Spatial Enrollment Patterns in South Dakota Public Universities, 2006 to 2015

Authors: John Green*, South Dakota State University
Topics: Marketing Geography, Higher Education, Business Geography
Keywords: Gravity model, Market delineation, Post-secondary education
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Bayside B, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In 2013, South Dakota State University announced their intention to increase campus enrollment numbers by over 2000 students over a five year period. That enrollment goal was based on record high in-state enrollment trends in public universities in South Dakota from 2006 to 2010. However, between 2011 and 2015, in-state enrollments at public universities in the state dropped by 3000 students. That enrollment decline has created budget shortfalls and campus planning issues at all six public universities in the state. The spatial patterns of enrollment in the state reveal trends that may aid university officials in recruitment efforts. While distance and proximity create some obvious enrollment footprints for each school, other factors may be more responsible for statewide enrollment decline. This paper uses Location Quotient scores and Spatial Gravity models to quantify market supply and enrollment probabilities for public universities in South Dakota. The results indicate that geographically targeted marketing may significantly increase enrollment at some public universities in South Dakota.

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