Live Fully Engaged.
The cost of higher education is one of the top issues families grapple with—they know the value of a college degree but aren’t sure how to make it work within their family budget. They want to see the true cost up front before committing. The University of Sioux Falls' bold announcement to reset tuition addresses this challenge head on. Centered on Christ and rooted in a 'Culture for Service,' USF is dedicated to helping every student become fully-engaged citizens prepared to serve the common good.
Tuition Reset by the Numbers at the University of Sioux Falls
In its inaugural year of 2018-19, USF reset published tuition to $17,980. This represents a -$10,000 adjustment in the published tuition rate in 2018-19, which brought tuition back to levels last seen in 2007-08.
Plus, at USF:
- More than 600 academic scholarships are awarded annually.
- More than 400 endowed scholarships are awarded annually.
- More than 350 performance scholarships are awarded annually.
- More than 120 work-study jobs are available annually.
Top 11 Frequently Asked Questions
Why is USF implementing a tuition reset?
The University of Sioux Falls’ promise is to support, challenge and serve our students so they can become fully engaged citizens prepared and inspired to serve their communities and the common good. We do not want a perceived high cost and concern about long-term debt to be a barrier to considering USF.
The tuition reset will reduce the cost of a USF degree, reduce long-term student debt and put the possibility of a high quality, intensely student focused, Christ centered, private education within the reach of more students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. It makes the value of a USF degree stand out to financially savvy groups of prospective students and their families who are examining the cost of higher education—rightfully so—with increasing scrutiny.
What does this mean to current and prospective students?
All current students benefitted under the tuition reset and saw reduced out-of-pocket cost for the next academic year instead of cost that likely would have increased about 3 percent. Under the tuition reset student scholarship and financial assistance dollars went further and out-of-pocket costs were reduced.
The tuition reset reduced the cost of a USF degree, helped reduce long-term student debt and put the possibility of a high quality, intensely student focused, Christ centered, private education within the reach of more students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Over the course of four years, the reset will save students over $5,000.
How is a tuition reset possible?
In addition to decreasing bottom-line, out-of-pocket costs—to the tune of over $5,000 during four years—this was a change in the way USF charges for a degree in order to be more clear, accessible and attractive to students focused on their college return on investment. Not only was tuition reset, room and board costs were frozen, financial aid was adjusted along with a general university fee of $300 annually.
How much will students save over four years under the tuition reset?
In its inaugural year of 2018-19 incoming freshman saved over $5,000 under the tuition reset over the course of their four-year degree. This reset is a response to the realities of rising tuition costs and provides students a real solution to protect and improve their financial futures. It also means that USF continues to listen to and meaningfully engage with its communities and continues to live its motto of "Culture for Service" by meaningfully responding to such realities.
Does the tuition reset have any impact on room, board and fees?
In its inaugural year of 2018-19 USF froze room and board costs and initiated a $300 general fee per year. The general fee supports student-related amenities and services external to the delivery of quality academic programming supported by tuition. The University takes pride in ensuring that these fees remain affordable and serve to enhance the college experience.
How does this impact financial aid/scholarships?
In its inaugural year of 2018-19 all students received an adjusted financial aid offer that at the bottom line was more financially advantageous to them when compared to a standard 3% annual increase for 2018-19 without a tuition reset. To explain further, this reset marks a change in the way USF charges for an undergraduate degree. In addition to reset tuition, students also saw frozen room and board costs from the previous year, adjusted financial aid and a $300 per year General University Fee that supports student-related services. The bottom line is that all students saw direct cost savings even though the dollar amount of financial aid and scholarship awards were changing. Ultimately by resetting tuition by $10,000, financial aid and scholarship dollars go further in covering the cost of tuition.
What does this mean for philanthropic support, especially for scholarships?
Each dollar of philanthropic support for USF scholarships will now go further against the total cost of tuition. This increase in the dollar-for-dollar impact of scholarship philanthropic support is good both for donors and for students receiving that support. For example, a total of $10,000 of financial aid and scholarship now covers over half of the cost of $17,980 in tuition as compared to one-third of the cost of $27,980 in tuition.
Does this mean that past students and graduates were overcharged for their education?
Not at all. The University of Sioux Falls offers generous financial aid support for virtually all of our students. The tuition reset brings our published price in line with what students and families are actually paying, which creates a clearer view of the true cost of a USF degree and will encourage more people to take a closer look at our university.
Will this have a negative impact on the perception of quality or reputation?
USF is fortunate to make this announcement from a position of strength—about one month after welcoming one of its largest incoming freshman classes ever and graduating a record-high number of students the previous spring. Our commitment to high-quality, intensely personal, Christ-centered private educational experience remains steadfast. Neither program quality nor program offerings will be reduced due to the reset. In fact, by continuing to deliver exceptional quality at an even better price, we believe the value of a USF degree is enhanced, and therefore is reputation as well.
Does the tuition reset apply to degree completion, accelerated nursing, RN-to-BSN or graduate programs?
No, the reset applies to the traditional, full-time undergraduate program at USF. USF’s degree completion program, accelerated nursing, RN-to-BSN and graduate business and education program have always had separate pricing structures that are regularly evaluated for being highly cost competitive within the marketplace for each program. Further, these programs have excellent reputations for being high-quality programs that produce sought-after graduates.
Does this have any impact beyond the University and its students?
Absolutely. USF leadership recognizes its graduates are an important part of the talent pool available to existing, new and expanding businesses in the Sioux Falls community and far beyond. USF alumni answer the call as engaged members of their professions, engaged citizens in their communities, and engaged servants to mankind in God's kingdom. This tuition reset is another way of being intentional about serving these communities and its many partners.