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SD Students May Pay More For College

March 31, 2010, 4:57 PM by Katie Janssen

State budget cuts to higher education in South Dakota will likely translate into higher tuition costs for college students.

College students are just learning about the possible increases. While some say they're expected given the current economy, others are uneasy, knowing they may have to make some sacrifices to stay in school.

University Center student Trisha Herr just found out that she may be paying more for school in the near future.

"I'm very nervous about that,” Herr said. “I'm barely making it the way it is."

She's studying to be a physician's assistant and has two kids at home, so she doesn't have time for a job. It's a typical situation for students at University Center, and Herr says it'll be especially difficult for students here to absorb a tuition increase.

"I have less than a year left to my bachelor's degree, but then I have two years of grad school after. I'm just going to have to cut corners everywhere," Herr said.

Students at public universities pay $253 per credit, so being a full-time student costs at least $3,000 per semester. Tuition goes up a little bit every year, based on the rate of inflation, but the Board of Regents is considering an even higher increase.

Some say it's not totally unexpected.

"I don't think it'll affect the decision to go to school in South Dakota that much. People already expect higher education costs the way it is," University Center student Brandon Johnson said.

"At USD, we've had a couple professors jump to other jobs because they're afraid of getting cut, so we kind of saw it coming,” Jaime Spomer, also a student at U.C., said.  “But it's disappointing because school's hard enough to get funding for as it is."

The Board of Regents will decide on a tuition increase in the next week or two.

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