Top 10 Nonprofit Online Colleges in South Dakota

For many students, a college degree might seem far too time-consuming. With additional responsibilities like a full-time job, some students might believe it to be impossible to pursue a higher education. Fortunately, online degree programs allow students in those exact circumstances to create a schedule that works for them. Students looking for the flexibility of an online degree program will find this ranking of the top online universities in South Dakota to be helpful in their search for an online degree. These South Dakota colleges and universities have been ranked by the cost of their tuition per credit.

#1. South Dakota State University

Located in Brookings, South Dakota, South Dakota State University is a public research university. The largest university in all of South Dakota, South Dakota State University also holds the distinction of being the state’s oldest continually operating institution. Originally founded in 1881, South Dakota State University was founded as the Dakota Agricultural College. Established prior to South Dakota’s statehood, the Dakota Agricultural College greatly expanded its operations over the coming decades. By 1904, the Dakota Agricultural College was renamed to South Dakota College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. Expanding the focus of its academic programs, the South Dakota College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts was starting to attract more and more students each year. In 1964, the South Dakota College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts was renamed to its current name of South Dakota State University. This name change was decided in order to better reflect the breadth of academic programs being offered at the institution. Since then, South Dakota State University has continued to be a leader in academia in the state of South Dakota. Today, South Dakota State University enrolls a student body of over 12,600 students.

Home of the Jackrabbits, South Dakota State University maintains a sizable catalog of degree programs from which students can choose to enroll in. At this time, students at South Dakota State University can select from over 175 different programs offered across the school’s undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. A large amount of these programs are also made available to students entirely online. By focusing on online education, South Dakota State University has ranked among our top online universities and colleges in South Dakota. South Dakota State University is a public institution.

Accreditation: South Dakota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $340/credit

Click here for a list of South Dakota State University‘s online programs.

#2. Northern State University

Established in 1901, Northern State University is one of South Dakota’s public universities. Located in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Northern State University was originally established as the Northern Normal and Industrial School. While not officially opened until the beginning of the 20th century, plans for Northern State University date back all the way to 1885. At this time, the South Dakota legislature had called for the creation of a university in the town of Ordway. Named the University of Central Dakota, this school was never actually founded due to financial concerns. However, in 1900 it was decided that the plans for the school would be adapted, and a school would be established in the fast-growing city of Aberdeen. Northern State University was established the following year as the Northern Normal and Industrial School. Focusing on teacher and vocational training, the Nothern Normal and Industrial School soon began to expand its academic offerings. In 1939, the school was renamed to Northern State Teachers College. Now offering degrees in education, the school then expanded to offer more degree programs. This led to the school being renamed in 1964 to Northern State College and then Northern State University in 1989. Today, over 3,600 students attend Northern State University.

Students at Northern State University are able to select from a large collection of degree programs offered at the school. At this time, Northern State University is offering almost forty different undergraduate degree programs as well as nine graduate degrees. A selection of these programs is also made available to students entirely online. By demonstrating their dedication to online learning, Northern State University has earned a place among our top online universities and colleges in South Dakota. Northern State University is a public institution.

Accreditation: Northern State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $342/credit

Click here for a list of Northern State University‘s online programs.

#3. Dakota Wesleyan University

Founded by a group of Methodist settlers, Dakota Wesleyan University has developed into one of South Dakota’s premier private universities. Located in Mitchell, South Dakota, Dakota Wesleyan University was first established in 1885. Established with the motto “Sacrifice or Service”, Dakota Wesleyan University was originally known as Dakota University. After settling in the Dakota territory, this group of Methodist settlers belonging to the United Methodist Church wanted to create an academic institution that would serve and educate their community of people. Initially focusing on biblical teachings, the school quickly expanded the scope of its programs to include traditional college programs. By 1904, the school was renamed to Dakota Wesleyan University. Continuing to grow and attract students from across the state, Dakota Wesleyan University had become the largest independent university in the entire state of South Dakota. Struggling through the Depression-era, Dakota Wesleyan University was able to hang on through the help of the United Methodist Church. The school saw a surge of enrollment following World War II that helped propel the school’s growth into the future. Today, Dakota Wesylan University enrolls almost 800 students.

Dakota Wesylan University offers students the opportunity to select from many different academic programs offered at the school. At the time of this writing, students at Dakota Wesleyan University can select from over forty undergraduate degrees as well as five different graduate programs. Dakota Wesleyan University currently offers seven different online degree programs for its students to enroll in at this time. By committing to online education, Dakota Wesleyan University is now able to rank among our top online universities and colleges in South Dakota. Dakota Wesleyan University is a private institution.

Accreditation: Dakota Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $350/credit

Click here for a list of Dakota Wesleyan University‘s online programs.

