Best Community Colleges in South Dakota 2022

The best community colleges provide an effective springboard into higher education, offering students high-quality two-year degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The top-rated community colleges in South Dakota offer a broad selection of associate’s degrees, affordable tuition rates, and strong partnerships with public four-year schools so that students can easily transfer their credits into accredited bachelor’s degree programs.

Best Community Colleges in South Dakota 2022

Colleges and Universities in South Dakota

Almost 20 higher education institutions award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in the state, and only two schools exceed 5,000 in student population. The average college tuition in the state is $8,450, which is under the national average. Of the 11 public institutions, South Dakota State University is the largest with just over 10,000 students, and it has a tuition of $9,000.

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With a comparable tuition, the University of South Dakota is the second largest and located in Vermillion. Students can earn degrees in areas such as earth science, physics, and engineering. Eight private schools offer degrees ranging in tuition from $3,000 to $33,000. Many of these universities are religiously affiliated, Augustana University being the largest and most expensive. This Lutheran university is located in Sioux Falls and offers programs in economics, psychology, and biology. The most affordable colleges, Oglala Lakota College and Sinte Gleska University, are both tribal institutions charging $3,000 in fees.

Two monuments are carved into the rock of the Black Hills: Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. In addition to its majestic mountains, South Dakota’s lands are some of the richest in fossils. Badlands National Park is home to unique rock formations as well as the fossils of saber-toothed cats, three-toed horses, and ancient marine animals. With vast plains and unique mountains, South Dakota offers a stunning setting for students looking to earn their degree in The Mount Rushmore State.

Find out more about the top programs and higher education opportunities available in South Dakota.


What are South Dakota’s Colleges & Universities?

South Dakota’s Best Overall

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How do we determine South Dakota's best community colleges?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

We’ve identified 6 community colleges in South Dakota. The following list shows the best community colleges and primarily associate degree granting colleges in South Dakota.

Best Community Colleges in South Dakota

  1. #1

    Sinte Gleska University

    Mission , SD

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Sinte Gleska University known for?

    Sinte Gleska University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Medical
  2. #2

    Lake Area Technical College

    Watertown , SD

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Lake Area Technical College known for?

    Lake Area Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
  3. #3

    Oglala Lakota College

    Kyle , SD

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    6%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Oglala Lakota College known for?

    Oglala Lakota College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Law
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Sisseton Wahpeton College

    Sisseton , SD

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    3%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Sisseton Wahpeton College known for?

    Sisseton Wahpeton College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Nursing
    • Business
  5. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Western Dakota Technical Institute known for?

    Western Dakota Technical Institute’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
  6. #6

    Mitchell Technical Institute

    Mitchell , SD

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Mitchell Technical Institute known for?
2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Oglala Lakota College
  2. Sinte Gleska University
  3. Sisseton Wahpeton College
  4. Western Dakota Technical Institute
  5. Mitchell Technical Institute
  6. Lake Area Technical College

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