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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published September 22 2010

Record college enrollments in North Dakota

Enrollment is up at eastern North Dakota colleges and universities, with several campuses breaking records.

The University of North Dakota and Mayville State University reported all-time-high enrollments.

Valley City State University is reporting its largest enrollment in 40 years, and the North Dakota State College of Science has its largest enrollment in 25 years.

At North Dakota State University, enrollment growth was modest, but the university set a record for the 11th consecutive year.

Campuses in the North Dakota University System reported official fall enrollment figures on Tuesday.

Officials attribute the enrollment growth to the addition of new programs, improved facilities and an expansion of delivery methods, such as online courses.

NDSCS has 170 students taking classes exclusively in Fargo this fall with the addition of a new paramedic program and a new two-year liberal arts degree available in Fargo.

NDSCS President John Richman expects enrollment to continue increasing for the overall college and in Fargo as the college responds to the needs of business and industry.

“It’s good for the state of North Dakota because we’re going to then have more graduates that can then go to work in North Dakota who can then reduce the work-force shortage that is in North Dakota currently,” Richman said.

NDSU has a 2 percent increase in undergraduate students with 11,977 students. Graduate enrollment of 2,084 students is down slightly from last year’s count of 2,103.

Graduate School Dean David Wittrock said applications were up 18 percent this fall, but NDSU admitted about 1 percent fewer students.

“We have a lot of programs that are comfortable with the number of students that they have,” Wittrock said.

UND’s enrollment of 14,194 students broke the previous enrollment record of 13,187 set in 2004.

UND’s Graduate School had a 14 percent enrollment increase with 2,560 students. Undergraduate enrollment also is up with 11,139 students.

Valley City State reported a nearly 19 percent enrollment increase, with the largest freshman class since 1988.

Mayville State’s enrollment of 982 students broke the university’s previous record of 924 students set in 1969.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590