Best Online Colleges in South Dakota for 2020



If you’re interested in taking classes at a South Dakota online school, you’re in good company. Taking online classes is a great way to further your education in a way that’s convenient to you. There are many people who can benefit from taking online classes. Nontraditional settings are especially popular with working adults who may not be able to attend class during normal school hours. Adults who have busy work schedules are able to complete their classwork, study, and watch lectures on their own time. This can be a huge benefit if you’re trying to work at a demanding job and further your education at the same time.

Nontraditional students benefit from South Dakota online school, especially when they’re busy parents. Older students (meaning students who are not recent high school graduates) often have responsibilities other than school, and taking classes at a South Dakota online school can make earning a degree more doable. Rural residents may also find that attending South Dakota online school makes it easier to further their education, since the can take classes on their own time without having to travel to traditional campus. 

How We Ranked the Best Online Colleges in South Dakota

The Value Colleges Best Online Colleges in South Dakota are ranked very simply by the number of fully online bachelor’s degree programs they offer. That doesn’t mean number of programs is the only qualification; like all VC rankings, only accredited institutions are featured, schools that have proven their value to graduates.

1. Dakota State University

Dakota State University tops the list of the best online colleges in South Dakota with 13 bachelor’s programs to choose from. Students who want to earn their bachelor’s degrees online can choose from accounting, computer information systems, business technology, computer science, cyber operations, cyber leadership and intelligence, elementary education, general studies, elementary education/special education, health information administration, network and security administration, management, and professional accountancy.

At Dakota State University, online students learn from the same instructors and cover the same material as their on-campus peers. The school has been around since 1881, so it has more than 130 years of experience preparing students to be successful in their careers. DSU’s mission is to incorporate innovative technologies into the educational process to prepare graduates for the future. The school values excellence, diversity, academic freedom, and student success. 99% of DSU’s 2017 graduates found work or continued their education after graduation.

Number of Online Programs: 13

2. South Dakota State University

Next on the list of the best online colleges in South Dakota is South Dakota State University. This school has nine online bachelor’s degree programs: early education and care, geography, general studies, interdisciplinary studies, human development and family studies, nursing (RN to BS), medical laboratory science, sociology, and psychology. The interdisciplinary studies degree is customizable and is a good option for students with previous college credits to transfer. Students work with advisors to design their interdisciplinary studies degrees.

South Dakota State University provides its students with everything they need to achieve their goals—no matter how big they are. The school has outstanding faculty members who challenge their students with a rigorous but satisfying curriculum and provide the support students need to succeed. An SDSU education opens the doors to many opportunities all over the world. SDSU has over 70,000 alumni living throughout the United States.

Number of Online Programs: 9

3. University of South Dakota

The University of South Dakota is also one of the top online colleges in South Dakota, with more than 50 online programs, including seven online bachelor’s degrees. Students who want to pursue their bachelor’s degree online can choose from business administration, criminal justice, general studies, health sciences, addiction studies, dental hygiene, or nursing (RN to BSN). The school’s online programs provide a convenient, flexible, and affordable way for adult students to continue their education and advance their careers.

The University of South Dakota is the flagship university for the state of South Dakota. It’s a big school with a small-town feel. The school offers top-notch academics and world-class opportunities. There is a history of innovation, and the school strives to implement the latest technology into everything it does. The University of South Dakota charges the same tuition rate for online and on-campus students, whether they live in South Dakota or not.

Number of Online Programs:

4. Presentation College

Another of the best online colleges in South Dakota is Presentation College. This school offers five online bachelor’s degree programs, three of which are degree completion programs. Students can pursue an online bachelor’s degree in nursing (LPN to BSN completion or RN to BSN completion), healthcare administration, health science, or radiologic technology (completion). The degree completion programs are designed for students who already have an associate degree and want to advance their education to the bachelor level.

Presentation College is a faith-based school grounded in the Catholic tradition that welcomes all students regardless of their faith. The school seeks to use education to make a difference in the world. The school has a strong focus on service and social justice. Students must complete two or more service learning projects in order to graduate. 97% of Presentation students find the service learning requirement to be satisfying.

Number of Online Programs: 5

5. Northern State University

Northern State University is next on the list of the top online colleges in South Dakota, with nine online bachelor’s degree programs to choose from: accounting, business administration, banking and financial services, general studies, management, international business, marketing, Spanish, and professional accountancy. Adult students can take advantage of the flexibility to be able to fit the classes in around their work schedules and other commitments. NSU’s online courses are taught by outstanding faculty members who make themselves accessible to students who need help.

Northern State University is dedicated to extracurricular and academic excellence. The school has a 20-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and has affordable tuition for out-of-state students. There are more than 28,000 alumni around the country. Incoming freshmen get an average of $9,994 in financial aid. The school values integrity, discovery, and community. More than 60% of all students receive scholarship funding from the NSU Foundation.

