South Dakota State University has most student athletes in state

South Dakota State University ranked No. 1 for student athletic participation in the state, according to a South Dakota Business Daily analysis of college sports participation.

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education collects athletics data annually from all institutions with intercollegiate athletics programs that receive funding through federal financial aid programs. Data for 2016 – the latest year available – includes more than 2,000 schools nationwide.

The number of South Dakota State students taking part in athletic programs was 514 –  296 men and 218 women – representing the largest contingent of student athletes in South Dakota.

In all, there are 3,735 students – 2,312 men and 1,423 women – playing on athletic teams at 12 colleges and universities in the state.


Colleges with the most student athletes

RankSchoolDivisionTotal UndergraduatesMale Student AthletesFemale Student AthletesTotal Number of Student Athletes
1South Dakota State


NCAA Division I-FCS8,442296218514
2Augustana UniversityNCAA Division II with football1,553275148423
3University of Sioux FallsNCAA Division II with football1,031229153382
4University of South DakotaNCAA Division I-FCS4,922200182382
5Dakota Wesleyan UniversityNAIA Division II666251114365
6Northern State UniversityNCAA Division II with football1,318232133365
7Presentation CollegeNAIA Division II53621796313
8Black Hills State UniversityNCAA Division II with football2,156174132306
9South Dakota School of Mines and TechnologyNCAA Division II with football2,00518860248
10Mount Marty CollegeNAIA Division II461121119240
11Dakota State UniversityNAIA Division II1,27310756163
12Oglala Lakota CollegeOther761221234
Source: U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education

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Organizations in this Story

Augustana University Black Hills State University Dakota State University Dakota Wesleyan University Mount Marty College Northern State University Oglala Lakota College Presentation College South Dakota State University University of Sioux Falls University of South Dakota

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