Enrollment at Black Hills State University increased by more than 100 students this fall. There are currently more than 4,000 students attending classes at BHSU, an increase of nearly three percent.

The total enrollment at BHSU this fall is 4,004 students, an increase of 108 students from the previous year. This is only the second time in the school’s history that enrollment has been over the 4,000 mark.

BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp attributes the impressive increase to a number of factors including a significant increase in retention as well as continued high interest in the university from new students in the state and region. Enrollment numbers from the surrounding states of Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana and Colorado all increased this year.

BHSU continues to meet the changing needs of students in the region. The number of students pursuing master’s degrees at BHSU increased considerably this fall. In addition, BHSU has approximately 1,000 students attending classes in Rapid City and recorded an increase in the number of students taking classes by distance learning options.

Schallenkamp says the overall increase is significant especially in light of declining high school enrollments in the state and region.

“Students recognize and appreciate the depth and breadth of our academic programs. Students are seeking the exceptional educational experience that Black Hills State University offers,” Schallenkamp says.

The retention of students has been a campus-wide initiative at BHSU in the last year and positive results are clearly evident. This year BHSU has an eight percent increase in retention, marking the highest retention rate in the last decade.