Students React To New Adjacent State Tuition Policy

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa - High schoolers often study the costs of higher education before they make their decision where to go to college.  Just ask Central Lyon senior Kade Griesse. 

"I know it was a pretty big factor in my decision. South Dakota State offered a much lower tuition rate than Iowa State, the other school I was looking at," Griesse said. 

Location also matters. 

That's one of the reasons Caitlin Simon has her sights set on the Rushmore State. 

"To me, USD kind of felt like home like Rock Rapids. It was far away enough to where I still feel like I'm at college, but close enough if I wanted to go home I could still go home," Simon said. 

Now, more students in Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota may be doing their homework on public universities in South Dakota. 

It's called the "South Dakota Advantage." 

The new adjacent state policy will grant in-state tuition to new students and transfer students from those states. 

It doesn't apply to existing students. 

The South Dakota Board of Regents gave the proposal the thumbs up this week in Aberdeen. 

While the students KELOLAND News talked to say they're already headed to South Dakota for college, this could be a game changer for younger students still trying to make that decision.

"It's probably the highest cost in considering schools, and there's such a difference in how much each school costs that finding a school that has a tuition rate that you can afford is really important," Central Lyon Senior Madisen Iwen said. 

That's why Iwen and her fellow classmates are giving the new policy a good grade. 

"Just not for me, but anyone else who wants to attend a university in South Dakota.  They have a lot more options now," Griesse said. 

Minnesota is not included in the plan because South Dakota has a reciprocity agreement with it. 

The Board of Regents will set tuition rates in April.

The program takes effect in the Summer of 2019.

You can read the plan here

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