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NDSU nearing 12,000

North Dakota State University is predicting a record number of students this fall, prompting school officials to consider future enrollment limits. The university expects 11,500 to 11,600 students this fall, compared with 11,146 last fall, accord...

North Dakota State University is predicting a record number of students this fall, prompting school officials to consider future enrollment limits.

The university expects 11,500 to 11,600 students this fall, compared with 11,146 last fall, according to figures released Thursday by Vice President for Student Affairs George Wallman.

"We're looking at an increase of about 250 graduate students inside of that number, and 200 more undergraduate students."

The projection is based on current registration figures and anticipated registration through the third week of September.

NDSU's freshmen class is expected to grow by 50 to 70 students, to about 1,900.

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"We also still have about 100 students deployed in the military, and we're in touch with them, but we don't know when they'll all return," Wallman said.

The university is about two years ahead of schedule to reach its goal of 12,000 students by 2006-07, Wallman said.

"The challenge is going to be to try to land at 12,000 and not beyond," he said.

"We've actually started having some discussions about limiting enrollment."

A task force likely will form to consider steps such as raising admission standards or establishing a cutoff point for applications, Wallman said.

NDSU should have enough housing to handle the growing student body, Residence Life Director Michael Harwood said. The new Living/Learning Center on the west side of campus will provide 166 new beds when it opens later this month.

Geared toward upperclassmen, the four-story residence hall features 70 studio apartments and 24 four-bedroom apartments.

"We won't have anybody staying in hotels," Harwood said.

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Next spring, NDSU will tear down the 58-unit Bison Court Apartments and replace it with a 100-unit building to handle enrollment growth. Apartment tenants have been notified of the project and will receive first pick of university housing next year, Harwood said.

The University of North Dakota also is projecting a record fall enrollment of 13,200 students, compared with 12,423 students last year. The Grand Forks school has set a goal of 14,000 students by 2005-06.

"Actually, we're very, very pleased," said Bob Boyd, vice president of student and outreach services. "We're almost right on target with our full enrollment."

Freshmen registration is up 11 percent and graduate student registration up 13 percent over this time last year, said Alice Hoffert, UND's associate vice president of enrollment management.

New admission standards will take effect at UND in fall 2005, but Boyd said they're more about ensuring the quality of students than controlling enrollment.

The standards require an ACT score of 21 or higher and at least a 2.5 grade-point average for North Dakota residents to be automatically admitted to UND. It's now 17 for the ACT and a 2.25 GPA.

Other Fargo-Moorhead area schools are projecting higher enrollments, as well.

Minnesota State University Moorhead expects to enroll about 7,900 students this fall, up from 7,661 last fall, MSUM Registrar John Tandberg said.

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Enrollment is projected to increase by about 100 students, to 1,561, at Minnesota State Community & Technical College in Moorhead and by 75 students, to 400, at Aaker's Business College in Fargo, officials from those schools said.

Concordia College in Moorhead does not make enrollment projections.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

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