PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Board of Regents wouldn’t have to charge extra tuition at the state’s two university centers any longer under a plan advancing at the Capitol.

The state House of Representatives agreed Friday to stop requiring self-support tuition at the Sioux Falls and Rapid City centers.

Students are paying about $100 more per credit hour — or about $300 per course — at the centers than at the six state-supported public universities at Vermillion, Brookings, Madison, Aberdeen, Spearfish and Rapid City.

The legislation now goes to the Senate for further consideration after the House voted 61-3.

South Dakota House approved rolling back tuition at state university centers.
South Dakota House approved rolling back tuition at state university centers in Sioux Falls and Rapid City. | Bob Mercer

“It just doesn’t make sense,” Representative Will Mortenson, R-Pierre, said about requiring more at Sioux Falls and Rapid City.

The state Board of Regents that governs South Dakota’s public universities wants the change. “They’re comfortable with the direction of the bill,” Mortenson said.

One of the nays came from Rep. Randy Gross, R-Elkton. The retired banker and Appropriations Committee member had delayed the bill on January 27 so a fiscal note could be done.

That analysis found, “If a general activity fee were charged, Black Hills Rapid City would see a reduction of about $473,127, and the Community College for Sioux Falls would see a reduction of about $274,106. If no general activity fees were charged, Black Hills Rapid would see a reduction of about $761,987, and the Community College for Sioux Falls would see a reduction of about $649,770.”