Last April, Speaker G. Mark Mickelson (R-13/Sioux Falls) said he wants the new Board of Technical Education to advocate for $9 million in new state funding to bring down South Dakota’s relatively high vo-tech tuition.
Now KELO Radio reports on a new draft issue memorandum from the Legislative Research Council showing that South Dakota’s vo-tech schools really are the most expensive in the region:
South Dakota’s $6,320 average annual in-state tuition and fees for two-year institutions are the third-most expensive in the nation, behind only New Hampshire and Vermont. California somehow manages to deliver two-year programs for a mere $1,430 a year in tuition and fees.
The LRC report calculates that making our vo-tech tuition competitive with Iowa’s $4,920 would require $8.03 million from the state. Matching the regional average of $3,995 would require $13.33 million.
LRC makes no funding projections for our universities, but they do find that our public universities are relatively costly as well. The LRC reports that over the last ten years, our university tuition has risen from third most costly to second most costly in the region:
While inflation (as measured by CPI) over the last decade has been 14%, South Dakota university tuition and fees have gone up 43% for residents and 61% for non-residents.