Through passage of SDCL 13-55-2, the state legislature created a reduced tuition program for veterans and selected others who performed war service. Eligibility requirements include the following:
- Current South Dakota residency (note: state of residency at the point of entry into military service is not a factor)
- Classification as a veteran - as defined in SDCL 33A-2-1 - or an individual who performed active war service.
- Qualifying service during a period of combat operations as delineated in SDCL 33A-2-2
A tuition waiver is granted to those who qualify. The number of academic years for which the waiver is approved varies; this is driven by length of military service. The minimum is one, and the maximum is four.
- The waiver applies exclusively to tuition (not to fees).
- This program allows for completion of courses at the undergraduate (as opposed to graduate) level.
- The tuition waiver is variable, depending on the nature of the course:
- State-support (primarily those courses that are campus-based and involve face-to-face instruction): full waiver
- Self-support (typically those offered at learning centers and other off-campus locations as well as those that entail distance learning): partial waiver
- As stated in SDCL 13-55-3, this tuition waiver must be used within twenty years following cessation of hostilities or six years following honorable discharge – whichever comes later.
- This state-sponsored tuition program is not applicable if federal education benefits are available.
To initiate the necessary application process, contact the South Dakota Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. A departmental representative will facilitate completion of the E-11 form and serve as a useful liaison between you and your home university.
Additionally, the staff at each university includes a member who possesses expertise in veterans' issues. To make contact with this individual, reference the campus-specific link below:
- Black Hills State University - Spearfish
- Dakota State University - Madison
- Northern State University - Aberdeen
- South Dakota School of Mines and Technology - Rapid City
- South Dakota State University - Brookings
- The University of South Dakota - Vermillion