Sonoran Desert Institute

Sonoran Desert Institute makes going back to school more affordable than ever. We'll help you get the education you need without breaking the bank.

Sonoran Desert Institute makes going back to school more affordable than ever. We’ll help you get the education you need without breaking the bank. Both of SDI’s programs are charged at a rate of $295 per credit hour (for new enrollments on or after December 31, 2019), plus specified mandatory educational resource fees. Both of our programs are approved for use of VA and TA military benefits and Federal Student Aid (FSA) is available to eligible students. We work with each student to make sure that his or her enrollment process and funding plans go as smoothly as possible. Additionally, SDI will honor the tuition rate of $250 for active duty students, regardless of the tuition rate in effect at the time of enrollment.

Affordable, no-interest monthly payments

With our budget-friendly pay as you go approach, you can break your tuition into no-interest monthly payments. We never charge finance fees – ever. For more information on your payment options, please call (800) 336-8939.

Tuition & Fees

Program Title Expected Completion Time Credits/Hours Tuition Educational Resource Fee Total Program Cost
Associate of Science in Firearms Technology Degree 2 years 60 Credit Hours $17,700 $2,380 $20,080
Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate 8 months 32 Credit Hours $9,440 $1,190 $10,630
Firearm Technology Individual/Optional Courses 8 weeks varies $295 per credit hr $595 varies

Tuition, Fees and Terms Policy

Information concerning tuition, program costs, payment schedules, and financing options may be found on the Enrollment Agreement for each program of study. Details regarding tuition refunds are located in the SDI Refund for Denial/Cancellation or Withdrawal Policy. The student may contact SDI Admissions or Student Services department with questions or for assistance.

A student is required to clear any indebtedness to the Institute before grades and transcript will be issued, or the successful completion of a certificate/degree is awarded. SDI reserves the right to charge the student for fees related to returned checks or declined credit card payments.


Tuition is charged by credit hour each semester. Students electing to take individual or additional courses beyond their program of study will be charged at the current tuition rate. The current rate of tuition for new enrollments on or after December 31, 2019 is $295 per credit hour.

Educational Resource Fee

An Educational Resource Fee is a mandatory, non-refundable fee assessed to students each semester. Once the student has started each semester, the Educational Resource Fee is not refundable. The current Educational Resource Fee for new enrollments on or after September 24, 2018 is $595 per semester.

Prior Balance

Students are required to maintain good standing on their account ledger. The school reserves the right to deny future course registration to students with a prior balance. The following policies are in place to support this requirement.

Continuing Students–All students with continuous enrollment must have their prior balance paid in full OR agree to a monthly payment plan with the initial deposit paid prior to the next semester OR secure financial aid awards or other funding that will cover the balance.

Re-Entry Students–All students that have withdrawn and are re-entering must have their prior balance paid in full OR agree to a monthly payment plan with the initial deposit paid prior to the re-entry date.

Program Changes/Additions–All students transferring to a new program or graduating and starting a new program must have their prior balance paid in full prior to starting the new program.

Payments and Release of Records

After the student successfully completes a program or course, the Institute will grant a degree/certificate only if the student satisfies all financial obligations. All records and services may be withheld from a student who has any outstanding financial obligations to the Institute.

Refund for Denial/Cancellation OR Withdrawal

A student is accepted and enrolled in a course/program with the understanding he/she will attend the entire course/program scheduled. Faculty contracts, learning materials and other Institute resources generate expenses based on that assumption and subsequently create financial obligations that must be shared by the student if he/she withdraws from the Institute. If an applicant is not accepted by the Institute or a student does not complete a course/program, tuition refunds are governed by the policy outlined below.

General Refund Guidelines:

Denied Admission and Tuition Refund

An applicant denied admission by the Institute is entitled to a refund of all monies paid. Monies shall be refunded no later than 30 days of the denial date.

Cancellation and Tuition Refund

A student’s notification of cancellation may be conveyed to the institution in any manner.

Five Day Cancellation: An applicant who provides notice of cancellation within five calendar days of signing an enrollment agreement is entitled to a refund of all monies paid. All monies will be refunded no later than 30 days of the Institute receiving the notice of cancellation.

Other Cancellations: An applicant who wants to cancel his/her enrollment agreement more than five calendar days after signing the enrollment agreement and making an initial payment, but before shipment of learning materials from the Institute should notify Student Services. Monies will be refunded no later than 30 days of the Institute receiving notice of cancellation.

Withdrawal and Tuition Refund

SDI is subject to, and must abide by, the refund policies of any branch, agency, or department of the federal government with which it is associated or affiliated. In the event of a conflict between SDI’s Institutional Refund Policy and the refund policy of an affiliated federal branch, agency, or department, the federal policy may supersede that of the Institute.

Degree Program

Refunds are calculated based on the last date of attendance based on academic related-activities. If a refund is due, it will be issued within 30 days of the date of determination of the withdrawal. The tuition refund amount, shall be determined based on the table, below. Academic-related activities include:

  • Submission of assignment
  • Course-related discussions
  • Taking and/or submission of exam or quiz
  • Any other activity that is categorized as “academically related”

Official Withdrawal

Students wishing to officially withdraw from SDI should notify the Office of Student Services. The date of determination for official withdrawals will be the date the student initiates the withdrawal process. SDI may request information from the student regarding their decision to withdraw for quality improvement and reporting purposes.

Unofficial Withdrawal

SDI will determine that a degree seeking student is withdrawn when a student has not demonstrated academic participation that constitutes attendance for 14 consecutive days or fails to return from an approved LOA on the designated date. The date of determination for unofficial withdrawals will be no later than the 14th day following the last date of attendance.

Refund Calculation

Refund calculations will be done for each course the student has started, as determined by academic activities establishing “attendance” in the course. The course length determines the calculation as indicated on the chart, below. Refunds are determined based on actual charges to student, less any applicable discounts or institutional scholarships.

Published Length of Course Percentage of Refundable Tuition
1-6 weeks 1st week: 70%
2nd week: 40%
3rd week: 20%
4th-6th week: 0%
7-10 weeks 1st week: 80%
2nd week: 60%
3rd week: 40%
4th week: 20%
5th-10th week: 0%
11-16 weeks 1st week: 80%
2nd week: 70%
3rd week: 60%
4th week: 50%
5th week: 40%
6th week: 30%
7th week: 20%
8th week: 10%
9th-16th week: 0%