Dickinson State University recently enacted changes to provide students with an even more affordable tuition as part of a program approved by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) during a meeting held in May. The program detailed a “New North Dakotan” undergraduate tuition rate for students in 21 states and Canadian provinces.

The impacts of the changes are already being seen in Dickinson as Dickinson State University’s 2021 summer semester enrollment posted the highest number of students in more than a decade. With 382 Blue Hawks enrolled in summer courses the university confirmed that the enrollment was an increase of 57% over last summer alone.

“At Dickinson State, we provide a tremendous value,” Steve Easton, Dickinson State University President, said. “Our students have many opportunities inside and outside the classroom, at a very reasonable price. Students from throughout the American West will now have an even more affordable opportunity to obtain a small private school experience at Dickinson State at a low public school cost."

Easton added, "We are pleased to help our students graduate with little or no debt.”

The University has continued its public commitments of enabling students to graduate on time, while providing more classes than in previous years.

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Students taking summer classes were required to complete the same workload of a regular 16-week class, but in half the time.

“It is tough on students who have to keep up with homework and twice-a-week labs,” Dr. Katsu Ogawa, associate professor of chemistry, said. “The highly-motivated summer students made teaching a summer course really enjoyable.”

For some students, the summer courses were an introduction to higher education and provided many with their first opportunity at taking a college class.

“The experience was a little overwhelming,” K-Lynn Bennetti, a freshman nursing student, said. “It felt like it went by so fast. Since it was my very first class ever, I didn't know what to expect but I just buckled down and gave it my all.”

Bennetti is a CNA who said she is taking the classes in order to advance her career opportunities.

“I just know I wanted to do more than just that," she said. "(Nursing) is a great career to have and to better support my family.”

Other students familiar with summer classes, shared why they enjoy the added workload and abbreviated timeframe of the courses.

“I started taking summer classes a couple of years ago to finish up my degree. This is my first time having an on-campus summer class, though,” Jess Olson, a nursing student, said. “Summer classes are nice because the semester goes by quickly, but that also makes the semester hard as well. For me, I had to work on my classes every day during the eight weeks to keep up with them. Overall, it was a good experience and ended up well.”

Olson's aspirations to become a nurse prompted her to enroll in three summer courses this year.

For information about the upcoming fall semester classes, that begin on August 23, visit www.dickinsonstate.edu.