NDSU’s first day enrollment includes a freshman class of 2,240, on par with the previous year’s first year class. Overall, the first day enrollment is 13,135. Students are still registering, and the official census data will be available September 25. The academic profile of the first year students continues to be strong, with an average ACT of 24 and average high school grade point average of 3.5.
First day graduate student enrollment also is on par with previous years, with 302 new graduate students and a total of 1,866.
“Nationally, enrollment numbers have shown some decline in the past couple of years, due primarily to demographics and more competitive market conditions,” said Laura Oster-Aaland, NDSU’s vice provost for student affairs and enrollment management. “NDSU continues to offer an excellent educational experience at a competitive price, and our graduates overwhelmingly report they consider their NDSU educations to be excellent investments.”
Oster-Aaland identified a number of other key activities that influence the overall enrollment number, particularly the positive increase in graduation rates.
“Substantial improvements to our graduation rates is a significant and very positive factor,” she said. “As a result of purposeful, campus-wide efforts in pedagogical training, technological implementation, and policy changes, we have logged steady improvements in critical student success measurements over the past five years.”
From Fall 2013 to Fall 2018, four-year graduation rates increased 11 percentage points (26.9 to 37.8 percent). “That is an enormous increase in such a short time period,” Oster-Aaland said.
Contributing factors to this large increase in graduation rate include:
- The percentage of undergraduate students who enrolled in 15 or more credits increased from 56.2 to 64.9 percent.
- Due to a targeted effort in first-year gateway courses, failure or withdrawal rates were reduced by as much as 30 percent.
- Academic advisors are using the app Navigate, an electronic advising platform to monitor student progress, identify at-risk students, and facilitate productive advising appointments. Other student support professionals also use the Navigate platform to better assist students in scheduling appointments and coordinating referrals between advising and support services.
- A program called College Scheduler supports NDSU’s goals of reducing time-to-degree completion, as well as reducing stress during advising and registration processes.
- In addition, NDSU eliminated the “last 30 credits in residence” graduation policy. Supporting students’ ability to complete coursework at another institution and transfer the credit back to NDSU recognizes the mobility of students today and their desire to access their educations in unconventional ways. Access to technology and the awareness of our global student population supported elimination of the policy to support graduation efforts, regardless of a student’s location.
Other initiatives include:
- New transfer guides have been completed to simplify the process for students who chose to attend a community college prior to attending NDSU.
- A new mobile friendly application for admission has been launched.
- NDSU is not requiring an application fee to reduce barriers to submitting applications
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