#4. University of Sioux Falls

Affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA, the University of Sioux Falls is a private Christian university. Located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the University of Sioux Falls was first established in 1883. Plans for the University of Sioux Falls date to 1872 when a group of Baptist church leaders from across the Dakota Territory met in Vermillion, South Dakota. The group met to discuss the founding of a new school that would serve their congregations. Known as the Dakota Collegiate Institute, the school was operational eleven years after its initial planning began. In 1885, the name of the school was changed to Sioux Falls University, and the collegiate branch of the school was spun-off as Sioux Falls College. Sioux Falls College spent the next few years absorbing other nearby Baptist schools until it had merged with Grand Island College. At the time, Grand Island College was owned by Sioux Falls University, resulting in the school being reunited with its original institution. Over the course of the 20th century, Sioux Falls College saw much expansion. Adding a variety of different academic programming, Sioux Falls College was renamed the University of Sioux Falls in 1995.

Home to 1,500 students, the University of Sioux Falls has expanded its academic programming to include a large selection of degree programs. At this time, students at the University of Sioux Falls can select from around forty different undergraduate degree programs as well as a focused selection of graduate degrees. A portion of these programs is also offered to students entirely online. By offering these degrees to students online, the University of Sioux Falls has ranked among our top online colleges in South Dakota. University of Sioux Falls is a private institution.

Accreditation: University of Sioux Falls is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $360/credit

Click here for a list of University of Sioux Falls‘ online programs.

#5. University of South Dakota

The oldest public university in the state of South Dakota, the University of South Dakota is located in Vermillion, South Dakota. Established in 1862, the University of South Dakota’s motto is “Truth”. Founded by the Dakota Territorial Legislature in 1862, the University of South Dakota predates South Dakota’s statehood. While the school was officially founded in 1862, it wasn’t until twenty years later that the funding would be secured for the school. Through the work of the citizens of Clay County, the University of South Dakota was able to begin accepting students as the University of Dakota. By 1883, the University of Dakota had moved to its present location in Vermillion. In 1913, the University of Dakota had received its accreditation for the authorization of college degree programs. Since that time, the University of Dakota has been renamed to its current name: the University of South Dakota. The school has also been recognized for its academic excellence and has turned out ten Rhodes Scholars and one Nobel Laureate. Today, the University of South Dakota is home to a student body of almost 10,000 students.

Home of the Coyotes, the University of South Dakota currently maintains a large catalog of degree programs for students to select from. At this time, students at the University of South Dakota can choose from over 200 different undergraduate degree programs as well as over sixty-five different graduate degrees. Many of these programs are also offered to students entirely online. By offering these programs online, the University of South Dakota has ranked among our top online colleges in South Dakota. University of South Dakota is a public institution.

Accreditation: University of South Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $360/credit

Click here for a list of University of South Dakota‘s online programs.

#6. Dakota State University

Located in Madison, South Dakota, Dakota State University is a public university. Established in 1881, Dakota State University’s motto is “Embrace Innovation”. Originally known as the Madison Normal School, Dakota State University was founded as a teacher training facility. Also referred to as Dakota State Normal, Dakota State University was the first teacher training facility in both North and South Dakota. Predating South Dakota’s statehood, Dakota State Normal was renamed to Madison State Normal School in 1902. Continuing to focus on providing teacher training, Madison State Normal School soon began to experiment with offering college courses in education. By 1921, the school had been renamed once again to Easter State Normal School, and then to Easter State Teachers College in 1927 after adding degrees in education to its curriculum. The school was renamed once again to General Beadle State Teachers College to honor the school’s third president. After a few more name changes, the school was finally named Dakota State University in 1989. Today, Dakota State University enrolls 3,300 students.

Students at Dakota State University are able to select from many different degree programs offered by the school. Currently, Dakota State University offers over forty different programs across the school’s undergraduate and graduate degree offerings. Of these programs, Dakota State University offers many of them to students online. Through their dedication to online education, Dakota State University has placed among the top online colleges in South Dakota. Dakota State University is a public institution.

Accreditation: Dakota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $382/credit

Click here for a list of Dakota State University‘s online programs.

#7. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Established in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is a public university. Located in Rapid City, South Dakota, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology was originally named the Dakota School of Mines. The school was established in order to provide for the growing demand of trained miners to work within the booming mining industry in the Dakota Territory. In 1889, the school’s name was changed from the Dakota School of Mines to the South Dakota School of Mines following the announcement of South Dakota’s statehood. While focusing on mining, the South Dakota School of Mines was also a hub for the latest advancements in technology. Showcasing exhibits at the World’s Fair, the South Dakota School of Mines has begun to demonstrate its prowess in various technological fields. The school was renamed once again in 1943 to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Since then, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has worked to expand its academic offerings. At this time, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology enrolls almost 3,000 students.

