For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 9, 2003
Another Record Year for State University System Enrollments
BROOKINGS - For the second year in a row, South Dakota's public university system reported a record total enrollment, while the number of full-time students also increased by more than 2.5 percent.
Total headcount at the six public universities stands at 30,237 this fall, an increase of 165 students, or 0.55 percent, over Fall 2002 numbers. Full-time equivalent students-based on total credit hours generated by all students within the system-increased by 2.53 percent. With the increased course loads reported, the numbers translate into 585.2 more full-time students this fall over last year.
Enrollment figures were announced Thursday at the South Dakota Board of Regents' meeting in Brookings.
"While total student numbers are up modestly across the system, the credit hours those students generate have increased even more percentage wise," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett. "That tells us that more of our students are carrying a full class load and are focused on completing a degree program."
Jewett said South Dakota's demographics would continue to present challenges for the public university system. "In the decades ahead, we will have fewer traditional college-age students, more non-traditional students, and a significant increase in South Dakota's older populations," Jewett noted. "Our challenge is to find new ways to attract students of all ages and interests into the system, while doing an even better job of retaining those students we serve."
Additional information about each university's fall 2003 enrollment data follows:
Black Hills State University - The overall headcount enrollment increase at BHSU is evident in several different categories of students, including increases in the number of new freshmen, the number of new transfer students, and an enhanced retention rate of first-year students, as well as increases in off-campus and distance education courses.
Dakota State University - DSU's increase in headcount is due in part to an increase in the freshmen class, as a result of new recruitment initiatives and an enhanced scholarship program, and in part to an increase of non-traditional students who generally take fewer credit hours, as reflected in the slightly lower FTE numbers.
Northern State University - NSU is up 4 percent in headcount and 7.5 percent in first-time freshmen over last year, reversing a five-year downward trend.
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology - Enrollment at SDSMT remained solid, attributed to strong engineering and science programs offered at affordable tuition rates.
South Dakota State University - SDSU's headcount increased significantly because the institution is attracting larger numbers of high school seniors from South Dakota and the surrounding states; it has also enhanced retention of returning students, and as the FTE count has increased even more than the headcount, it is attributed to university efforts to encourage students to carry larger class loads so they can make significant progress toward graduation in four years.
University of South Dakota - After adjusting for what are basically one-time increases in USD's graduate enrollment in 2002, resulting from more than 1,000 K-12 teachers enrolled in one course, overall enrollment at The University of South Dakota is up 3.3 percent.
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