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University of South Dakota

University of South Dakota is finding more high-quality, admissible applicants with

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  1. Great intake of 200 new international students – almost double of 109 last year
  2. Boosted its “volume-to-quality ratio”
  3. Secured high-quality thoroughly vetted student applications


The University of South Dakota is a flagship university in the US but has a relatively small cohort of 10,000 students, including 400 international students.

Patrick John Morrison, Interim Director of USD’s Gallagher International Center, says the institution doesn’t have trouble attracting enough applicants – and the international cohort is diverse, coming from 50+ countries – mostly from South Asia.

Although, he says, while “the volume of applications is there”, finding admissible students – those with the right qualifications and ability to secure a visa – can be the real challenge.


University of South Dakota signed up with in 2020, in the hopes of securing more high-quality, thoroughly vetted student applications and to boost its “volume-to-quality ratio”.

“We want to build relationships with partners who can help us find those serious applicants – the students that are the right fit – because, ultimately, we’d rather have 100 applications and get 80 students than 1000 applications and get 100,” says Patrick.

“Because maybe those 20 extra students are not the right fit – and nobody is served by not finding the right fit.”


Since signing on to the marketplace, University of South Dakota has welcomed students for the last three semesters – and continues to receive applications from students who are a genuine match.

“While might only send 15 to 30 applications for a particular intake, we’ll get maybe upto and over 50% students from that,” says Patrick.

“We have at least four or five students on campus right now; we had two new students in the spring; and we’re already getting Adventus students for spring ’23 – so we’re definitely seeing numbers build over time.”

Patrick says his ultimate goal is to deliver a good experience for students throughout their whole journey, and now he has the confidence that those who come through are starting off on the right footing.

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