Home of the Hardrockers, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology offers students a wide selection of academic programs from which to enroll in. At this time, students at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology can choose from nearly twenty different undergraduate degree programs, twelve master’s degrees, and seven doctoral programs. Many of these programs are also available to students entirely online. By offering these programs online, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has ranked among our top online colleges in South Dakota. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is a public institution.

Accreditation: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $391/credit

Click here for a list of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology‘s online programs.

#8. Black Hills State University

A public university, Black Hills State University is located in Spearfish, South Dakota. Originally established in 1883, Black Hills State University’s motto is “Where Anything is Possible”. The history of Black Hills State University dates back to 1881 when the Dakota College was founded. Funded by the Congregational Church, Dakota College does not have any direct association to Black Hills State University. However, when plans for a new normal school began to develop, it was decided that the site of Dakota College would be purchased and converted into what would become the Dakota Territorial Normal School. Eventually becoming Black Hills State University, Dakota Territorial Normal School operated as a teacher training facility for students preparing to enter into the workforce as teachers for the state of South Dakota. By 1924, the Dakota Territorial Normal School had begun to offer students bachelor’s degrees in education. This led to the inclusion of additional degree programs into the school’s curriculum.  The school was then renamed to Black Hills Teachers College in 1941 to better communicate the types of degree programs available. Adding more degrees to its curriculum, the school was eventually renamed to Black Hills State University.

Enrolling nearly 4,300 students, Black Hills State University offers a wide selection of degree programs for students to enroll in. At this time, students at Black Hills State University can select from over eighty undergraduate degree programs as well as nine different master’s degrees. A selection of these programs is made available to students entirely online. By making online education a priority, Black Hills State University has placed among our top online colleges in South Dakota. Black Hills State University is a public university.

Accreditation: Black Hills State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $392/credit

Click here for a list of Black Hills State University‘s online programs.

#9. Augustana University

Founded by members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Augustana University is a private Christian university. With the motto “The Word of God endured forever”, Augustana University was founded in 1860. Twenty-five years prior to the school’s founding, plans for Augustana University can be traced back to a group of Scandinavian settlers who founded the Hillsboro Academy in Hillsboro, Illinois. The group founded a couple different institutions of higher learning before founding Augustana College and Seminary in Chicago, Illinois in 1860. In 1889, the Lutheran Normal School was founded in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This new institution was created by the Lutheran Church to provide students with teacher training. Around this same time, business leaders in Sioux Falls began lobbying the operators of Augustana College and Seminary to relocate their school to the city of Sioux Falls. After years of lobbying, Augustana College and Seminary merged with the Lutheran Normal School. In 1926, the school’s name was shortened to Augustana College. Over the coming decades, Augustana College would grow to attract more students and add more degree programs to its offerings. Renamed Augustana University in 2015, the school now enrolls over 2,000 students.

Home of the Vikings, Augustana University offers a large number of degree programs for students to choose from. At this time, students at Augustana University can select from over fifty undergraduate degrees. Augustana University also makes a selection of these programs available to students online. Making online education a priority, Augustana University has earned its place among our top online universities and colleges in South Dakota. Augustana University is a private institution.

Accreditation: Augustana University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $475/credit

Click here for a list of Augustana University’s online programs.

#10. Presentation College

A private, Catholic college, Presentation College is located in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Established in 1951, Presentation College was founded by a group known as the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Prior to its official establishment as Presentation College in 1951, the school operated out of Mitchell, South Dakota in 1922 as the Notre Dame Junior College. Operated by Reverend Monsignor J.M. Brady, the Notre Dame Junior College operated in Mitchell under his command until 1951. At this point, the operation of the school was turned over to the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Having staffed the school since the beginning, the transition to the Sisters of the Presentation was very smooth, and the school was renamed to Presentation College and moved to Aberdeen. It was at this point that the school began to flourish. Attracting students from all over the state of South Dakota, Presentation College also started to expand its curriculum to offer students more degree programs. Today, Presentation College has grown to be home to almost 800 students at its campus in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Students at Presentation College are able to choose from many different academic programs offered at the school. Currently, Presentation College offers students almost twenty different undergraduate programs as well as two graduate programs. Five of these programs are also made available to students entirely online. Dedicating resources to online education, Presentation College has ranked among our top online colleges in South Dakota. Presentation College is a private institution.

Accreditation: Presentation College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $738/credit

Click here for a list of Presentation College‘s online programs.

This has been a listing of the top nonprofit online colleges in South Dakota.