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South Dakota Board of Regents approves 3.4% tuition hike for public universities

PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota Board of Regents on Wednesday, April 3, approved a 3.4% tuition hike for public universities to cover increased salaries and health care costs for employees.

On average, students will pay $300 more in tuition per year, according to a news release from the board. A typical student taking a total of 30 credits in the academic year will pay $9,250 per year.

The tuition changes are effective come the 2019-2020 school year, which begins this summer.

The increase comes after the Legislature and Republican Gov. Kristi Noem adopted a Fiscal Year 2020 state budget which includes a 2.5 percent inflationary salary increase for state employees. Employer-paid health care costs also increased.

According to the board, the state covers less than half of public university employees' salaries and benefits, "so tuition, fees and student charges must be raised internally to cover the remainder of that obligation."

Board of Regents President Kevin Schieffer said in the release, "Tuition setting is always a balancing act, and this adjustment to tuition and mandatory fees attempts to keep cost to our students as low as possible."