SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls School graduates are choosing in-state public universities more often if they choose to attend college, a school district report says.

Sixty-one percent of the graduates on average attended college within two years of graduation from 2015-2022, according to a report included in Monday’s school board meeting.

During that time period, most graduates enrolled at the University of South Dakota (1,331), South Dakota State University, (1,142) and Southeast Technical College (612).

Two local private universities drew students. Augustana University had 465 enrollees while the University of Sioux Falls had 312 enrollees.

The top in-state college draws after that were Dakota State and the South Dakota School of Mines. Popular out-of-state universities were the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, and Minnesota State University in Mankato.

Fifty-seven percent of graduates enrolled in a two-year or four-year college within the first year of graduation, the report said.

In 2014, it was 61% where it stayed for several years until 2019 when 62% enrolled. The percentage dipped to 58% in 2020 and 57% in 2021 and 2022.

The report is part of academic success and other monitoring by the district.

Before attending a post secondary option, high school students may decide to take the ACT or SAT tests.

The October 2022 academic report highlighted the participation in ACT and SAT participation.

“While only 36% of national graduates participated in the ACT exam, 53.1% of SFSD graduates took it, an increase of 3% over last year. The number of SFSD students choosing to take the SAT assessment stayed the same as last year, with a total of 40 students opting in,” the 2022 October academic report said.

According to the National Student Clearinghouse, which the district also cites in its report, 52.4% of low-income graduates nationally immediately attended postsecondary schools after graduation. Sixty-four percent (63.7%) of suburban school graduates immediately entered college while 55% (54.6%) of rural graduates did.

The report quotes the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) which reports that by 2031, most jobs will require some level of postsecondary education. The fastest-growing fields
will be healthcare support, computer and mathematical, personal care, and service groups, according to the BLS.

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services said in a 2021 report, “Of the 30 occupations with the most job growth projected between 2019 and 2029, 20 require at least some postsecondary education, including degrees
and nondegree credentials.” The OPRE cited data from a 2018 report by Carnevale and Smith 2018. Overall, two-thirds of jobs today require at least some postsecondary education or training, compared training, compared to one-fourth in 1970,” the OPRE said.

Sioux Falls had a graduation rate of 85% (84.7%) in 2022 for on-time graduation while the overall completion rate was 89%.

The October 2022 academic report said the school’s on-time graduation rate had been increasing since the 2015-2016 school year when 80.55% of students graduated on time.