Western Dakota, Southeast Tech cost more than others

Perhaps it’s partially a reflection of the costs of their urban settings. Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City and Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls had two of the highest annual costs for students in 2015-2016, according to a report that will be delivered Tuesday to state government’s new South Dakota Board of Technical Education.

For students who didn’t live with their parents, Western Dakota topped the list of 13 tech schools in the region, with an average cost of $20,590 in 2015-2016. Likewise, Southeast Tech was near the top at $19,080.

By comparison, Lake Area Technical Institute at Watertown was roughly middle of the pack at $15,756. Mitchell Technical Institute rounded out South Dakota’s four public tech schools at $15,380.

Lowest on the price list were Salina Area Technical College in Kansas at $12,929 and Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington at $14,404.

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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

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