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April 04, 2014 09:55 PM

South Dakota College Tuition Freeze Coming For 2014-2015

Brookings, SD

Whether you want to be an engineer or a nurse, a college degree stands in the way of that dream. That piece of paper comes with a hefty price tag.

"Yeah, it's a bit spendy. For us broke college kids, it's kind of expensive to pay for it," sophomore Jon Turbak said.

"I think it is a little too high. It makes it difficult for some people to get an education now, and debt when you're done with college gets to be a bit much to take care of," freshman Dana Jensen said.

According to the latest data from Project for Student Debt, a non-profit organization that studies student debt across the country, South Dakota ranks number one with the highest percentage of students with major college debt, averaging just over $25,000.

The South Dakota Board of Regents pushed this year to freeze tuitions for the 2014-2015 school year, and Governor Dennis Daugaard approved.

"A big relief, actually, so I don't have to worry about owing more money. I can focus on what I'm paying now and I don't have to worry about anything rising," Jensen said.

Jensen wants to be a nurse when she graduates, and not having to pay any more than she has to will go a long way in helping her get out of debt faster.

"Paying off money, it just seems like kind of a hassle. How long is it going to take to pay off and stuff like that," Jensen said."

In the battle against high levels of student debt, this tuition freeze for South Dakota schools will help thousands of students at the end of their four-year road.

"Smart decision. It'll be good to freeze it because it's ridiculous right now. It's hard to pay for it and they need to stop it from increasing, at least," Turbak said.

According to the same study from the Project on Student Debt, 80 percent of graduates from South Dakota State University alone leave with major college debt, and students are ready to embrace some relief however they can get it.

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