A Change in Sticker Price for the USF Experience

When it comes to attending college, one of the major concerns of students is the price of tuition and how they are going to pay for it. However, students at the University of Sioux Falls no longer have to worry about the hefty tuition “sticker price.”

Upon realizing the disconnect between the advertised cost and the amount of money students actually pay, the University of Sioux Falls recently announced a tuition reset.

On October 5, 2017, USF President, Dr. Brett Bradfield announced that students at the University of Sioux Falls will be seeing a change in tuition. Current and prospective students will be affected by the tuition reset in the Fall 2018 semester.

In a press conference to the public, Bradfield says, “The tuition reset builds upon USF’s long history of general financial assistance and will return tuition to levels last seen in 2007 – 2008, and place USF among the most affordable institutions in the region.”

Dr. Bradfield discusses how the mission of USF is to provide better accessibility and high quality education.

“We often hear from students, parents, prospective students and their parents about a desire to have the USF experience. Once we get them here, they feel it and they want it. But then the next conversation is about their concerns about how they’ll afford it as a family,” Bradfield says.

He says the board of trustees and the university leadership began to research ways to make the USF experience more affordable nearly two years ago.

“What’s so special about our close-knit community, here at the University of Sioux Falls, is that its supportive faith and academic community that it provides an intensely personal learning environment, meaningful opportunities to serve in our community, state and region that supports our existence. And we support an authentic and inclusive Christian world view,” Bradfield says.

Corey Ross, the Vice President of Student Development, agrees the tuition reset is a win-win for everybody. He says current students will be benefitted financially from the frozen housing and meal plan costs, and prospective students and their families will appreciate a more transparent and accessible financial framework.

“And we all benefit when more students see the value in a USF education, become transformed through their experience here, and make a positive impact for Christ in our world as graduates,” Ross says.

Current students believe the tuition reset will be a good change for USF. Jared Peasley, a junior, says the tuition reset is a positive change, not only for himself, but for all students.

“It will make it a whole lot easier for parents and students to understand what they are going to be paying, so this is going to make it easier for future students to understand,” Peasley says.

While the cost of tuition and the savings are the main focuses of this reset, the new sticker price might make USF more appealing when it comes to the many options one has to further their education.

Junior Tesla Cheek says she is happy with the savings she will be seeing next fall.

“I think it is a great strategy, because compared to Augie (Augustana University), which is $38,000 a year, a lot more students are going to come here,” Cheek says.

Augustana’s annual tuition is $31,450, and total annual cost of attendance is just under $40,000.

Cheek says the difference in tuition numbers is actually one of the reasons she chose USF over other schools.

The current published, tuition sticker price is $27,980. However in a year from now, that number will decrease by $10,000. The USF Tuition Reset brings the published price in line with what students and families are actually paying.

The University says they hope to create a clear view of the real cost of tuition paired with the scholarships and grants that are given each year.

“If we truly believe that education is a gateway to opportunity, then we must also be leaders in making sure it’s financially accessible,” Bradfield  says.

Students say they are looking forward to how this change will allow the University of Sioux Falls to remain viable and true as a Christian, liberal arts university.

Story by Marissa Lute | Video Edited by Jessica Perez & Shelby Kinney

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