Top 10 Best Online Colleges in South Dakota

Today students from all walks of life find themselves balancing a job, family commitments, or other responsibilities that make attending college on a traditional campus a challenge. Luckily there are hundreds of fully online degree programs across the nation that students can choose from, which enable them to earn their degree without having to ever step foot on a campus or attend a class face-to-face. The flexible nature of virtual or distance learning is what appeals to most online students, in addition to the often lower tuition rates and benefits of expediting their education.

In this Value Colleges Top 10 list you’ll find a ranking of the best online colleges found in the state of South Dakota. The schools listed are ranked by the number of fully online degree programs they offer, both undergraduate and graduate, and by their solid ROIs and proven success. It should be noted that all the tuition prices listed reflect the colleges annual IPEDs tuition rates since oftentimes costs for online programs vary from degree to degree. Each school is accredited either regionally or nationally and offers a high success rate of graduates.


University of South Dakota

The University of South Dakota, located in Vermillion, South Dakota was founded in 1862 and is the state’s oldest university! By 1931 the schools of Law, Medicine, Continuing Education, Fine Arts, and the Graduate school had opened and are still open today. The University of South Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The school offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

University of South Dakota online students can enroll in a number of fully or partially online degree programs that are customizable to meet their needs. The online learning platform offers flexibility with scheduling and coursework, plus affordability since rates are the same for both in-state and out-of-state. All programs are additionally fully accredited and led by the same faculty that teaches on campus. The University of South Dakota as online programs in the areas of Business, Healthcare, Education, and more, with degrees such as Addiction Studies, Nonprofit Management, and Public Administration to name a few.

Annual Tuition: $8,475

Online Programs: 37


Dakota State University

Dakota State University was founded in 1881 and is located in Madison, South Dakota. The university is a four-year institution that specializes in computer technology and additionally offers one- and two-year programs or short courses in the subject. With a steady reputation of annually producing solid ROIs, the school boasts a 94% job placement rate for students after college. Also, a leader in utilizing technology in the best ways, Dakota State University has been able to prepare students for jobs at places such as Los Alamos, NASA, and Hematech to name a few. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Using state of the art technology Dakota State University online is a leading institution in South Dakota for offering a flexible, accessible, affordable, and quality online education to students wishing to learn online. All online courses are all accredited and come at low-cost along with the flexibility of accessing assignments 24/7 and completing coursework in a student-led atmosphere. All courses are taught online by the same professors that teach classes on campus and a number of diverse courses offered from the baccalaureate to doctoral level depending on the state in which a student resides.

Annual Tuition: $7,974

Online Programs: 25


South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University is the state’s largest university and second oldest university in South Dakota. The university encompasses 180 diverse fields of study and offers students more than 200 different clubs and student led organizations. With solid ROIs, more than 95% of South Dakota State University alumni go on to graduate school, into jobs or internships, or take other opportunities such as fellowships after college annually!

South Dakota State University online uses only the best technology available today for distance learning, a platform called Desire2Learn, the most reliable software available for online learning today, which allows students 24/7 access to their coursework and study materials. All courses are led by the same South Dakota University faculty that lead classes on campus. Some bachelor programs available include degrees in Geography, Interdisciplinary Studies, Nursing, Sociology, and Medical Laboratory Science. Master degrees in Sociology, Chemistry, Public Health, Educational Administration, and more can be completed fully or partially online as well.

Annual Tuition: $8,172

Online Programs: 21


Northern State University

Nationally recognized as one of the best and most affordable colleges in northwest America, Northern State University has been dedicated to offering high-quality, innovative academics to driven students since its founding in 1901. Affordability is important to the university’s mission, meaning over 95% of students receive some sort of financial aid annually. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission as well as regional and teaching accreditations, and offers both undergraduate and graduate degree opportunities.

Northern State University online offers a diverse number of fully and partially online degree programs, including master degree programs in Banking and Financial Services and Music Education to name a few. Some bachelor degrees available online include studies in Accounting, International Business Studies, Business Administration, Marketing, and more.

Annual Tuition: $7,887

Online Programs: 15


Southeast Technical Institute

For over 45 years and counting Southeast Technical College has been focused on offering quality, career-relevant education at an affordable and cost-effective price to students who are career driven and passionate about learning. Located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the school is a leading community college both locally, state-wide, and nationally and offers a diverse range of associate degrees. In fact, Southeast Technical College is ranked as the 21st Best Value Community College of 2016 by Value Colleges!

