Our affordable, common tuition allows you to invest in your future.

Students pay the Great Plains IDEA common price per credit hour for graduate courses or undergraduate courses at all universities, regardless of degree program or course, or whether in-state or out-of-state. 

Graduate Course Cost

$580/credit hour

Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020


Undergraduate Course Cost

$415/credit hour

Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020

Credit hour Cost for Graduate Course   Credit hour Cost for Undergraduate Course
1 $580   1 $415
2 $1,160   2 $830
3 $1,740   3 $1,245

The common price for the 2020-2021 academic year (fall 2020, spring 2021, summer 2021) will increase to $590/credit hour for graduate courses and $420/credit hour for undergraduate courses.

Understanding the Common Price

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

  • The common price is the same for in-state and out-of-state students.
  • It may be higher or lower than tuition at the home university.
  • Books and other course materials are extra costs.
  • There are no distance delivery costs.

Refunds are based on policies of your home university.  Contact your home university campus coordinator for more information.

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

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

The common price does not include the following items.

  • Any fees for exam proctoring services are your responsibility. The course information page indicates if an instructor requires a proctored exam.
  • Required textbooks and course materials are your responsibility.
  • 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 your responsibility.

Financing Your Degree

Financial Aid

Contact your university financial aid office to ask financial aid questions and learn about eligibility. To determine if you are eligible for federal financial aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

To assist you with understanding and completing the FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education provides videos with step-by-step instructions.  View all the FAFSA instructional videos on the Federal Student Aid YouTube Channel.

Military Resources

If you have active Veteran’s Affairs (VA) or other military benefits available, the cost of your classes may be covered. Your first stop to learn about using military benefits should be your home university military aid office.

Visit the Military, Veterans & Families section of our website for university contacts and additional information.

Transfer Credits

You can save on tuition and finish your program more quickly by transferring credits from past coursework.  In most cases, students can petition to have credits transferred to their home university through an approval process. 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.


Scholarships may be available through your home university.  Your campus coordinator can direct you to scholarship information.

Find resources on our Finding Scholarships webpage.