For Release March 27

Board of Regents sets Tuition and Fee Rates for 1998-99

ABERDEEN, SD—The Board of Regents, meeting today at the South Dakota School for the Visually Handicapped, set tuition and fee rates for the university system for the next academic year. Tuition rates at all universities for resident undergraduates will be $56.15 per credit hour.

Based on 32 credit hours per academic year, the system average for tuition, required fees, room and board for resident undergraduates next year will be $5,777.80, an increase of $301.68 over the amount paid in FY98. "Even though we don’t like to raise the cost of higher education for our students, at that price they are still getting good value for their money," said Regents President David Gienapp.

In FY97, which is the most recent year for which complete data are available, the national average for tuition and required fees at public universities was about $7,793. Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry said, "South Dakota is still below the national average. To put next year’s increase into perspective, that $300 is no more than the price of a TV for the dorm room or a set of tires. But the value of the education lasts a whole lot longer."

Gienapp added, "Higher education is an investment, both for an individual and for a state. Students and their families should view their education as preparation for a lifetime. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that on a national average a worker with a bachelor’s degree and no experience earns about $2700 a month. Compare that to about $1700 per month for a worker with formal vocational training or about $1300 a month for a worker with little or no education or training. You can see that higher education is worth the investment."

Perry observed that for an investment of less than $13,000 a young person today will increase lifetime earnings by about $700,000. "That is the best return on an investment you can get anywhere," he said.

The next Board of Regents meeting will be May 7-8, 1998, in Brookings at South Dakota State University.

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