Southeast Technical Institute online caters to traditionally aged college students but also adult learners who may be juggling school with other commitments like work or family and many of the programs are tailored to help career driven individuals reach their career goals in an affordable, accessible, and flexible manner. All online courses are interactive and taught by qualified, experienced faculty. In fact, Southeast Technical has been called one of South Dakota’s best online two-year colleges. Some fully online degree programs include associate degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Marketing, Financial Services: Banking, and Computer Programming, plus much more.

Annual Tuition: $5,280

Online Programs: 14


Black Hills State University

Located in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota, Black Hills State University has been offering quality education, today up through the master level, to driven students from around the globe. The school is a regional leader in sustainability efforts both on campus and through its teachings and has some of the best academic programs in exercise science, natural science, the arts, education, and business in South Dakota! The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission as well as a number of regional and teaching accreditation institutions.

Black Hills State University online offers a diverse variety of fully and partially online degree programs. With flexible scheduling, students are able to find and fit the program of their choosing to their personal needs. Black Hills State utilizes the top-notch online system, Desire2Learn and students have access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The university offers degrees from the associate to master degree levels plus certificate programs. Some degree programs include a Master of Science in Sustainability or Strategic Leadership, a Master of Education in Reading, a Bachelor of Business Administration, a Bachelor of General Studies, and more.

Annual Tuition: $8,004

Online Programs: 7


Dakota Wesleyan University

Dakota Wesleyan University’s learning is rooted in four core values: life-long learning, leadership development, faith exploration, and service to others. Dakota Wesleyan University additionally prides itself in offering courses and degree programs that promote economic grown and entrepreneurial thinking both on campus and in their distance learning programs online. With solid ROIs 85% of students have the opportunity to conduct research or intern at the professional level, and 100% of nursing graduates find gainful employment in their profession after finishing college!

Dakota Wesleyan University online celebrates flexibility and ensures students can complete courses 100% online from anywhere in the world and at any time, with 24/7-hour access. The asynchronous course model allows those balancing work-life with school-life to find that sweet spot which allows them to complete their courses and reach their academic goals with ease. Some fully online programs include an RN to BSN in Nursing, a Master of Arts in Education, and a Master of Business Administration to name a few.

Online Tuition: $325 to $375 per credit hour

Online Programs: 5


Presentation College

Presentation College was founded as an independent, Catholic institution in 1922 by the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today it serves students from diverse backgrounds and all faiths. The university has a strong history of community service and engagement and won the ABBY Award for Community Involvement in 1998 and was recognized by the Corporation for National Community Service for outstanding service in 2008. Presentation College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and holds a number of nursing, teaching, and regional accreditations as well.

Presentation College online is often referred to as PC Virtual, and offers strong support and flexibility and ease of learning for traditional aged colleges students who prefer learning online, such as homeschool students, and working adults who are balancing school with other commitments. Presentation College online offers five fully online degree programs in the following areas of study: Nursing Completion, Medical Coding, Medical Office Administration, Radiologic Technology, and Surgical Technology.

Annual Tuition: $18,358

Online Programs: 5


University of Sioux Falls

The University of Sioux Falls is a Christian, liberal arts university and was founded in 1883, making it one of the oldest universities in the state of South Dakota. The institution is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, USA and faculty is dedicated to integrating faith with learning in all areas of study from the arts to sciences, business and education, undergraduate to the graduate levels.

University of Sioux Falls online offers the same liberal arts education based in the Christian tradition to its online learners as is found on the university’s traditional campus. Affordability is a key component and all tuition is straightforward with no hidden fees and financial aid and flexible payment options are available for enrollees. The online school is set up to provide the upmost convenience and flexibility for its students, and most programs can be completed fully online. Some programs include the RN to Bachelor of Nursing degree or a Master of Business degree and a Master of Education degree.

Annual Tuition: $11,170

Online Programs: 4


South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, often called SD Mines, was founded in 1885 and has since been committed to offering quality education in the fields of science and engineering academics and research. The university is accredited to offer bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees. Located in Rapid City, the school focuses on small class sizes, one-on-one advisement, and quality academics, values that transfer to their online programs as well.

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology online prides itself in offering the best combination of quality education with flexibility in academics through its virtual learning programs. The programs are targeted towards career driven, engineering educated individuals whether they are working adults hoping to advance their engineering careers or just out of school with a bachelor degree. In fact, the school offers some of the best online master degree programs in engineering in the state!  Students can choose from degrees in Construction Engineering and Management, Engineering Management, And Mining Engineering and Management.

Annual Tuition: $11,170

Online Programs: 3