USD Reaches Enrollment High Since 2018
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USD Reaches Enrollment High Since 2018

USD has reached a near record-breaking high of incoming student enrollment this fall at an overall increase of 5.5%.

This increase is only slightly higher than that of last year; however, it is the second largest main campus class in university history, right behind the No. 1 class enrollment of 2018. 

USD-Sioux Falls saw an impressive increase as well in student enrollment, with the number of overall students enrolled being 4.4% higher than previous years. This includes a 6.2% increase in all undergraduate admissions, making this year’s number of undergraduate students enrolled at USD-Sioux Falls the highest it has been since 2014.

Mark Petty, the Director of Strategic Enrollment Communications, said that the university also saw a significant increase in the amount of international students enrolled at USD.

“International enrollment extended its streak of record-breaking years for the third consecutive time, enrolling 606 total international students,” Petty said. “That is by far the largest number in university history and more than double the number of international students enrolled in 2021.”

USD also saw departmental enrollment increases including;  18% increase in Pre-Nursing, 31% increase in Pre-Dental Hygiene, 20% increase in new graduate computer science students, 18% increase in the Computer Science Department’s artificial intelligence program and 31% increase in Ph.D. Health Sciences enrollment.

Connor Peterson, the Director of Undergraduate Admissions, further went into detail about the incoming class who made up this year’s increased enrollment numbers.

“We saw significant increases in enrollment of students from Nebraska and South Dakota this year at 21.1% and 6.8% growth over the last year.”

Given the increase in student enrollment, USD campus housing had to make some adjustments regarding on campus living, including a delay in the timing of some on campus renovations and university housing offering some returning students the opportunity to live off campus to ensure room for all incoming students.

“We know that each student that enrolls will have an impact on our campus, so each class, regardless of its size, is important to the future success of USD,” Peterson said. “As we continue to innovate and improve enrollment strategies, strengthen campus partnerships and highlight our students and their successes, inevitably the positive outcomes at USD will continue.” 

Petty agreed with Peterson’s statement as he said he feels as though the increase in enrollment contributes to the vibrancy of life on campus.

Peterson went on to explain that she feels as though this year’s enrollment numbers are a direct correlation to the diligence of USD admissions offices and academic departments.

“It’s great to see another year of enrollment growth. Knowing the work put in by our admissions team and campus partners, I was confident throughout the recruitment cycle that we’d see another increase; it’s always exciting to see their hard work pay off,” Peterson said.

According to Petty, the university department of student enrollment sees the increase in student enrollment overall as extremely positive.

“When we see growth in our enrollment, it gives validation to what we tell prospective students about why they should consider attending USD,” Petty said. “From our academic programs to affordability and campus life, students are choosing USD because they know that they will receive a great education that will prepare them for life.” 

Peterson also shared her thoughts towards this year’s increase in enrollment as well as her hopes for the years to come.

“It’s important for us to capitalize on the areas where we’ve seen success while also evaluating the regions with opportunities for growth. With the individualized, relationship-driven approach of our admissions counselors and continuation of strong partnerships with departments across campus, I’m optimistic that we can continue to build upon our consecutive years of enrollment growth and welcome another great class in fall 2024,” Peterson said.

Photo Credit: Tavin Carncross | The Volante