Great Plains IDEA Tuition and Cost

Great Plains IDEA understands that a graduate degree is a significant investment in your future, and we are committed to offering an affordable common tuition that makes it easier for you to invest in yourself and your future. This includes offering a common price tuition rate across the undergraduate and graduate levels, standardizing the cost to take courses across our 20 member universities. This makes for a seamless transition into starting to chase your goals and investing in your future.

Common Price Cost Across Member Universities

Through Great Plains IDEA, students pay one common price per credit hour for graduate courses or undergraduate courses at all member universities regardless of the program or whether the student is in-state or out-of-state. The current common price is outlined in the table below.

Graduate Course Cost

$600/credit hour

Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Summer 2024


Course Cost

$435/credit hour

Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Summer 2024

Credit hour Cost for Graduate Course   Credit hour Cost for Undergraduate Course
1 $600   1 $435
2 $1,200   2 $870
3 $1,800   3 $1,305

The common price for the 2024-2025 academic year:
Graduate Courses $610/credit hour
Undergraduate Courses $440/credit hour.
These rates begin during the 2024 fall semester.

A team of finance officers from member universities reviews the common price annually. Please note that the common price is approved by the Great Plains IDEA Cabinet for the academic year and may change each fall semester. 

"I appreciate the one tuition rate for all. My billing statement for SDState had only two items: application fee and GP IDEA tuition. Don't change this! It would be a shame if the program started nickel and diming students with extra fees."

Student survey response, Family Financial Planning, Graduate Certificate, South Dakota State University

What is the Common Price?

The common price covers the course cost per credit hour. Please note the following important qualifications about the common price.

  • The common price is the same for in-state and out-of-state students.
  • It may be higher or lower than the tuition at the home university.
  • Books and other required course materials are extra costs and not included in the common price.
  • There are no distance delivery costs.
  • Fees for exam proctoring services are your responsibility; course information pages indicate if an instructor requires a proctored exam.
  • Any fees for application, late enrollment, or late payment are your responsibility.
  • Costs or travel expenses associated with required onsite study, field or practicum experience, or laboratory experience are not covered by the common price.

Refunds are based on the individual policies of your home university; contact your home university's campus coordinator for more information.

Financing Your Great Plains IDEA Degree

Great Plains IDEA offers a competitive cost structure for our online programs and courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. However, we realize our students may need further financial assistance to support their pursuit of academic and professional goals. Accordingly, eligible students have access to a range of funding options through financial aid and scholarships.

Financial Aid

Students seeking federal financial aid assistance must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine eligibility for aid. Member university financial aid offices are available to answer specific financial aid questions about individual student needs.

In addition to contacting the financial aid offices, the U.S. Department of Education has a series of educational videos and resources on the Federal Student Aid YouTube Channel, including a series of FAFSA instructional videos.

Military Aid Resources

Great Plains IDEA welcomes veteran and military-connected students seeking to continue their education, offering a wide range of online programs in human sciences and agriculture that meet their goals.

If you have active Veteran’s Affairs (VA) or other applicable military benefits, the cost of your classes may be covered. Consult your home university's military aid office for clarification of your eligibility and using benefits.

Visit the Military, Veterans & Families page to learn how to get started and find more information about our Military Academic Advancement Program (MAAP) affiliation.

Transfer Credit Eligibility

Students can transfer credits from past coursework to assist in both saving on tuition and also shortening the time to program completion.  In most cases, students can petition to have credits transferred to their home university through an approval process. However, most universities limit the number of transfer credits for a program, including those taken as a non-degree student. If you have credits you are interested in transferring, contact your campus coordinator.

Scholarship Opportunities

Another option to fund your graduate or undergraduate education is scholarships, which are gift aid that does not need to be repaid. Scholarships can help to lessen the amount a student is personally responsible for paying or borrowing to cover tuition, fees, books, or housing.

Home universities offer a range of scholarships based on academic merit and other specific qualifications. Students are encouraged to explore these unique opportunities directly with their home universities.

Furthermore, the Great Plains IDEA Cabinet also offers five (5) $1,000 Student Excellence Award scholarships, which require an application and specific prerequisites. Learn more about this award and other opportunities on our Finding Scholarships page.

Connect with the Great Plains IDEA Team

The Great Plains IDEA team is available to help you every step of the way in navigating the process of funding your education. Contact us at 785-532-1999 or if you need assistance; we look forward to connecting with you.