RAPID CITY, S.D. (Sept. 24, 2013) - Enrollment at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has jumped nearly 9 percent this fall compared to a year ago, with a total enrollment of 2,640, an increase from 2,424 students a year ago.
Included in the overall figure is a 20.2 percent rise in first-time freshmen, from 460 to 553, compared to the same period last year, and a 47.2 percent spike in new transfer students, from 89 to 131.
This year's overall 8.9 percent enrollment gain exceeds the university's growth plan of a 5-percent-per-year increase for a student headcount of 3,500 by the year 2020.
"The nation needs more scientists and engineers, and we're meeting the challenge. We offer one of the best returns on investment in the country, and prospective students and their parents value that more than ever now," said School of Mines President Heather Wilson, D.Phil.
The average starting salary for 2012 graduates was $62,400, with a 98 percent placement rate upon graduation. PayScale College Salary Report recently ranked School of Mines graduates as earning the 13th highest average starting salary among colleges and universities nationwide. PayScale's 2013-2014 report also ranks Mines' starting salaries as second for Midwest schools, sixth for public universities nationwide and eighth for engineering schools nationwide.
The university has a track record of helping students gain numerous opportunities for experience within industry, which can ultimately lead to career placement upon graduation. Last summer, for example, Mines students interned at more than 165 employers in 34 states, Canada and Germany. One-third of those students worked within the state of South Dakota for more than 60 employers.
Enrollment between in- and out-of-state students is split virtually in half, with 50.2 percent coming from South Dakota and 49.8 percent from out-of state. The out-of-state students come from 45 states and 37 countries. Significant out-of-state undergraduate growth areas are Colorado, California, Washington, Arizona and Texas.
Undergraduate enrollment this year jumped 10.8 percent, from 2,101 to 2,328. Other highlights of this year's official enrollment figures:
- Percentage of male students: 76.9
- Percentage of female students: 23.1
- Retention percentage rate from first-to-second year students: 79.0