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UND President Mark Kennedy / Forum News Service file photo

UND sees enrollment drop of almost 4 percent

GRAND FORKS—Fall enrollment numbers have fallen again at the University of North Dakota.

This year's official fall enrollment at the university is listed as 13,847 students, according to a UND press release.

That is a 3.9 percent dip from last fall's final enrollment of 14,406. Even with the decrease, the tally still ranks within the top 10 of highest overall enrollments at UND.

On-campus numbers include 10,316 students this fall. There are 3,531 students enrolled in distance education courses exclusively, while 3,186 students are taking at least one online course.

The university is a part of a trend of decreasing enrollment at universities across the country.

UND President Mark Kennedy said in August that the university is adjusting to two "planned-for variables" that the school expected to affect enrollment numbers in the short term.

Last academic year, UND changed the number of credits most students need to graduate from 125 to 120. The change puts UND in line with most universities and colleges, Kennedy said.

For many students, the extra credits meant they would have to spend another semester or, in some cases, another year at UND, he said.

Lowering the credit requirement also meant that more students were able to graduate this spring and summer, according to the press release.

"My goal has always been for UND be a place that attracts the best and brightest," Kennedy said in a statement. "Recruiting these kinds of students will go a long way in helping UND remain the premier flagship university on the Northern Plains."

UND is also investing more to attract doctoral students, who tend to play a large role in helping faculty conduct research, the press release stated. The university believes it will "take time to ramp up and likely won't translate into enrollment increases for a while."

The latest enrollment numbers include 1,835 new freshmen. The freshmen class also includes 254 Presidential Scholars, the most in the school's history, as well as more than 160 honors students, a 21 percent increase from last fall.

The class is also one of the most diverse groups of incoming freshmen, as 14.4 percent of the incoming freshman class reported as an ethnicity other than white or Caucasian, according to the university.

Transfer students are also up this fall. UND has 721 transfer students, up 6 percent from last year.

UND graduate enrollment is at 2,785, including 2,021 master's students and 648 doctoral students. These numbers are down slightly from 2017 when there were 2,862 graduate students and 544 professional students.

Sydney Mook

Sydney Mook has been covering higher education at the Grand Forks Herald since May 2018. She previously served as the multimedia editor and cops, courts and health reporter at the Dickinson Press from January 2016 to May 2018.  She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science in three and half years in December 2015. While at the USD, she worked for the campus newspaper, The Volante, as well as the television news show, Coyote News. She also interned at South Dakota Public Broadcasting and spent the summer before her senior year interning in Fort Knox for the ROTC Cadet Summer Training program. In her spare time, Sydney enjoys cheering on the New York Yankees and the Kentucky Wildcats, as well as playing golf. If you've got an idea for a video be sure to give her a call!

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