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UND sees freshman gain, overall loss in fall enrollment numbers

UND’s fall enrollment numbers showing week four headcounts are in, showing a decline in total undergraduates balanced by a rise in first-year students.

Overall undergraduate enrollment stands at 14,406, a drop of 1.7 percent from last fall. However, even as that number has fallen, the flow of incoming students has increased. Enrollments of new freshmen picked up by about 1 percent, resulting in a population of 1,939 students.

UND President Mark Kennedy said he was pleased with the growth, pointing to the larger freshmen class as an indicator of the school’s future undergraduate numbers. According to a university press release, Kennedy said recruitment is focused on bringing in “high quality” classes of strong students.

This year’s freshmen have an average ACT score of 24 and an average high school GPA of 3.47. That second statistic gives these freshmen a slight edge over last fall’s class of newcomers, which had an average GPA of 3.46, for the school’s most academically prepared freshman class. A UND press release also states the class includes 11 National Merit Scholars.

The qualifications of UND freshmen have followed a steady upturn over the past five years. The freshmen who came to campus in fall 2015 had a then-record average 3.42 GPA and 24 ACT. The incoming class in 2012 had an average 3.33 GPA and a 23.5 ACT.

The boost to freshmen students was accompanied by a 5 percent increase in the number of transfer students who came to UND this fall. There was also a 4 percent increase in the number of UND students seeking professional degrees, with 544 individuals divided between the School of Law and School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Both professional schools absorbed a real increase of about 10 students each.

UND’s other postgraduate programs also saw an increase in enrollments since last fall. There are now 2,073 students seeking master’s degrees, an increase of eight. The total number of Ph.D., candidates grew by even more, adding 20 students to reach a fall 2017 total of 666.

UND also added on to the number of students pursuing degrees over the web. As of fall 2017, 3,537 students are enrolled in distance-only programs, an increase of about 190. The number of students who take a hybrid schedule of both in-class and online credits rose by 833 to this fall’s total of 2,799.

Andrew Haffner

Andrew Haffner covers higher education and general assignment stories for the Grand Forks Herald. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he studied journalism, political science and international studies. He previously worked at the Dickinson Press.

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