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UND sets first-day enrollment record; NDSU also up

The first-day fall enrollment count for UND and North Dakota State University broke records again, the universities said Wednesday.

UND, with 13,431 students, saw a 6.9 percent increase from last fall's first-day count. The biggest contributors to that increase were graduate students and returning undergrads, though the increase in freshmen and transfers also were healthy.

NDSU, with 14,204 students saw a 2 percent increase. There were slight reductions in most categories, except returning undergrads. The number of international students, a category that stretches across all the others, was up significantly.

First-day numbers are purely preliminary and will likely change over the next few weeks as some late-arriving students are counted or some leave.

For comparison, the final fall enrollment at UND in 2009 was 13,172 and 14,189 for NDSU.

Unusual this year was the joint enrollment announcement by the universities, which have been seen as rivals, with enrollment growth one arena of competition. But with changes of administration, most recently at NDSU, there are relatively new people at the helm of the universities -- Dean Bresciani at NDSU and Robert Kelley at UND.

"It demonstrates that there's a new era of collaboration," UND spokesman Peter Johnson said. He noted that the new faculty tour of the state, led by Kelley, stopped for the first time at the NDSU president's home a few weeks ago.

The numbers

So, here are breakdowns of the numbers.

- UND counted 10,535 undergrads, up 5.5 percent, and NDSU counted 12,004, up 2.6 percent. Within this category are freshmen, transfers from other schools and returning undergrads from previous years.

- UND received more freshmen and transfers this fall. There are 2,113 freshmen, up 5.9 percent, and 812 transfers, a 9 percent increase.

- NDSU had a slight setback with 2,410 freshmen, down 2.1 percent, and 794 transfers, down 2.5 percent.

- Both universities saw a nice boost from returning undergrads. UND counted 7,610, a 5 percent bump, and NDSU 8,800, a 4.5 percent increase.

- UND's graduate program continues to grow with 2,400 this week, up 14.7 percent. NDSU stayed about the same with 1,855, down 1.1 percent.

- UND's professional programs, such as the medical and law schools, stayed about the same with 496, up 1.8 percent. NDSU's counted 345, down 2.5 percent.

- In a separate breakout, NDSU said the number of international students totaled 1,153, up 12.3 percent. UND said it doesn't do such a breakdown on the first day.

Other schools

In other news, various universities in the state also reported first day numbers.

- Mayville State University counted 918 students, an 11.4 percent jump from the previous fall first-day enrollment. Officials said this is the largest fall first-day headcount since 2005. Final enrollment last fall was 887.

- Valley City State University counted 1,190 students, a 9.9 percent jump. The university boasted that the freshman count of 226 was a 46 percent increase, the biggest class of freshmen since 1988. It credited new academic and athletic programs with the growth. The final count for VCSU last fall was 1,083.

- Minot State University counted 3,744 students, a 6 percent increase. The final count last fall was 3,649.