Fall enrollment at South Dakota’s six public universities is down about 2.8 percent in headcount and in full-time equivalent students, the South Dakota Board of Regents reported Sept. 23.

The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) students for the Fall 2020 term — based on total credit hours generated by all students within the regents’ system — was down by 718 students to a total of 24,586. Total headcount at the six public universities was 33,566, a decline of 2.76 percent or 954 students over last year.

“Across the country, these are challenging and uncertain times for public higher education,” said Brian L. Maher, the regents’ executive director and CEO. “Our universities prepared for the likelihood that the pandemic would impact fall enrollments, so a reduction of about 700 full-time students was not unexpected. We are pleased that so many students and their families are placing a priority on a university education in these exceptional times.”

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