S.D. public universities trying to stem enrollment declines
Moves come as enrollment cliff approaches
South Dakota’s public universities have seen declining enrollment over the past decade, a problem projected to worsen as a nationwide enrollment cliff looms.
This year, total headcount was 33,697 students. Although the system saw a 0.7 percent increase from the prior year, enrollment has fallen more than two thousand students since 2018 when 35,737 students attended, according to the 2023 South Dakota Board of Regents Factbook.
The Board of Regents is the governing body for the state's six public universities, as well as the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and School for the Deaf.
Universities nationwide are bracing for an enrollment cliff starting in 2025 that is largely attributed to a lower birth rate during the 2008 recession.
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