Students at the University of South Dakota and around South Dakota might finally be receiving something they have wanted for the past few years — a freeze in tuition.
At the Sept. 24 Student Government Association meeting, former SGA Vice President Dennis Smith officially reported to the SGA that the South Dakota Board of Regents has placed an exact value on what the state will need to compensate for in order to pass the tuition freeze.
According to the BOR 2015 budget request, the state will have to direct $5,000,680 in funding to pass the freeze on tuition.
“The way the tuition freeze works is it will put a freeze on all fees and all tuition for in-state students. Any fees that there can be. What is does from there is all the money students will not be paying will come directly from the state,” Smith said.
BOR’s budget request explains that the tuition buy down is exclusively for resident students and will only freeze tuition and mandatory fees.
According to the budget request, the proposal would freeze tuition and fees for resident on-campus students by increasing state funding to cover the portion of salary and benefit costs, and inflation normally covered by tuition and mandatory fees.
Janelle Toman, director of communications for the BOR, previously said the money requested would compensate for prior increases in tuition that was used to raise salaries for faculty, staff and administration.
Smith and a number of other student representatives for universities across the state have advocated for the tuition freeze through the Student Federation. The Student Federation met in Pierre Sept. 13 to discuss the issue directly with BOR executives.
“We talked about the big ticket issues going around the state,” Smith said. “This was something important to us, to the schools we represent and the students.”
Should the proposed tuition freeze only apply to in-state residents?