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USD Hits Record Enrollment for First-Time, Undergraduate Students

Enrollment at USD Surges The number of first-time, undergraduate student enrollment is the largest in USD history.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The number of first-time, undergraduate students at the University of South Dakota increased to 1,427 students – the largest enrollment class in USD history and an increase of 6.4 percent over last year’s incoming class, said President Sheila Gestring.

Within this group, enrollment by students from Iowa increased by 8.4 percent, while enrollment by students from Nebraska increased 25 percent. Not only did out-of-state enrollment increase, but enrollment by students from South Dakota increased by 7.2 percent, Gestring said. University housing reported occupancy rates of 99.73 percent.

“Offering resident tuition rates to incoming students from Iowa and Nebraska has been critical to our success,” Gestring said. “This is significant for South Dakota and its workforce goals, because more than 30 percent of non-resident students who attend a South Dakota public university stay in the state after graduation, making USD one of the most effective workforce recruiters.”

Additionally, among all first-time undergraduates, enrollment by domestic students of color increased by 13.7 percent. Recruitment of international students increased slightly from 286 in Fall 2017 to 290 in Fall 2018.

Gestring said she is thrilled to see continued strong numbers for this year’s class of first-time, full-time students.

“Now, more than ever, is a great time to be a Coyote,” she said. “As we move forward, we have tremendous reason for optimism.”


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News