Consistent with state law (see SDCL 13-55-11 through 13), the regental system offers a special tuition reduction program to individuals who are visually impaired. Those who qualify receive a total waiver of standard tuition and fees. Eligibility requirements include the following:
- Significant visual impairment: despite the use of correcting lenses, a level of vision which precludes performance of life’s ordinary activities for which eye sight is considered essential (see SDCL 13-55-11).
- Fulfillment of entrance requirements as established by Board of Regents Policy 2:3.
Notes of relevance:
- As stated, this waiver applies to both tuition and fees.
- This program includes only state-support courses - primarily those that are campus-based and involve face-to-face instruction. It does not include courses that are offered at learning centers and other off-campus locations or those that entail distance learning.
- Up to 225 credit hours may be earned through this program (undergraduate and/or graduate).
- The program does not allow for repeated courses due to unsatisfactory performance within the student’s control.
- The tuition waiver does not encompass any private instruction.
As outlined in SDCL 13-55-11.1, you must obtain certification of your visual impairment. This validation process is managed by the South Dakota Department of Human Services/Division of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired. Contact your nearest regional office; the vocational counselor assigned to you will submit appropriate documentation related to the status of your impairment directly to the university of your choice. No particular form is required.
For follow-up questions pertaining to the status of your application, please contact the specified office at your chosen university:
- Black Hills State University - Spearfish: Student Financial Services/Business Office: 642-6941
- Dakota State University - Madison: Cashier's Office: 256-5271
- Northern State University - Aberdeen: JoEllen Lindner, Student Affairs/Enrollment Services: 626-2544
- South Dakota School of Mines and Technology - Rapid City: Admissions: 394-2414
- South Dakota State University - Brookings: Jay Larsen, Financial Aid: 688-4703
- The University of South Dakota - Vermillion: Registrar's Office: 677-5339