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About Dakota State University

Dakota State University is a public, state school in a rural setting in Madison, South Dakota. Dakota State University was founded in 1881 and now enrolls around 3,186 students a year, including 2,740 undergrads. Dakota State University offers on-campus housing for up to 795 students. Most students live in off campus housing, and 35% of students spend their weekends on campus .

There are many ways for students to get involved at Dakota State University! Love music or performing? Sing in a chorus or perform with one of Dakota State University's theater groups.

Interested in journalism or communications? Dakota State University students can write for the campus newspaper, host a radio show or be a producer for the student-run television channel.

There are no fraternities or sororities at Dakota State University, so it might be a good choice if you're not interested in Greek life.

Planning to play sports? Dakota State University has many options for athletes. See them all and learn more about life at Dakota State University on the Student Life page.

Learn more about life at Dakota State University on the Student Life page.

2021 Dakota State University Facts At-A-Glance
Academic Calendar Semester
Overall Acceptance Rate 83%
Average GPA 3.3
Applicants Submitting SAT scores 11%
In-State Tuition $9,580
Out-of-State $11,937
Percent of Need Met 59%
Average First-Year Financial Aid Package $7,882

Is Dakota State University a Good School?

There is no one way to define a "good" college or university. Admissions criteria, acceptance rate and average GPA are good indicators of how competitive an institution is, but they don't tell you how happy or successful students are. There are a few statistics that can give you a good idea of how satisfied students are and how well a school supports its students.

Let's take a closer look at each of these factors to get a better sense of what Dakota State University offers and if it might be the right college for you.

2021 Acceptance Rate for Dakota State University

It is moderately difficult to get into Dakota State University. Dakota State University admitted 83% of all applicants in 2021. Out of 706 applications received in 2021, 589 students were offered admission.

Retention and Graduation Rates at Dakota State University

Retention is the number of students that stay enrolled at a school over time. This is a way to get a sense of how satisfied students are with their school experience, and if they have the support necessary to succeed in college.

Out of all the first-year, full-time undergrads who start at Dakota State University, around 71% return for their sophomore year. Around 47% of students who started at Dakota State University earn their Bachelor's degrees within six years. Compare this to the average six-year graduation rate for colleges and universities in the U.S., which is around 61% for public schools and 67% for private.

Job Outlook Dakota State University Graduates

Job placement statistics for recent graduates can give you a sense of the return on investment a school offers. Within six months of graduating, 96% of graduates receive at least one full-time job offer.

Recent Dakota State University grads have an average starting salary of $47,494 a year. The average starting salary for all 2021 graduates was around $60,000 a year, though these numbers vary widely by major.

Dakota State University's Endowment

An endowment is the total value of a school's investments, donations, and assets. Endowment is not necessarily an indicator of the quality of a school, but it can give you a sense of how much money a college can afford to invest in expanding programs, improving facilities, and support students. Dakota State University's endowment was valued at $16.2 million in 2021, compared to a national average of $905 million. For each full-time student, Dakota State University spends about $7,412 a year.

Tuition and Financial Aid at Dakota State University

Cost is another important factor when choose a college. Some colleges may have high tuition, but do a better job at meeting students' financial need. Dakota State University meets 59% of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates. The average financial aid package for a full-time, first-year student is around $7,882 a year.

The average student debt for graduates in the class of 2021 was around $27,595 per student, not including those with no debt. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

The 2022-2023 FAFSA Opened on October 1st, 2021

Some financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so fill out the FAFSA early. Visit the FAFSA website to apply for student aid. Remember, the first F in FAFSA stands for FREE! No one should ever pay to fill out the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid, (FAFSA), so be very wary of anyone asking you for money.

Learn more about Tuition and Financial Aid at Dakota State University. Based on this information, how does Dakota State University sound? Remember, a school that is perfect for one person may be a terrible fit for another! So ask yourself: Is Dakota State University a good school for you?

If Dakota State University seems like a school you want to apply to, click the heart button to save it to your college list.

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Where is Dakota State University Located?

Dakota State University is located in the rural setting of Madison, South Dakota, less than an hour from Sioux Falls.

If you want to see Dakota State University for yourself, plan a visit. The best way to reach campus is to take Interstate 29 to Madison, or book a flight to the nearest airport, Sioux Falls Regional.

You can also take a virtual campus tour to get a sense of what Dakota State University and Madison are like without leaving home.

Considering Colleges and Universities in South Dakota?

See a full list of colleges in South Dakota and save your favorites to your college list.

College Info

820 North Washington Madison, SD 57042-1799

Campus Setting: Rural

Dakota State University Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Continuous processing

Transfer Applications are Due

Continuous processing

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Dakota State University is Continuous processing.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Dakota State University is Continuous processing.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs


Wondering what your chances are of getting into Dakota State University?

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Dakota State University ACT Scores


ACT Range

19 - 26

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

26 and Above


19 to 26


19 and Less


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ACT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median ACT score of an admitted student to Dakota State University is 23. Students with an ACT score of 26 and above have a good chance of getting into Dakota State University. Students with an ACT score that falls between 19 and 26 have an average chance of getting admitted, and students with an ACT score of 19 or below have a low chance of being offered admission.

Dakota State University SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1010 - 1200


Math SAT Range

510 - 580


Reading SAT Range

500 - 610

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1200 and Above


1010 to 1200


1010 and Less


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SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for Dakota State University students is 1103. Applicants with SAT scores of 1200 and above have a good chance of being admitted to Dakota State University, while applicants with SAT scores between 1010 to 1200 have an average chance of admittance, and prospective students with an SAT score below 1010 have a low chance of being offered a spot at Dakota State University.

Dakota State University Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees


In State


Cost Breakdown
In State
State Tuition

Student Life

Wondering what life at Dakota State University is like? There are approximately 3,186 students enrolled at Dakota State University, including 2,740 undergraduate students and 446 graduate students. 55% percent of students attend school full-time, 59% percent are from SD and 41% percent of students are from other states.


Full Time


Part Time


In State



© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

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