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Public Universities Prioritize Academic Affordability

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PIERRE, S.D. – Public university students will be greeted with classroom saving as they prepare to head back to campus in the coming weeks. The South Dakota Board of Regents Institutions implemented First Day Access to enhance university affordability for students.


The benefits of First Day Access include discounted prices for course materials and the guarantee of accurate content for the start of class. Rather than purchase a textbook or an external digital item, First Day Access allows students to access digital course materials at a lower cost. 


"This was a massive effort led by our campus faculty," said South Dakota BOR Executive Director Dr. Brian Maher. "The students are always our number one priority, and actions like this demonstrate our universities' emphasis on affordability."


Based on an example workload, First Day Access can provide savings of approximately 30% on external digital materials and 60% on traditional print textbooks. Many public university faculty have adopted new materials based on availability and cost savings for their students. 


"Our campuses stepped up to the challenge, revising their coursework and providing savings for students," said BOR System Vice President for Academic Policy and Planning Dr. Janice Minder. "The effort that had to happen at the university-level to provide these materials for students needs to be recognized."


This effort is based on a larger mission emanating from the Board of Regents' strategic plan to prioritize university affordability.


Earlier this year, the South Dakota Legislature provided significant financial support to allow for a tuition freeze for the upcoming school year, and the Board identified a tuition freeze for the 2023-2024 academic year as their top legislative priority. With little to no increases in tuition and affordable academic materials, BOR is working hard to set students up to succeed and grow in our state.


The South Dakota Board of Regents is the governing board for the six public state universities, the South Dakota School for the Blind, and the South Dakota School for the Deaf. For more information on these legislative priorities and more, visit​


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