Mines News

Release Date Friday, March 15, 2019

SD Mines Again Ranks as the Best College Investment in the Country

The organization College Factual ranks South Dakota School of Mines & Technology as the best engineering school for the money out of 302 engineering schools in the United States.

The university’s affordable tuition alongside the high earning value of gradates places Mines above other engineering schools when it comes to return on investment. The SD Mines placement rate for recent graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $61,300. 

Unlike some other high-value universities, admission to SD Mines is not overly competitive.  Most applicants who meet the minimum requirements are accepted. Admission is given to more than 80 percent of all applicants and the university offers an array of scholarships and financial aid.

“SD Mines welcomes people from all walks of life. Anyone who is qualified and willing to put in the work needed to succeed in science and engineering disciplines deserves admission to our university,” says Mines President Jim Rankin.

This Forbes magazine article titled “How To Get Through College Debt-Free, And Without Rich Parents” further lays out the value of an education from SD Mines when compared to other universities. In this piece,  Rick Kahler, a wealth advisor and president of Kahler Financial Group, points out that, “While graduating from MIT might sound impressive, the average four-year cost of about $200,000 doesn’t guarantee any better paying job than graduating from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology at an average four-year cost of about $82,000. MIT students received average salary offers of $70,300 in 2015, according to Business Insider, while SDSM&T students received $61,346 in 2016. Viewing this another way, the difference in total cost between MIT and SDSM&T is about $118,000. For that you get an extra $9,000 a year in earnings. However, if you apply all of the extra earnings to amortizing the extra $118,000 cost at 5%, it will take you over 20 years to break even. That is not a good deal."

SD Mines also did well in the overall value category – which includes both engineering and non-engineering schools. The university is ranked 26 out of 1,510 colleges nationwide in the best value ranking overall. This places SD Mines in the Top 5 percent nationally of all colleges for value. The methodology behind this best value ranking includes variables such as the average yearly cost of the school, the average time students take to graduate, and the quality the school provides. This means schools that rank highly are offering a good value for the money students pay to attend.

College Factual also highly ranked several of Mines engineering degrees for a high return on investment. The organization ranked the chemical engineering program the best value in the nation. The website states, “If you're looking for the best education available in Chemical Engineering you simply can't do better than South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Experience a high concentration on chemical engineering in the program at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. The location in a significant city is wonderful for students seeking ample chances for networking, experience, and discovery.”

The university’s civil and environmental engineering, mechanical engineering and industrial engineering programs each ranked second in value in the United States. Those interested in exploring the university more can find information and a virtual tour on the SD Mines website.

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About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,654 students with an average class size of 24. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $63,350. Find us online at sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Mike Ray , 605-394-6082, mike.ray@sdsmt.edu