Largest freshman class in history hits SDSU

Tony Gorder

Tony GorderEditor-in-Chief

SDSU enrollment approaches 13,000 with a total headcount of 12,816 students, a 3.56 percent increase from last year.

“Our enrollment is right on line with our university’s strategic goals in continuing to provide access to higher education, while maintaining the academic quality and increasing the university’s retention and graduation rates,” SDSU President Chicoine said in a South Dakota Board of Regent teleconference.

This is the 11th consecutive year SDSU has topped its previous enrollment.

The headcount enrollment for all six state schools increased nearly eight percent from last year with a record high of 36,440 students in the system, making this the 13th consecutive year the enrollment totals of the BOR schools have increased.

“This is historic in terms of number of students and percent increases we’ve experienced this year,” said Jack Warner, South Dakota Board of Regents executive director and CEO. “… our campuses are more attractive than they’ve ever been.”

SDSU also is catering to the largest freshman class in its history. The 2010 freshmen class has 2,247 students. In 2009, 2,135 freshmen enrolled at SDSU.

Of the 2010 freshmen, the average grade point average was 3.27, and about 42 percent scored a 24 or higher on their ACT, qualifying for the Jackrabbit Guarantee scholarship program.

Along with a record-setting freshmen class, a record-setting 1,475 graduate students also attend SDSU.

SDSU’s full-time equivalency enrollment, which calculates an assumed full-time enrollment by dividing the total credits taken by the number of credits it takes to be a full-time student, went up 3.09 percent to 10,512.5 students this year from 2009’s 10,197.3 students.

Headcount enrollment corresponding closely with full-time equivalency enrollment indicates more students are taking a full-time credit load and seeking a degree, according to Chicoine in a university announcement.

“Enrollment of full-time students enables universities and colleges to provide first-rate educational experiences for everyone. The parallel growth in head count and full-time equivalency supports the university’s emphasis on attracting the best students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” Chicoine said.

Black Hills State University and Northern State University grew the most out of the state schools in number of students and percentage respectively. BHSU increased enrollment by 646 students, a 15.85 percent increase. NSU experienced a 23.35 percent increase, gaining 624 students and passing 3,000-student enrollment.

The University of South Dakota passed an enrollment milestone, surpassing 10,000 students.

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