Number of Online Programs: 11

6. University of Sioux Falls

The University of Sioux Falls is also among the best online colleges in South Dakota. The school offers three online bachelor’s degree completion programs (business, accounting, and health administration), as well as an online RN to BSN nursing program. The BSN program is for working Registered Nurses who want to earn a bachelor’s degree to expand their career options. The degree completion programs are for transfer students and students who already hold an associate degree. USF’s online programs make it easy for adult students to return to school and earn their degrees.

The University of Sioux Falls is a Christian school with a liberal arts foundation. The school integrates the Christian faith into its coursework. The school is dedicated to preparing students for a life of service to God and to mankind. The University of Sioux Falls has a 99% post-graduation job placement rate.

Number of Online Programs: 4

7. Dakota Wesleyan University

Dakota Wesleyan University is one of the top online colleges in South Dakota for nursing students. The school has two BSN nursing programs that can be completed online: RN to BSN or LPN to BSN. These programs are designed for working nurses who have some experience in the field and are ready to earn their bachelor’s degrees to open up new career opportunities. Dakota Wesleyan’s online courses can be accessed anytime or anywhere, so they are flexible enough to fit around a nurse’s busy schedule.

Dakota Wesleyan University’s four core values are leadership development, lifelong learning, service to others, and faith exploration. The school is rooted in the United Methodist faith, and its values reflect its desire to serve God and the community. The school is small, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1. Students can use the DWU online portal to communicate and build lasting relationships with peers and faculty members.

Number of Online Programs:

8. Black Hills State University

Last on the list of the best online colleges in South Dakota is Black Hills State University, with two online bachelor’s degree programs: business administration and general studies. The business administration degree has a concentration in management and is offered through the College of Business & Natural Sciences. The program prepares students for leadership positions in the business world. The general studies program is a degree completion program for students with previous college credit. The degree is flexible enough to allow students to apply most of their credits toward the degree, minimizing the number of courses they need to take to earn their bachelor’s.

Black Hills State University is just the right size: big enough to provide students with the resources and opportunities they need, but small enough to feel like home. Approximately 92% of all BHSU students receive some form of financial aid.

Number of Online Programs:

What is the Value of Online College 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.

What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn Online in South Dakota?

When you’re researching online degree programs in South Dakota, you may be curious about what types of degrees you can earn when you get your degree outside of a traditional classroom setting. Luckily, the options for online degrees in South Dakota are endless. South Dakota online degrees are available at all levels. You can earn your associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and even doctorate degree online.

Many students are interested in earning a South Dakota online MBA, which is a popular degree path for many students in the South Dakota area. South Dakota online degrees aren’t the only option for furthering your education. Many students who are working toward online degrees in South Dakota choose to earn a certificate rather than a full degree. Certificates can be used to increase your earning power in the workplace, or open up new career opportunities. 

No matter what type of South Dakota online degrees interest you, you’ll be able to find the degree you need at one of the many online degree programs in South Dakota. Whether you want a certificate, a South Dakota online MBA, a bachelor’s degree, or a doctorate degree, you’ll be able to earn the education you need online. If you’re not sure about what type of degree program makes the most sense for you, your school’s academic advisor will be able to guide you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – you’re investing time and money in your education, and it’s essential that you get the degree that makes the most sense for your needs. 

How Can I Save Money on an Online Degree in South Dakota?

When you’re interested in furthering your education, you may be curious about how to save money while earning your degree. There are several options for saving money while learning. Let’s take a look at some of the different ways you can lessen your overall tuition cost. 

Attending a public college or university is a great way to bring down the cost of your education. Public colleges receive funding from the state, making it less expensive for students to attend. State specific scholarships are also available at public colleges and universities, so make sure to talk to your school’s financial aid office if you’re interested in applying for scholarships and/ or grants. 

Be sure to fill out the Federal Application for Student Aid, or FAFSA, even if you’re not sure that you’ll qualify for aid. You may find that you receive scholarships, grants, and/ or loan opportunities. You’ll need to fill out this form every year to continue receiving federal aid. 

Taking classes at a community college can be a great way to save money while you start your education. Community colleges in South Dakota are two-year institutions where you can earn your associate’s degree, and take classes toward earning a higher degree. When you take classes at community colleges in South Dakota, you’ll typically pay less money than you would pay for the same classes at a four-year institution. You can transfer those credits to a four-year institution down the line, saving you money on your bachelor’s degree. 

If you’re working, talk to your employer about tuition reimbursement. Many workplaces offer tuition reimbursement for employees who are earning their degree in a related field. Your employer may have certain rules that you have to follow in order to receive aid, such as agreeing to work for the employer for a certain amount of time after you finish your degree. You may also be required to keep a certain GPA in order to continue receiving reimbursement funds.

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