Fall enrollment shows slight dip to 12,583

Fall 2012 headcount enrollment at SDSU stood at 12,583, a drop of 142 students, or 1.42 percent.

Most of the drop can be attributed to a decrease of 127 in graduate student enrollments — 20 fewer Ph.D. students and 107 fewer master’s students. President David L. Chicoine says the factors that have contributed to the decline in graduate enrollments include the reduction in tenure-line faculty positions associated with last year’s budget cuts, an above-normal number of faculty retirements and resignations, and limitations in federal research grants.

“These impacts affect South Dakota State beyond a single fiscal year,” Chicoine says. “As expected, Ph.D. enrollment held up better than master’s enrollment.”

He adds that he expects to reverse the slight drop in graduate student enrollment and to continue to advance the research program of the university with the hiring of new faculty this year and next year.

When classes began in late August, there were 2,224 incoming freshmen and 739 transfer students. The number of new freshmen remains within the university’s strategic comfort enrollment range of 2,200 to 2,300 first-time, first-year students for the third consecutive fall.

Retention from freshman to sophomore year grew to 75 percent, up 1.5 percentage points from last year’s rate. The higher retention rate tracks with the university’s strategic goal of at least an 80 percent retention rate and at least a 60 percent graduation rate to be achieved through the comprehensive Model for Student Success.

South Dakota State broadened its global outreach with 470 international students enrolled in the fall, including 43 incoming freshmen and 25 international transfer students, both up significantly from last year.

Students are enrolled from all 50 states and from 72 countries. South Dakotans comprise 63 percent of the enrollment.

The number of students in pharmacy and nursing increased to 407 students, up 10 percent for the second consecutive year. The growth in pharmacy is attributed to program expansion, while the growth in nursing includes students in the doctor of nursing practice program.

Residential life facilities for freshmen and sophomores continue to exceed 100 percent of capacity. The completion of the Jackrabbit Grove will add 800 beds to the southeast campus freshman/sophomore neighborhood in fall 2013 and will align the number of available beds with the number of freshman and sophomore students required to live on campus.

With the opening of Jackrabbit Grove, the Residential Life and Dining Services Master Plan will be completed for the first- and second-year student southeast campus neighborhood.

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