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Majors & Degrees

DSU announces enrollment gains for Fall ‘22

September 20, 2022

Student enrollment numbers at Dakota State University are up across the board. This includes increases in total headcount, Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) students, undergraduates, new freshmen, transfer, South Dakota resident students, and online students. The increases are a positive sign, given several factors in higher education in recent years.

“The pandemic impacted our enrollment numbers in the last few years,” said Amy Crissinger, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, “but thanks to Dakota State’s strong programming, and the efforts of our Admissions team, our numbers are trending positive.”

She also highlighted the supportive efforts of DSU faculty and coaches. “They are an integral component of our campus visit and recruitment process,” she stated.  

The total headcount for Fall 2022 is 3,241, up one percent from 3,219 in Fall 2021, which was an increase from the Fall 2020 number of 3,186.

Part of this increase is due to a large number of incoming students, those students who are new to DSU (first-time freshmen and transfer students). Total freshmen are up 1.6% to 372 students, and transfer student numbers are up by nearly 15%, to 210 students.

DSU also saw improvements in their “retention rate,” the rate at which students who are new to DSU return for their second year. This number is up to 74.5%, an increase of 2.4% for first-time freshmen. This is the highest it has been since 2007. Transfer student retention also increased. Crissinger recognized the role the entire campus community plays in achieving those gains. Specific programs aimed at increasing enrollment, namely the Cyber-Research Initiative announced in January, will help keep the numbers rising.

Graduate Student Increases

One of the largest increases is among graduate students. The number of graduate students for Fall 2022 is 484, up 3.42% from Fall 2021. This number has seen steady and significant growth over the last 10 years.

“Our undergraduate programs of study are very relevant for today’s workplace, and with a growing number of graduate degrees, we are able to offer industry professionals ways to take their careers to the next level,” said DSU President José-Marie Griffiths. Because graduate programs emphasize research, Griffiths pointed out that this increase helps define Dakota State as an emerging research university. DSU offers seven master’s degrees and four doctoral degree options.

Additional Numbers:

FTE: The number of students taking a full-time course load is 1,990, or 61%. This total number is up slightly from 1,978 students in Fall 2021.

Online Students/On-campus: There are 1,304 on-campus students (undergraduate and graduate). There are 1,773 students who take courses completely online.

South Dakota Residents: Enrollment of students from South Dakota is up 4.24% this fall, to 1,965. This number was 1,885 in the Fall of 2021 and 1,861 in the Fall of 2020. This is just over 60% of the total DSU enrollment. Many of these students are taking courses online and on-campus. Sixty-four of South Dakota’s 66 counties are represented in those numbers. There are also students from 49 states (none from Vermont this fall).

International Students: There are 123 international (F1) students at DSU this fall, a 22 percent increase from Fall 2021. Of those, 107 are degree-seeking students, an increase of 20 students from Fall 2021. These students represent 52 countries.

Athletics: There are 501 student-athletes this fall, compared to 471 last year.

Residence Hall Occupancy: There are 811 students living in Dakota State residence halls, the first time that number has been over 800. Last year’s occupancy was 770.

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