Funding cuts by cash-strapped legislatures have prompted many state universities to raise tuition, but some institutions are trying to buck the trend.
University Center, an extended campus that offers classes from state universities in South Dakota's largest city, is kicking off a four-year pilot program this fall that offers the first 60 hours of degree work at a reduced cost. The cost of basic courses would be $189 per credit hour, instead of the normal state university rate of $289.
The program is among a number of experiments under way across higher education to help students earn degrees without having to go deeply in debt.
Mark Lee, the executive dean of University Center, said the program will offer students at the Sioux Falls campus center a potential savings of up to $6,000 for the first 60 hours of pre-baccalaureate work.