Public universities see positive enrollment growth

Northern State University was one of four schools under the SDBOR to see an increased student...
Northern State University was one of four schools under the SDBOR to see an increased student population in 2022.(Dakota News Now)
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 2:45 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Most South Dakota Board of Regent schools saw growth in their enrollment numbers compared to last year.

Total enrollment for all six universities is up 2% from fall of 2022 numbers. First-time Freshmen numbers were also up with a system-wide increase of 2.6%.

“We are excited to see so many students choosing our universities for their higher education journey,” said BOR Executive Director Nathan Lukkes. “This year’s first-time freshmen are part of the largest incoming class in the past decade, which is great news for our schools and our state.”

The largest growth was at Dakota State University, which saw an 8.3% increase in total enrollment. The 3,509 students at DSU mark its largest enrollment headcount in its history.

Northern State University also saw positive enrollment numbers. NSU’s headcount stands at 3,521 students, 5.3 percent higher than fall 2022.

”We are proud of our dedicated faculty and staff who deliver quality personalized academic programs and support services,” said Marcus Garstecki, chief enrollment management officer.

Northern also saw notable growth in transfer student enrollment and graduate programs. The Northern graduate student population now stands at 589, and total credit hours stand at 1,999. These figures represent the highest recorded numbers since 1998′s fall semester.

Other schools saw slight overall enrollment increases, including Black Hills State University (1.5%), South Dakota State University (1.5%), and the University of South Dakota (0.1%).

The South Dakota School of Mines, however, struggled a bit as far as enrollment numbers. Overall headcount did not move in 2023, but the number of first-time freshmen was down by 7.8%.