RAPID CITY, S.D. (Sept. 25, 2012) – Student headcount at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology jumped 4.9 percent this fall compared to last fall, with an overall enrollment of 2,424, an increase from 2,311 students a year ago.
Included in the overall figure is a 9.8 percent spike in first-time freshmen, from 419 to 460 compared to the same period last year; as well as a 6.6 percent increase of graduate students, from 303 to 323.
The total number of new students, which includes first-time freshmen, transfers and readmits, jumped 15.9 percent, from 498 to 577. The double-digit percentage gain in new students was fueled in part by two $100,000 donations, allowing additional scholarships to offer competitive financial packages to incoming students.
The gain is being attributed to the university’s strategic investment in enrollment management efforts, a commitment to recruitment and retention and a dedication to student success through its Student Services programs.
“This is no accident,” stated Acting President Duane Hrncir, Ph.D. “This was a strategic decision and investment. We are really happy and proud of our enrollment increase because it is the result of the hard work of our dedicated faculty and staff.”
The School of Mines boasts outstanding placement rates and the ability to prepare students for in-demand career fields. The most recent tracking figures show that 97 percent of 2011 graduates began a career within their chosen field or proceeded to graduate school. Those who entered the workforce enjoyed an average $56,723 starting salary.
“We are preparing students for the types of jobs that are in high demand throughout the country and students are realizing that. They see where the jobs are,” Hrncir said of the university’s specialty science, engineering and technology programs.
The School of Mines offers 15 bachelor’s, 14 master’s and seven doctoral degrees.
Bloomberg news service last week published a story highlighting the fact that School of Mines graduates enter the workforce earning more money than Harvard’s new graduates despite considerably lower tuition costs. The story has been widely republished nationwide.