Just want to add some fuel to the fire with some additional info. All of South Dakota's public Universities have the same admission standards.
The state of South Dakota recently started a program to award scholarships to entice more of the best and the brightest to stay home. Here are figures from the first class. Of the 826 students that qualified for the Opportunity Scholarship (*Students qualify by taking a rigorous course of study in high school, maintaining a strong grade-point average and scoring at least 24 on the ACT.) 354 chose SDSU, 174 chose USD, and 180 chose other schools in the state.
*quoted from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader Story written by Terry Woster.
Combine that with most recent graduation rates from the NCAA:
All students: 53 percent
Student athletes: 73 percent
All students: 50 percent
Student athletes: 58 percent
and I think you can see that sometimes bigger is better! ;D
P.S. USD was founded in 1862 but didn't have it's first classes until 1882.
SDSU on the other hand was founded in 1881 and held it's first classes in 1884.
The Athletic Graduation as far as measuring overall academic rankings doesn't matter, except in athletics.
Is there any statisitics on the number of South Dakotans that take advantage of the repreciprocity with the University of Minnesota. I would suspect that a large number of the type of students who would go to the University of South Dakota, may choose the University of Minnesota instead. If you wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, you would get better advantages as far as what medical school or law school you would go to if you went to the University of Minnesota compared to the smaller University of South Dakota.
The majors that someone who would go to USD would be more artsy/fartsy or pre-law, pre-med types, plus the prestigious journalism program. But if can go to the University of Minnesota, which is one of the most diverse and large institutions offering a plethora of diverse majors in those artsy-fartsy things then you would choose University of Minnesota. I think the tuition is like being from Minnesota if you are from the Dakotas if I am not mistaken. If not UMinn, then they go to University of Nebraska. No reproprocity there.
Now if you are more along the lines of practical majors like engineering then you would go to SDSU. The engineering school is what probably makes it bigger. These more practical majors make the school maybe more popular as a choice and would make them the local choice, where the would-be USD artsy/fartsy pre-law/pre-med types may go to U Minnesota instead, as it gives them better advantages. Without this reprocity agreement, I bet that USD would be harder to get into, because of capacity and those artsy-fartsy and pre-med, pre-law types would go there instead. North and South Dakota are not states that young people stay in, so if they can go to another states university like U Minn, they are more likely to do it.
Also, the State of South Dakota has a 2nd Engineering school, only not at USD. Its the South Dakota School of Mines, located in Rapid City. the University of North Dakota has an Engineering and Mines school and NDSU has the other Engineering school which includes Architecture. If USD had the School of Mines along with their engineering, it would be the same size as SDSU, as the enrollment of SD School of Mines is 2,400.
The bigger is better arguement is still not proven. 89Rabitt, can you tell me if their is a designed capacity for both schools (USD and SDSU). The Reprocity with UMinn, plus several South Dakotans going to Univ of Nebraska, Iowa State and University of Iowa has an impact on enrollment in these schools in the Dakotas, just for the reason of having a critical mass of programs. There, the size of those institutions would matter to the 4 Flagships of the Dakotas.