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Dickinson State University plans to 'simplify' tuition rates

Dickinson State University is proposing a change in its tuition rates.

DSU President Dr. Stephen Easton said the University has about five or six actual tuition rates, including a different rate for online courses.

"We have a very complicated system," Easton said.

The proposal is to reduce those rates to two – one for residents, the other for non-residents. Easton said it will also expand the potential pool of students who would be eligible to the residential rate.

"We have a fair number of Montanans, so we're going to apply that residential rate to all contiguous states," Easton said. "The ones particularly important to us are Montana and South Dakota, with the occasional Minnesotan."

That rate would also be offered to students from Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

"That has traditionally been a strong market for DSU," Easton said. "It's waned a little bit, except in a few areas."

Easton said this should make DSU more competitive.

"Our competitor instiutions in the two states -- specifically Black Hills State and Chadron State in Nebraska -- are ones we compete with for Montana and South Dakota students," Easton said. "They're offering in-state, or essentially in-state, resident tuition for many of the same students we will be competing for. So we think this will help us attract students."

And Easton said simplifying the tuition rate should also be a factor in attracting students. He said the other part of the plan is to eliminate the difference between online and in-person tuition rates.

The Board of Higher Education’s Budget and Finance Committee has endorsed the change. The full Board will vote on it next week.

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