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More students attending South Dakota public universities

Community College building.

October 6, 2022

The number of students at South Dakota’s six public universities increased this fall compared to the fall of 2021.

According to an announcement by the Board of Regents, fall headcount enrollment at South Dakota's six public universities is nearly 1 percent higher system-wide than the previous academic year, totaling 33,690 students. In addition, according to the announcement, the South Dakota Board of Regents (BOR) welcomed 5,208 first-year students. The incoming 2022 - 2023 academic class was up 6.3 percent for the South Dakota public university system.

"We're excited to see so many new faces on campus," said BOR Executive Director Dr. Brian Maher. "Having more than 5,000 incoming first-year students is encouraging for higher education in South Dakota."

BOR also measures enrollment based on full-time equivalent (FTE) students. The FTE count takes the number of credit hours and applies that figure to the overall student headcount. A full-time workload is considered 15 credit hours for undergraduates, 12 credit hours for master's and doctoral degrees, 15 credits for law students, and 19 credits for medical students. This year's FTE enrollment remained largely unchanged for the public university system. The difference is primarily due to increased dual credit courses offered at the high school level.

"Our dual credit students are public university students," says Maher. "We are pleased with how that program has grown over the years, as it gives our students the chance to get ahead in their education and easily transition to the campus best suited for their needs."

The South Dakota Board of Regents publishes enrollment numbers at the beginning of each academic year. For additional information, please contact or visit