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December 4, 2014

Brain gain, not drain for SD universities

It has been said that South Dakota young people are the state's biggest export, but recent statistics from the South Dakota Board of Regents show that the opposite is true.

Out-of-state high school graduates who attend South Dakota's public universities vastly outnumber the in-state high-school graduates who leave South Dakota for college, said Board of Regents Executive Director Jack Warner.

In addition, 73 percent South Dakota's resident students stay in the state at least one year after graduating from college. About 30 percent of nonresidents stay as well, according to a story in the Rapid City Journal.

The trend represents a turnaround from as recently as 2002, when South Dakota had a net loss of about 100 high school graduates. Officials attributed the change to quality education and lower tuitions at the state's schools.

In fact, Bloomberg News reported in 2012 that recent graduates South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City had a median salary that was higher than the median salary of recent Harvard graduates. On top of that, the School of Mines tuition was about one fourth of Harvard's, even for nonresidents.

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