Why This Matters


    According to 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average bachelor’s degree holder earns a median weekly salary of $1,248. High school diploma holders, on the other hand, make $746 per week.


    College Board estimates that, during the 2020-21 school year, the average South Dakota resident paid $9,110 in tuition at four-year, public in-state colleges.


    College Board revealed that the average full-time undergraduate received $14,940 in financial aid during the 2019-20 school year.

Our Research

We reviewed everything from midsize institutions and research universities to liberal arts schools to make our list of the best online colleges in South Dakota. Factors we considered include coursework delivery format, tuition costs, and the credits required to graduate.

We helped confirm the quality of these programs by only including accredited institutions. Most of these schools have been reviewed by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an independent organization that evaluates schools in the central United States based on academic performance, integrity, and ability to improve. The HLC consists of trained professionals who use their knowledge of educational processes to evaluate schools on a voluntary basis.

  • 22 hours to write this article
  • 28 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 44 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Colleges in South Dakota

Best Online Colleges in South Dakota Badge
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What You Should Know About Graduating From College in South Dakota

An important factor to consider while pursuing your higher education is your career potential. As of May 2020, the top five highest-paying jobs that require a bachelor’s degree in South Dakota were chief executives, sales engineers, computer and information systems managers, marketing managers, and financial managers.

Bachelor’s degree holders entering the workforce should take into account the careers that are more open to hiring new candidates. The jobs expected to have the most annual openings over the next decade in South Dakota are registered nurses, accountants and auditors, general and operations managers, management analysts, and elementary school teachers (excluding special education).

While reviewing career options, consider which fields may be better to avoid. The occupations expected to decline for bachelor’s degree holders in South Dakota are reporters and correspondents, radio and television announcers, computer programmers, adult basic and secondary teachers, and art directors.

What’s Next?

As you research online bachelor’s degree programs, take into consideration the cost of tuition and any associated fees. To help students pay for their education, we’ve assembled a list of federal and state resources available to undergraduate students in South Dakota.

  • South Dakota Department of Education. The South Dakota Department of Education features a division of finance and management that connects students to contracts, state-based financial aid, and federal aid.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Each year, the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid awards over $120 billion in financial aid to students across the country. To determine eligibility, simply visit the FAFSA4caster. Qualified candidates can apply online by completing the FAFSA form.
  • CareerOneStop. This site, sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, helps students find scholarships that are both at their degree level and in their state. Each financial aid opportunity comes with details about dollar amounts, qualification requirements, contact information, and application deadlines.