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Lake Area Technical Institute

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Lake Area Technical Institute Overview

Lake Area Technical Institute is a public institution located in Watertown, South Dakota. The charming, small-town atmosphere of Watertown draws many to the area.

What Is Lake Area Technical Institute Known For?

847 Undergraduate Awards
  • Although it may not be available for every major, the undergraduate certificate is the highest award a student can attain at LATI.
  • For the 2017-2018 academic year, 73% of the faculty were full-time.

Best Schools

Lake Area Technical Institute Rankings

We have ranked LATI as #160 out of 2,587 colleges and universities in the country in our 2022 Best Colleges list. This puts it in the top 10% of all schools in the nation. LATI also holds the #3 spot on the Best Colleges in South Dakota ranking.

Our rankings are based on an outcomes-based approach rather than subjective ones used by other media outlets. As such, we utilize data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the College Scorecard, among other sources. Visit our rankings and methodology section to learn more.

LATI has also been awarded the following overall awards by our latest rankings.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#24 Best Associate Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#72 Best Undergraduate Certificate Schools Tweet It - Post It

Program Level Awards

These are highlights of some of the most noteworthy awards granted to specific programs at LATI.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#1 Best Agriculture Associate Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#1 Best Construction Engineering Associate Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#1 Best Agricultural Economics Associate Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#2 Best Marketing Associate Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#3 Best Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Associate Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#4 Best Precision Production Associate Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#6 Best Mechanic & Repair Technologies Associate Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#6 Best Dental Support Services Undergraduate Certificate Schools Tweet It - Post It
#7 Best Computer & Information Sciences Associate Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#10 Best Business, Management & Marketing Associate Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Awards From Around the Web

The following table lists some notable awards LATI has earned from around the web.

Rank Ranking Name Source
#2 Best Agriculture & Agriculture Operations Schools College Factual
#2 Best Agricultural Economics & Business Schools College Factual
#3 Best Mechanic & Repair Technologies Schools College Factual
#3 Best Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Schools College Factual
#6 Best Precision Production Schools College Factual
#29 Best Business Schools Business Degree Central

Where Is Lake Area Technical Institute?


Contact details for LATI are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 1201 Arrow Avenue, Watertown, SD 57201-0730
Phone: 605-882-5284

How Do I Get Into LATI?

You can apply to LATI online at:

Lake Area Technical Institute has an open admissions policy. This means that the school accepts all applicants assuming that they meet very basic requirements, such as having a high school diploma or equivalent.

Can I Afford Lake Area Technical Institute?

87% Take Out Loans
7.1% Loan Default Rate

Student Loan Debt

It's not uncommon for college students to take out loans to pay for school. In fact, almost 66% of students nationwide depend at least partially on loans. At LATI, approximately 87% of students took out student loans averaging $6,065 a year. That adds up to $24,260 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at LATI is 7.1%. Although this is lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, you'll still want to keep this in mind when taking out student loans.

Lake Area Technical Institute Undergraduate Student Diversity

1,509 Full-Time Undergraduates
42% Women
6% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
There are 2,217 undergraduate students at LATI, with 1,509 being full-time and 708 being part-time.


Gender Diversity

Of the 1,509 full-time undergraduates at LATI, 58% are male and 42% are female.


Racial-Ethnic Diversity

The racial-ethnic breakdown of Lake Area Technical Institute students is as follows.

Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 11
Black or African American 15
Hispanic or Latino 21
White 1,345
International Students 6
Other Races/Ethnicities 111

Over 6 countries are represented at LATI. The most popular countries sending students to the school are Paraguay, South Korea, and Bangladesh.

Online Learning at Lake Area Technical Institute

456 Took All Classes Online
978 Took At Least One Class Online
5,098.3% Avg Growth Over 4 Years
In 2019-2020, 978 students took at least one online class at the school.

The following chart shows how the online learning population at LATI has changed over the last few years.


This school is the 4th most popular in South Dakota for online learning according to the online graduations recorded by the Department of Education for the academic year 2019-2020.

Online Growth Rankings of LATI

The average growth rate over the last four years of online students at Lake Area Technical Institute was 5,098.3%. This is the #30 largest growth rate of all schools that are only partially online. This refers to all students at LATI regardless of major.

The following table shows the 1-year growth rate of LATI majors that offer at least one online course. This table only includes majors with positive growth.

Major 1-Year Growth Rate
Agricultural Economics & Business 3%
Agriculture & Agriculture Operations 3%
Allied Health Professions 26%
Finance & Financial Management 22%
Health Professions 5%
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 13%

The table below shows how the average growth rate over 4 years at LATI ranks compared to all other partially online schools that offer a specific major. Note that the majors may or may not be offered online at LATI.

Major Growth Rate Rank
Agriculture & Agriculture Operations #1
Agricultural Economics & Business #1
Finance & Financial Management #1
Marketing #1
Computer Science #1
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants #1
Allied Health Professions #4
Computer & Information Sciences #4
Business, Management & Marketing #10
Health Professions #16

When we speak of partially online, we are referring to schools whose online population is less than 50% of its total student body. Mostly online refers to those with online populations greater than or equal to 50%.

Lake Area Technical Institute Undergraduate Concentrations

The table below shows the number of awards for each concentration.

Major Basic Certificate Associate’s Undergraduate Certificate TOTAL
Vehicle Maintenance & Repair 0 137 17 154
Agricultural Economics & Business 0 120 0 120
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 14 0 65 79
Precision Metal Working 0 38 31 69
Human Services 0 28 33 61
Dental Support Services 0 10 32 42
Marketing 0 35 0 35
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 0 32 0 32
Finance & Financial Management 0 27 0 27
Building Management & Inspection 0 23 0 23
Allied Health Professions 4 9 10 23
Computer Science 0 22 0 22
Nursing 0 22 0 22
Ground Transportation 0 12 10 22
Electromechanical Engineering Technology 0 21 0 21
Cosmetology 0 0 18 18
Construction Engineering Technology 0 17 0 17
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 0 16 0 16
Natural Resources Conservation 0 7 8 15
Criminal Justice & Corrections 0 12 0 12
Electronics Engineering Technology 0 10 0 10
Industrial Production Technology 0 7 0 7
TOTAL 18 605 224 847


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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