Freshman Migration Dashboard
For a variety of reasons – some financial, some academic, and some personal – many students find that the greenest postsecondary pastures lie across state lines. Consequently, hundreds of thousands of first-time college students leave their homes each year to attend college in another state. Yet, not all states gain equally in this exchange. “Net importer” states, for instance, attract more students than they send away. “Net exporter” states, in contrast, send away more students than they attract. Because the ability to attract and retain college-educated workers may bring lasting economic and social benefits, states typically aspire to be “in the black” with respect to the interstate exchange of college students.
The SDBOR Freshmen Migration Dashboard provides an interactive visualization of student migration data over the last decade. Specifically, the dashboard provides state-by-state data on several key indicators, including: the number of college students imported, exported, and staying in the same state; net migration balances (i.e., the number of students imported minus the number of students exported); and net migration ratios (i.e., the number of students imported for every student exported). For each indicator, single-year and historical data can be disaggregated by institutional sector. Users can drill down to more detailed data by clicking on any state on the map.
Looking the most recent data for South Dakota, several notable findings emerge:
As recently as 2002, South Dakota was a net exporter of first-time college students. Since that time, the state has steadily improved its position and now imports far more students than it exports.
South Dakota currently holds positive net migration differentials with several neighboring states, including Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.
South Dakota’s four-year public institutions constitute South Dakota’s leading sector with respect to interstate migration. For every student leaving South Dakota in 2018 to study at a four-year public institution in another state, 2.84 out-of-state students entered the state to study at one of South Dakota’s four-year public institutions. This figure amounts to a net migration balance of roughly 1,475 students.
Source: NCES, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), residence and migration files
Notes: Data reflect fall enrollments of first-time, degree/certificate-seeking students graduating from high school in the last twelve months. Enrollments are tabulated for four-year and two-year degree-granting, Title IV postsecondary institutions only.
For more information, please see the latest freshmen migration narrative report, available HERE.