Enrollment down at South Dakota’s public universities

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Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 10:40 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Education officials say enrollment is down across South Dakota’s public university system as schools continue to deal with the effects of the pandemic.

Enrollment is down about 2.8% in headcount and full-time equivalent students for the fall term, the South Dakota Board of Regents announced Wednesday.

The number of full-time students was down by 718 students to a total of 24,586. Total headcount at the six public universities was 33,566, a decline of 2.76% or 954 students over last year. Total headcount enrollment at state universities is at its lowest point since 2008.

“Across the country, these are challenging and uncertain times for public higher education,” said Brian L. Maher, the regents' executive director and CEO. “Our universities prepared for the likelihood that the pandemic would impact fall enrollments, so a reduction of about 700 full-time students was not unexpected.”

The University of South Dakota saw the biggest drop in headcount enrollment, down 461 students, a drop of 4.6%. Black Hills State University saw the biggest percentage drop, down 250 students for a percentage decline of 6.5%. South Dakota State University’s enrollment declined 113, just under a 1% drop.

Northern State University was the only school that did not see a decline, as its enrollment increased by four for the fall semester.

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