Best Value Colleges in South Dakota

When you think of best value colleges, South Dakota may not be the first state you name, but this rugged and sparsely populated state is home to some really high value schools.

Using PayScale's College ROI Report, you can determine which school provides the best college return on investment South Dakota can offer you.

The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology only offers majors in engineering, science, technology and math, so graduates easily find high-paying work in engineering and tech.  Read More

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1South Dakota School of Mines & Technology(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$653,000
Total 4 Year Cost$89,700
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$29,200
2South Dakota School of Mines & Technology(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$641,000
Total 4 Year Cost$102,000
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$29,200
3Dakota State University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$272,000
Total 4 Year Cost$73,200
Grad Rate41%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,900
4 (tie)Dakota State University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$263,000
Total 4 Year Cost$82,100
Grad Rate41%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,900
4 (tie)Presentation College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$263,000
Total 4 Year Cost$119,000
Grad Rate41%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$33,300
6South Dakota State University (SDSU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$242,000
Total 4 Year Cost$89,000
Grad Rate57%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$29,500
7South Dakota State University (SDSU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$233,000
Total 4 Year Cost$98,700
Grad Rate57%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$29,500
8University of South Dakota(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$205,000
Total 4 Year Cost$81,100
Grad Rate56%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,100
9University of South Dakota(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$196,000
Total 4 Year Cost$90,800
Grad Rate56%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,100
10Augustana College - Sioux Falls, SD(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$150,000
Total 4 Year Cost$154,000
Grad Rate67%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$36,800
11Northern State University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$101,000
Total 4 Year Cost$76,700
Grad Rate44%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,200
12Northern State University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$91,800
Total 4 Year Cost$85,600
Grad Rate44%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,200
13University of Sioux Falls (USF)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$35,000
Total 4 Year Cost$145,000
Grad Rate53%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$32,000
14Mount Marty College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$29,800
Total 4 Year Cost$141,000
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,300
15Black Hills State University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$29,500
Total 4 Year Cost$74,300
Grad Rate33%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,400

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

It's one of the best STEM-focused public colleges in the nation and has a small student population of just 2,300 total students.

Dakota State University focuses heavily on technology, to the point it requires all full-time undergraduate students to use tablet computers and laptops in their classes.

South Dakota State University (SDSU) is a public college attended by more than 12,000 students. South Dakota State University is also dominated by science, technology, engineering and math, but offers a much wider range of majors, including some humanities subjects. SDSU also offers a wide variety of online programs.

But it's not all best value colleges in South Dakota. Historically, Black Hills State University has had a negative ROI. Despite being a relatively affordable public college, BHSU doesn't see high earnings because the vast majority of majors there are arts, humanities, psychology and education. While noble subjects, when we only include bachelor's degree graduates, earnings just don't compare to those of STEM majors.