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DSU fall enrollment down from last year

Press Photo by Bryan Horwath From left, first-year Dickinson State University students Sohyeoun You, Kilah Lee, Ye Eun Tak and Seonglm Yu make their way to the school's all campus picnic Monday afternoon at King Pavilion. Exchange students from Korea, the four will study at DSU for one year.

Though numbers won't be official for about a month, Dickinson State University's enrollment was reported to be down sharply on the eve of the first full day of classes.

As of late Monday afternoon, DSU had 1,342 students enrolled for fall 2013 classes, according to an email sent to The Press by Marie Moe, DSU's executive director of enrollment services.

Though Moe pointed out that enrollment numbers are not final until late September, if the current number holds true, it would represent a 27 percent decline in enrolled students from the fall 2012 semester, according to data obtained from the North Dakota University System.

"The official enrollment numbers for fall 2013 will be available after the fourth week of classes," Moe stated in the email. "As of 4 p.m. today, there are 1,342 students enrolled in courses at DSU. New students were encouraged to have all admissions documents submitted by Aug. 20."

The breakdown by class for 2013 fall semester enrollees as of Monday afternoon were 347 freshmen, 224 sophomores, 215 juniors and 556 seniors. There were only 290 juniors enrolled at DSU last fall.

Though the enrollment numbers told one story -- albeit a story that is not yet complete -- the mood on campus Monday painted a different picture as smiling students, family and friends, faculty and staff converged on King Pavilion for a campus picnic.

On her way to the picnic, Kilah Lee -- along with her fellow Korean exchange student friends Seonglm Yu, Sohyeoun You and Ye Eun Tak -- said she was looking forward to the school year.

"We are excited to welcome our new and returning Blue Hawks to campus this week," Moe said. "We are looking forward to a great year."

Though all six NDUS universities were contacted by The Press in a request for each of the institution's fall enrollment numbers as of Monday, only DSU and a representative from Minot State University responded.

MSU spokesperson Susan Ness stated in an email that "anything announced today would be speculative, as numbers wax and wane for the next month as students come and go."

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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