Enrollment is up at Northern State

ABERDEEN, S.D.(AberdeenInsider)- Enrollment numbers released by the South Dakota Board of Regents include some good news for Northern State University.

Northern has the highest percentage increase in the number of first-time freshmen and the second-highest headcount increase of the state’s six public universities.

With 319, Northern saw a 6.7% increase in the number of first-time freshmen compared to last year, according to the numbers released Wednesday, Sept. 13.

The Aberdeen university also has a headcount of 3,521, up 5.5% from fall 2022.

Northern’s number of first-time freshmen is the smallest of all of the schools, but its headcount is third-highest in the regental system.

“We are proud of our dedicated faculty and staff who deliver quality personalized academic programs and support services,” Northern’s Marcus Garstecki, chief enrollment management officer, said in a news release.

Contributing to the headcount jump were notable increases in transfer students and graduate program enrollment. Northern’s graduate program enrollment is 589 this fall, up from 493 a year ago, according to campus data.

The full-time-equivalency student number for Northern is up 319 to 1,725, an increase of 2.7%, according to regent enrollment numbers.

Headcount is the number of students taking at least one class.

Full-time equivalency uses the credit hours of all students to determine the equitable number of full-time students who take 15 credit hours a semester.

The last time Northern’s headcount was above 3,500 was in 2018. It hit a low of 3,340 in 2021 before ticking up four last year.

Nearly 6,000 graduate school students are included in the overall enrollment number, according to the release from the regents.