University of Sioux Falls Welcomes Record Number of Undergraduates

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – You may notice some new faces on the University of Sioux Falls campus – more than 300 of them.

Brett Bradfield, the president of the University of Sioux Falls, remembers when he got the news.

“There were some very humorous emails going around of our admissions staff holding signs that said 300 and a celebration of sorts,” said Bradfield.

USF  is welcoming their largest full-time freshmen class ever. The university learned last Friday that 303 freshmen are enrolled this fall, a record for the university.

Clara Leverich, a criminal justice and social work student, is one of them.

“I really loved the professors that I had met that are in my major and the tuition drop for sure and it just felt like it was a good spot for me,” said Leverich.

Bradfield believes there are a number of reasons why enrollment is on the rise. He says this year’s tuition decrease of $10,000 was a huge incentive.

The university approved the tuition reset last October.

“We needed to find a way to make a Christian liberal arts education like this within the reach of many of our students that want to come here,” said Bradfield.

Austin Ludens is a Sioux Falls native. Up until recently, he planned to attend college in Duluth.

“So I can save money, this private college will be cheaper than the state school I was going to go to in Minnesota, so it all kind of clicked together,” said Ludens.

Bradfield says school administrators can handle student growth at this time. In fact, they even have an empty residence hall right now. However, more faculty couldn’t hurt.

“We always feel we’re short of faculty,” said Bradfield. “Faculty are the lifeblood of our institution.”

USF hoped to recruit more students from their major markets: South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota. This year, admissions saw an increase in all four.

It’s not just freshmen. USF says it has more undergraduates on campus this year than ever before. 2006 was when USF had the most overall students. It had 1,674 total students that year.

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