Sample Essay on ASU and SDSU



The aim of this essay is to compare Arizona State University (ASU) to South Dakota State University (SDSU) in terms of cost (tuition fees), undergraduate and graduate majors, and students’ demographics. Issues to consider under students demographics include whether they are full-time, part-time, online, out-of-state, or international.

Cost Comparison


 For resident students admitted at ASU, the base tuition is $ 10,157, while the estimated total yearly cost (including books, room, meals, and loan fees) is $ 25,255. In contrast, out of state students are expected to pay a base tuition of $ 24,503 while the estimated total cost is $

39,601 (Arizona State University n.p.).


At South Dakota State University, the tuition and fees for South Dakota resident students is $ 257 per credit hour. This translates into $ 3,855 for 15 credit semester. Other additional costs include books ($ 500), accommodation ($ 1,607), and an average meal plan of $ 1,512. Therefore, the total semester cost amounts to $ 7,474, while the cumulative yearly cost is $ 14,948 (South Dakota State University n.p.). In the case of Minnesota resident students, the tuition and fees amounts to $ 288 per credit hour. This translates into $ 4,320 per 15 credit semester. The cost for books, meals, and accommodation are similar to those of South Dakota residents. Therefore, the total semester cost equates to $ 7,939, while the annual cost is $ 15,878 (South Dakota State University n.p.).  

       On the other hand, non-residents pay tuition fee equivalent to $ 350 per credit hour. This translates to $ 5,250 for a 15 credit semester. The cost of books, meals, and accommodation is the same as that of South Dakota and Minnesota residents. The total semester cost amounts to $ 8,869, while the total yearly cost amounts to $ 17,738 (South Dakota State University n.p.).



 At ASU, students can choose from any of the over 300 undergraduate majors and programs. Each of these majors and programs has been tailored to suit the focus of ASU, namely the provision of exceptional education based on scholarship, vision, and creativity (Arizona State University n.p.). Accordingly, the university’s faculty consists of experts from highly ranked schools and colleges. In addition, there are more than 100 graduate programs offered at ASU. The programs (both at the undergraduate and graduate levels) include liberal sciences and arts, engineering, arts and design, education, journalism, business, education, nursing, technology, law, sustainability, and public policy, among others (Arizona State University n.p.). These programs are in the university’s four campuses namely, Tempe, Polytechnic, Down-town Phoenix, and West. In turn, there are 16 schools and colleges to take care of the various majors. These are also distributed across the four campuses. 


SDSU offers over 70 majors in such areas as advertising, architectural studies, biotechnology, computer science, electrical engineering, graphic design, health education and pharmacy, among others (South Dakota State University n.p.).

Students Demographics


In the fall of 2013, the total population of undergraduate students at Arizona State University was at 62,089. The highest enrolment was recorded in the liberal arts and sciences major, at 17,331, followed by business, at 9,564, and engineering at 6925, in that order (Arizona State University n.p.). In contrast, the total number of master’s students in the fall of 2013 was at 9,340 students, with engineering having the highest enrolment of 2,329 students. The doctoral programme had a total enrolment of 4,553 students, with liberal arts and sciences discipline recording the highest enrolment of 1,559 students (Arizona State University n.p.). At the same time, the total number of full-time students was at 52,289, while the total number of part-timer students stood at 9,800. 

       The resident undergraduate student population in 2014 is at 42,597, while that of non-resident students is at 19,492. On the other hand, there are 6,940 resident graduate students and 7,742 non-resident graduate students (Arizona State University n.p.).   In terms of race, the Hispanics had the highest enrolment rate of 13,892 students, while the Pacific Islanders had the lowest enrolment rate of 211 students (Arizona State University n.p.).

            Currently, ASU has a total population of 59, 382 students (Forbes 2014). 52,289 students are full-times while 9,800 are part-timers. On the other hand, the international students’ population stands at 6,474. Of the total students, 42,597 are Arizona residents, while 19,492 are non-residents.


 The current student population at South Dakota State University is 12,816 (Cappex n.p.). Of these, the full-time students are 9,366, while part-time students are 3,450. Of the full-time students, 4,556 are women, while the rest (4,810) are men. On the other hand, there are 1,613 graduate students (Cappex n.p.) and a further 997 non-degree students.


 A comparison of ASU and SDSU in terms of cost and fees payable by students, majors and student demographics has revealed interesting findings. At ASU, the yearly cost for resident students is $ 25,255 while at SDSU the yearly cost for resident students is $ 15,878. While ASU offers more than 300 majors in various disciplines, SDSU offer over 70 majors. Currently, ASU has a total students’ population of 59, 382 while that of SDSU was at 12,816.

 Works Cited 

Arizona State University. Academic Programs. 2014. Web. 19 November 2014. 

Arizona State University. Undergraduate Degree Programs (Baccalaureate). 2014. Web. 19         

       November 2014.

Arizona State University 2014. Arizona State University Per Semester Tuition and Fees Fall

       2014 and Spring 2015. <>

Cappex. South Dakota State University. 2014. Web. 19 November 2014.

Forbes. Arizona State University. 2014. Web. 19 November 2014.

South Dakota State University. Undergraduate Majors. 2014. Web. 19 November 2014.

South Dakota State University. Cost Estimate. 2014. Web. 19 November 2014.