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South Dakota regents to consider in-state tuition for students from six states

ABERDEEN, S.D. - A unified state tuition program for students from six states is one of the big items on the agenda when the South Dakota Board of Regents meets for its final meeting of 2018 starting Tuesday in Aberdeen.

The regents will talk about offering in-state tuition to students from Colorado, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming. Now, South Dakota's six public colleges and universities have their own varying agreements with those states that offer students in-state tuition rates. The proposal would replace those differing agreements with a uniform policy that would allow students from all six states to pay in-state tuition at any public college or university in South Dakota.

It would only apply to new students — either freshmen or those who transfer, according to meeting documents.

Right now, South Dakota and Minnesota have a reciprocity agreement. The proposal being considered this week doesn't meet that definition because it isn't reciprocal.

The state's agreement with Minnesota allows students to pay about $15 per credit more than in-state tuition. South Dakota students, in turn, pay in-state tuition rates in Minnesota.

The regents are also scheduled to discuss a slow decrease in enrollment systemwide.

Also slated to be discussed are some big requests from Northern State University.

Northern State is asking the regents to approve its facility program plan for its regional sports complex, which includes Dacotah Bank Stadium, Koehler Hall of Fame Field and an addition to the Barnett Center.

The plan sets a budget of $33 million, including all fees, furniture and a contingency of more than $1 million, according to meeting documents. The Northern State University Foundation has guaranteed construction funding.

As the design stands for Dacotah Bank Stadium in meeting documents, there will be 3,667 bleacher seats, 144 seats in 11 suites and 350 seats with access to a club area, which will be attached to the Barnett Center. Additional seating would be available on a berm surrounding the stadium, with a total capacity around 8,000.

If demand grows, plans allow for additional permanent seating, according to meeting documents.

Design graphics attached to meeting documents show a bank of bleachers behind home plate in Koehler Hall of Fame Field, the softball field.

A sample of legislation that will need to be approved by both the state House and Senate and signed by the governor is included in the meeting documents. Even a building that will be paid for by donated funds needs approval in Pierre.

The regents meeting starts at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, with closed sessions scheduled Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. Open session begins 1 p.m. Wednesday and continues starting 9 a.m. Thursday. The meeting is in Centennial Rooms in the student center on the west side of campus.

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