DSU spring enrollment downDickinson State University student enrollment numbers for the spring semester are down compared to last year and university officials say it could be due to a number of reasons.
Dickinson State University student enrollment numbers for the spring semester are down compared to last year and university officials say it could be due to a number of reasons.
Preliminary numbers from the North Dakota University System show DSU with a spring headcount of 2,278, lower than last year’s 2,475.
Norman Coley Jr., interim director of enrollment services for DSU, said there isn’t any specific factor that attributed to the decrease.
“We know a number of our students had to discontinue due to personal or financial reasons, so that’s part of the reason for the decrease,” Coley said. “We traditionally have a number of students that transition out of the university in between semesters or what have you, and this year we had an increase in our transfer students that came into the university.”
Student enrollment over the past five years has fluctuated.
“There has been a tremendous amount of transfers; is basically where we are seeing the most growth in between fall and spring semesters,” Coley said. “This last year we saw definitely a shift with that, and I think part of it has to do with the economic situations as a state and as a nation that we’re dealing with as well.”
Comparing the last 10 years, spring enrollment fluctuated slightly, while fall enrollment steadily grew, according to numbers provided by DSU.
Eli Turnbough, DSU Student Senate president, said there has been a lot of growth at DSU, and though it stretched services some, Turnbough said “it’s a good problem to have.”
“More students means there can be more services offered and more opportunity,” Turnbough said. “The school was doing a very good job with the resources we had and doing a very good job to accommodate all students.”
Turnbough said he’s not surprised with spring enrollment numbers, adding he thinks students transferring and the economy have something to do with the drop.
“I have friends that, they don’t go back to school because they go and get a job or have spring fever and they don’t want to be in the classroom, different things,” Turnbough said.
Turnbough said he doesn’t believe the drop in enrollment will be detrimental to the university.
Reasoning behind students not wishing to continue at DSU are personal, health, economic, etc., he added.
While Coley said it’s too early to tell what the fall enrollment will look like, he said the university is “very optimistic.”
“We are working to recruit some of the bright students within the state of North Dakota and surrounding regions, but also globally as well,” Coley said.
While DSU’s numbers are down, the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University had record spring enrollments of 12,733 students and 13,411 respectively. NDSU said earlier this week this is the 11th straight time it has set a spring enrollment record.
A spokesperson for the North Dakota University System declined comment on the overall outlook on university system spring enrollment, because the final report is not finalized.