  3. Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen
  4. Not be in default on a federal student loan or owe a refund to a federal student grant program
  5. Be registered with Selective Service if required by law
  6. Maintain Satisfactory Progress as described in the SDSU Satisfactory Progress Standards. 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 Title IV Financial Aid programs. Detailed information is available on the website. Students can access their financial aid awards on the Financial aid Self Service portal.


Grants are gift awards that generally do not have to be repaid.  SDSU awards the following types of grants:

  • Federal Pell Grants for undergraduate students with a qualifying Expected Family Contribution from the FAFSA and who have not received their first bachelor’s degrees and who have not met or exceeded the six years of full-time Pell Grant usage allowed by federal regulation.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants for certain Pell-eligible students who meet the FAFSA priority due date and are awarded when funds are available.
  • TEACH Grants are for students studying to teach in high-need fields and who agree to teach at a low-income school as defined by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • South Dakota Educational Access Foundation Grants that are awarded to students with significant financial need who submit a FAFSA on or before the March 1 priority date including Pell-eligible students who do not receive a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and students with EFCs just outside of the Pell range.


Loans allow students to borrow money to pay for educational expenses. Loans must be repaid. SDSU students borrow the following types of student loans:

  • Federal Direct Loans including need-based subsidized loans for eligible undergraduates and non-need-based-unsubsidized loans for undergraduates and graduate level students. First-time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory and Entrance Loan Counseling online.  Interest rates are fixed, and repayment begins six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment.
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans for parents of dependent undergraduate students who complete the online application.
  • Nursing Student Loans for Nursing majors who demonstrate financial need and meet SDSU’s awarding guidelines. Interest rates are fixed at 5 percent, and repayment begins nine months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment.
  • Health Professions Student Loan for first- and second-year undergraduate Pharmacy majors who demonstrated financial need and meeting SDSU’s awarding guidelines. Interest rates are fixed at 5 percent, and repayment begins twelve months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment.
  • Private and Alternative Loans that students obtain through a bank, credit union, or state agency. SDSU does not have a preferred lender list, and students may obtain a private education loan from any eligible lender. Visit SDSU’s Private Lender page and click on FastChoice for a list of lenders commonly used by SDSU students.

Student Employment & Work-Study Program

SDSU offers the following part-time work opportunities to help students pay educational costs:

  • Federal Work-Study awards are based on financial need, available funds, and SDSU award policy. Students are responsible for finding a campus job or off-campus community service job that qualifies for Work-Study.
  • Non-Work-Study campus jobs available through the Career and Academic Planning Services and South Dakota Job Service.


Like grant aid, scholarships do not have to be repaid.

South Dakota residents who attend SDSU may qualify for the state scholarships listed below. See the South Dakota Board of Regent’s website for additional information.

  • South Dakota Opportunity Scholarships for South Dakota residents who graduated from a South Dakota high school and meet the South Dakota Board of Regents requirements.
  • Dakota Corps Scholarships 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. This is a competitive scholarship. The application is available on the South Dakota Board of Regents’ website.

Through its Jackrabbit Guarantee program, SDSU awards merit-based scholarships to incoming first-time first-year students who meet designated High School GPA and/or ACT or SAT benchmarks.  As continuing students, Jackrabbit Guarantee recipients who meet annual eligibility requirements will continue to receive scholarships for up to four years. The minimum Jackrabbit Guarantee award is $1000, and any SDSU academic scholarship can be used to fulfill the scholarship guarantee. Talent and participation scholarship awards are available through SDSU ROTC, Athletics, School of Performing Arts, and other on-campus entities.

SDSU scholarship funds for a term may be cancelled if the student withdraws from the University before completing the term.

Please contact the SDSU Financial Aid Office, Box 511A, Enrollment Services Center, Brookings, SD 57007. Phone 605-688-4695, or e-mail for specific applications, forms, and information. Additional information can be accessed on the SDSU website.