Today, at their March Board meeting, the South Dakota Board of Regents acknowledged the outstanding support received from the South Dakota Legislature and Governor Kristi Noem during the 2023 legislative session. With this support, the board will be able to accomplish all its legislative priorities for the year, including its top priority, academic affordability.
“Being able to offer tuition at the same rate for the past three academic years helps our public universities attract and retain students,” said BOR Executive Director Brian Maher. “We applaud Governor Noem and the Legislature for making our South Dakota universities competitive and working to keep our students in-state.”
A freeze in tuition helps BOR deliver affordable, high-quality education aligned with the state’s workforce needs, which is the focus of South Dakota’s public universities and is the foundation for the economic well-being of our state. In the past, the state covered less than half of the salary and benefits package for employees in the public university system. Tuition and fees were traditionally increased to honor the total salary policy lawmakers approved. For the second year, the Governor and Legislature agreed to additional base general funds to support health insurance and salary policy increases, allowing tuition costs to remain unchanged.
A freeze in tuition is one of many benefits students may see. South Dakota National Guard members will receive a significant reduction in tuition as Governor Noem prioritizes free public higher education for member students. Students receiving the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship will see an increase in their award amount beginning the 2023-2024 academic year. In addition, each campus received funds to support existing infrastructure needs.
“The Board is grateful for the actions of the Legislature and Governor, and we appreciate the relationships built throughout the year,” said BOR Board President Pam Roberts. “We are eager to put their investments in higher education to work.”
During this year’s legislative session, lawmakers invested significantly in one-time and ongoing funding to our public universities and special schools. The South Dakota Board of Regents appreciates the hard work and dedication to higher education in our state.