Augustana College takes up the back page of my Monday paper with photos of its “Forty Under 40,” a roster of 41 outstanding graduates.
Out of the 41 youngish graduates listed, 14 appear to remain based in South Dakota. That’s 34%.
Augustana says South Dakotans make up 45% of its student body. The ad doesn’t list where the students came from, but among this non-scientific sample of the best and brightest at Augie, among students from relatively higher-income families who spend four years studying and working in South Dakota’s most opportunity-filled job market, South Dakota still doesn’t do very well at retaining talent.
As we learned last fall, South Dakota’s public universities manage to keep about 73% of their South Dakota-raised graduates and 33% of its out-state students in South Dakota. Augie’s ad shows that brain drain is a problem at South Dakota’s private and public colleges.