Best Online Colleges in South Dakota for 2022

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Are you considering one or more online colleges in South Dakota? Prospective students will find numerous distance learning programs in the state, with options available at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. It’s important to realize that finding doctorate programs offered completely online is somewhat rare. Hybrid options, which consist of mostly distance learning but require short in-person residencies, are more readily available.

While some subjects are better suited for online learning than others, prospective students will have a wide variety of majors and minors to choose from in South Dakota. Many institutions also offer professional certificate programs remotely.


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Online Higher Education in South Dakota


There are many advantages to enrolling with online colleges and universities. Not only does scheduling tend to be much more flexible, but students can complete coursework from nearly anywhere in the world with internet access. Graduates also benefit greatly from obtaining degrees, which can significantly increase the number of employment opportunities available. Those with degrees also tend to be more competitive, especially when competing for jobs against those without higher education. Additionally, graduates often enjoy higher earning potentials, especially after obtaining master’s and doctoral degrees.

It's important to realize that opportunities vary based on degree type and professional field of interest. As of March 2022, South Dakota’s civilian labor force was 472,658. Of those, 461,048 were employed, leaving 11,610 without jobs. This makes the state’s unemployment 2.5%, which is down significantly from a high of 8.8% in April 2020. This is the lowest unemployment rate recorded in South Dakota since 2012.

As of May 2021, South Dakota had a mean hourly wage of $18.13 and an annual mean wage of $46,810. While this is significantly below the national average of $56,310 for all occupations, earning in-person and online degrees are likely to lead to some of the most lucrative professions. A few of the highest paying jobs in the state include chief executive, marketing manager, sales manager, architectural and engineering manager, natural science manager, professional financial advisor, dentist, nurse anesthetist, physician, and psychiatrist.

As of the 2021-2022 academic year, the total student population in South Dakota was 51,174. This includes 44,123 undergraduate and 7,051 graduate school students. Overall, online education is not as popular as it is in some other states. A total of 15,122 students are enrolled in online classes exclusively, while an additional 17,082 students are enrolled in some online classes. While this means that just under 63% of undergraduate and graduate students will take at least one online course during the 2021-2022 academic year, a significant portion of students prefer traditional learning settings.

Education cost in South Dakota is comparable to other states, with the exception of non-residents. The average amount residents can expect to spend on tuition and fees in 2022 is $9,720. The average cost is for those living outside the state is only slightly higher at $9,707. This is rare, as most colleges and universities charge non-residents significantly more than in-state students.

Additional expenses to keep in mind include room, board, books, and supplies. The average living costs for those who choose to live on campus in 2022 is $12,115, while those living off campus will pay an average of $13,198. The average cost of books and supplies in 2022 is $1,251. Notably, most other states have seen a sharp increase in these expenses, while South Dakota has remained quite consistent. In fact, the average cost of books and supplies is lower in 2022 than it was in 2018.

It's worth mentioning that those who enroll in online degree programs tend to pay less than traditional students who attend courses in person. Many colleges and universities have lower tuition and fees for remote learners as the cost of instruction may be less. Some of the most significant savings are seen in room, board, campus parking, and school activity fees. While distance learners will still need to pay for housing and food, there are circumstances that can make these expenses less excessive. Prospective students interested in online learning should also take advantage of the various financial aid options available. Most institutions encourage applicants to submit FAFSAs in order to qualify for academic grants, scholarships, and loans, which are available to online students just as they are to on-campus students.

Our School Rankings Methodology


Prospective students can use college and university rankings to help identify the best academic programs for them. While personal and professional goals vary, rankings tools make it easier to compare and contrast options without performing an extensive amount of research. Instead, students can review the information provided to discover which institutions offer the greatest value and stability.

We use a proprietary rankings system to provide results that are accurate and reliable. This also ensures that the colleges and universities listed offer reputable online programs in South Dakota. Our team only considered institutions that are properly accredited and offer credible remote learning opportunities. Students of all kinds can use the resulting data to make highly informed decisions about their academic futures.

Some of the data types utilized to generate our rankings include:

  • Graduation Rate
  • Net Price
  • Average Graduate Salary
  • Retention Rate
  • Reputation
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio

What are the Best Online Associate & Community College Programs in South Dakota?


Several community colleges in South Dakota offer online associate degree programs. While students can generally select from a wide variety of majors, distance learning is not appropriate for all subjects. As a result, prospective students should always research the options available thoroughly before making a final selection.

A key benefit to selecting an online community college program is the flexibility. These institutions typically offer remote courses during the daytime and evening, making it easier to find solutions that fit less traditional academic scheduling needs. Notably, taking online classes at a community college is often more affordable, as these schools charge lower tuition and fee rates.

Graduates with online community college degrees can either apply for employment right away or transfer the credits they earned to other accredited colleges and universities. Associate degrees generally equate to two years of undergraduate education, which means those transferring into four-year institutions often enter as juniors.

Mitchell Technical College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
1,162
Graduation Rate
73%
Net Price
$11,274
Grads Salary
$47,000
Lake Area Technical College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
2,217
Graduation Rate
68%
Net Price
$12,075
Grads Salary
$40,800
Western Dakota Technical College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
1,324
Graduation Rate
41%
Net Price
$15,936
Grads Salary
$34,992

What are the Best Online Universities & College Programs in South Dakota?


South Carolina is also home to many four-year colleges and universities offering online degrees. Prospective students can choose from majors at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels, as well as professional certificate programs.

The distance learning opportunities available at these institutions makes it easy for non-traditional students to obtain the knowledge and skills they need to lead successful careers in many fields. Online classes allow current professionals, as well as those with other restrictive obligations, to pursue their academic goals from nearly anywhere in the world.

Education requirements vary, but graduates often possess the qualifications necessary to enter the workforce. Notably, some fields may necessitate more advanced degrees.

University of South Dakota
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
9,459
Graduation Rate
60%
Net Price
$18,480
Grads Salary
$64,000
Dakota State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
3,186
Graduation Rate
49%
Net Price
$17,861
Grads Salary
$67,000
Augustana University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
2,019
Graduation Rate
72%
Net Price
$24,322
Grads Salary
$68,000
Northern State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
3,431
Graduation Rate
45%
Net Price
$16,404
Grads Salary
$56,000
National American University-Rapid City
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Student Population
1,440
Graduation Rate
19%
Net Price
$17,961
Grads Salary
$76,000
University of Sioux Falls
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
1,628
Graduation Rate
58%
Net Price
$21,824
Grads Salary
$63,000
Black Hills State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
3,858
Graduation Rate
39%
Net Price
$16,706
Grads Salary
$56,600
Dakota Wesleyan University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
933
Graduation Rate
44%
Net Price
$19,377
Grads Salary
$52,900
Presentation College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
625
Graduation Rate
47%
Net Price
$22,159
Grads Salary
$89,000

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