2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    Jul 18, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate 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 & 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 or SDBOR Tuition and Fees website.

Residency Requirements

In order to establish residency for tuition purposes you must live in South Dakota for twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding the first scheduled day of classes of the semester.  Attendance at the college or university controlled by the Board of Regents does not count in determining the twelve (12) month period of residence.

Residency qualifications for tuition purposes may be obtained by contacting the Admissions Office at 605-688-4121.

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 SAD 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.

Late Charges

A fee is charged if tuition and fees are not paid during the regular established payment periods. Failure to satisfy financial obligations when due may result in a student’s administrative withdrawal from the University.


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.  

Fees for Auditing Courses

Regular tuition and fees, per credit, will be charged for auditing a course. Registration as an auditor is by petition. Auditing courses will be a matter of record (recorded on the academic transcript). Grades will be designated by the instructor as Audit Pass (AUP) or Audit Fail (AUF). Audit courses are not counted in calculating undergraduate or graduate full-time student status.

Thesis & Dissertation Fees

Students are responsible for following all deposition protocols and paying all archiving fees associated with a thesis or dissertation.


(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 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 & 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 an 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 discretion, 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, the amount of the Title IV funds (not including Federal Work-Study) that the student earned during the enrollment period is 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 calculates 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 “F” grades 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 the 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 Aid

Student financial assistance programs are administered through the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships located in the Enrollment Services Center. The Financial Aid Office may be contacted at 605-688-4695 or by e-mail for specific applications, forms, and information. Graduate assistantships, fellowships, and traineeships are administered by the SDSU Departments offering the programs.  Students enrolled in SDSU certificate programs are not eligible for federal student financial aid.  Qualifying graduate students who complete the FAFSA are eligible to receive Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans and, with credit approval, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans. Students may also borrow private or alternative loans 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.