University System Marks Record Headcount Enrollment
BISMARCK, N.D. - Headcount enrollment at the 11 North Dakota University System colleges and universities has reached a record high, according to a preliminary Fall Semester 2008 Enrollment Report released to the State Board of Higher Education.
The Fall Semester 2008 system-wide headcount enrollment of 43,442 students includes an increase of 1,615 students or 3.9 percent compared to Fall Semester 2007. University System officials attribute this increase to a number of factors that point to enhanced responsiveness to today's learning environment.
"The Roundtable on Higher Education directed the University System to look at ways to improve access to higher education," said Richie Smith, president of the State Board of Higher Education. "Record enrollment during a period of declining state demographics shows that the 11 University System campuses are using the flexibility recommended by the roundtable process and implemented by state policy to meet the expectations of the people and state of North Dakota."
"Both the campus and the people it serves benefit when outreach is extended beyond the immediate geographic area," said Bill Goetz, NDUS chancellor. "Many University System colleges and universities are offering courses and programs at off-site locations, often on the campuses of sister institutions. University System campuses also are reaching additional students through access to high-quality on-line education."
The NDUS census date was Sept. 22, 2008, on the 20th day of classes. Comprehensive enrollment data will be available when the official Fall Semester 2008 Enrollment Report is released later this month; enrollment highlights include the following:
• Based on headcount enrollment, 22 percent of students (9,495) are enrolled at NDUS community colleges, and 78 percent (33,947) are enrolled at system universities.
• NDUS community colleges had a combined net headcount enrollment increase of 6.7 percent, while the universities gained 3.1 percent more students.
• The total system full-time equivalent enrollment (FTE) of 36,096 is an increase of 2.9 percent (1,021 FTE) compared to last year.
• Based on permanent addresses, 63.3 percent of the students served by NDUS institutions (27,513) are North Dakota residents.
• 27 percent of students (11,592) are from the contiguous states of Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota, and 1 percent of students (433) are from Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
With representation from the private and public sectors, in 2000 the Roundtable on Higher Education defined expectations of the NDUS and said the University System should play a larger role in enhancing the economic and social vitality of North Dakota.