Reflecting on the Year

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Cortnie Cottrell, News Writer

Taking a look back at the 2018-2019 school year and comparing it to fall 2019 semester is interesting, especially when predicting for what the future holds for UND and the student enrollment rates. 

Diving into the statistics, Fall semester 2018 had 13,847 students, whereas the fall semester 2019 came up short by 266 students, totaling 13,581. However, when looking back on previous years and even UND’s track record of student rates since 1996, it is common to fluctuate. On average from year to year, the rate changes from Fall to Fall registration and has ranged up to 800 students, so a difference of 266 students from 2018-2019 was not alarming to UND. 

With the new semester freshly starting, UND does not have their headcount for spring semester 2020 available yet; however, in all past years, the spring semester enrollment numbers are less than the Fall semester. Therefore, in predicting for spring semester 2020, the enrollment numbers will range somewhere between 13,000 to 13,500. 

The reason for a consistently lower number of incoming students for the spring semester is due to graduation, transfer students, dropouts and it is less common for a freshman to start their first semester in December. 

Looking towards the future for UND, and specifically student enrollment rates, UND admissions has implemented a goal-driven system to enhance UND’s performance and overall student numbers. They’re plans for reaching their goals consist of increasing undergraduate, graduate and professional graduation rates by growing focus on the cost of higher education and student debt demands delivering value in return for students’ investment of time and money. This is best achieved by striving to help more students to graduate so they access the full benefits of a degree.

Another goal that UND is striving to achieve for increasing enrollment numbers is delivering more educational opportunities online and on-campus. Some challenges that UND faces is the inability to fully attract those who would benefit from the opportunities offered by our programs; therefore, providing online access increases the availability for students to obtain their preferred degree. UND’s goal is to increase enrollment numbers by 10%, by increasing growth in online and graduate programs by 2022.

UND is striving to attract support for the University by actively engaging alumni and donors. The goal is to increase alumni contribution participation to 10% and achieve targeted fund-raising goals set for each Dean, VP and President by 2022, which in turn will raise more awareness for UND and in hopes recruit more students. 

“In Admissions, a large part of our recruitment plan involves traveling. We have admissions reps in various territories that travel to local high schools/colleges, college fairs, and other events to promote UND and do some outreach,” an Admissions Rep for incoming Freshmen in Eastern ND, Chad O’Shea said. “Every Fall I travel to all of the high schools that I can in that area to visit with potential UND students. Outside of traveling, it’s a constant wave of communication with these students to encourage them to apply, make sure we have everything we need for their application decision and advise them through the next steps after Admission to UND.”

In order to draw in students and bring attention to UND, the staff at admissions try to adhere to potential students and their needs. When students come to visit UND, they want to experience the fun of the school and see all it has to offer.

“When they come for a campus visit, we personalize that visit experience with a detailed tour and meetings with academic advisors and other departments they’d like to speak with (Financial Aid, Housing, etc.),” Chad O’Shea said. “These are some of the main things we do in admissions, and although the work schedule for reps can get pretty hectic, it’s really fun to meet these students and get them excited about UND!”