2023 Fee Schedule


All costs are per individual.

For a student earning four credits (a four-week stay) the costs are:


Undergraduate Tuition (paid to Southwestern)
Site fees, other expenses, food, transportation, etc.


Graduate Tuition (paid to Southwestern)
Site fees, other expenses, food, transportation, etc.

For others, staying for part or all of the time, the costs per person can be calculated from length of the stay:

Day 1–7 of your stay
Day 8-14 of your stay
Day 15-21 of your stay
Day 22 or longer
SWAU to Site
Site to SWAU
Local transportation & admissions
$350 total
Airport run to Rapid City

As an example, for someone staying 9 days and enjoying the culinary efforts of the group, the fees and food would be:

Days 1–7
7 days @ $61/day
Days 8-9
2 days @ $44/day

From the above tables, the cost for a month including site fees, food, transportation from and back to SWAU, local transportation and admissions is exactly $1,298. The total cost just for fees and food for a stay of 21 days or longer is $938.

All costs are calculated on the day you arrive and the day you leave; that is, the nights you are on-site. Some adjustment may be made upon request. You can get the greatest time in the quarry for the least cost by arriving early in the morning on your arrival date and leaving late in the day on your departure date. And the longer you stay generally the less the cost per day!

For a day visitor; that is, a person arriving in the morning, spending a day, and leaving in the late afternoon or evening without staying overnight the cost is: $30.

This cost assumes the participant arrives after breakfast, brings his or her lunch, and leaves before dinner; that is, food is supplied by the individual.

The half price discount and other provisions for children 12 years of age or younger apply.

There is a $10 per night charge for RV camping with hookups. Dry camping is free. For more information, please visit the RV Policy Page.

Cost Calculator




Numbers in Party

Field Note Book

Everyone who excavates needs access to a Field Note Book. The information recorded is an important part of the project record, especially as the bones are processed after the excavation season has ended.

For those participants staying three weeks or longer; that is, paying full fees, the Field Note Book is included as part of the total fees.

For those staying less than three weeks, there are several options:

  1. If you wish to keep the Field Note Book as a personal record, then you may purchase your copy for $5.00.

    You will leave the Field Note Book with one of the directors when you leave, and it will be returned to you after the project season is over and the information has been recorded.

    [Make certain you write your address on the inside of the front cover!]

  2. The project will loan you a Field Note Book for your use during your stay. It will be left when you leave.
  3. You may share a Field Note Book with others in your group.


All students earning credit are required to pay the $1298 regardless of transportation details. For students, this total would include any airport trips instead of the van rides between SWAU and the site.

Children that are with a family and are 12 years of age or younger are half price! It is expected that these children will generally not work in a quarry unless the parent or guardian makes arrangements and directly supervises them at all times.

All individuals, even children, are expected to help appropriately with the daily chores.