In the aftermath of WWII: The Spectrum reports record enrollment rates
Every week, The features section will comb through the scanned archives of past Spectrum articles and bring back into light things that may perhaps, be forgotten.
On October 3rd, 1946 The Spectrum boldly printed “College may pass 2,200 Mark.”
With current 2019 fall enrollment at NDSU totaling 13,173 students one can only imagine what a total of 2,200 students looked like.
But, in the height of WWII The Spectrum reports, “The first big wartime drop of enrollment came in 1943-44, when only 653 students attended college.”
Take a moment to reflect about what college may have been like during the midst of WWII? How do you think it was as a student?
*NDCS was used to refer to NDSU during that time and up until 1960, NDSU was known as North Dakota Agriculture Collage (NDAC) with the name change to what we now know as NDSU, taking place December of 1960.*
The article then goes on to exuberantly highlight, “Enrollment at NDSC is expected to shatter all previous records this week as registration is completed for the school’s first actual post-war year.”
Registration was at records high because, There was something that was passed in congress that would change veterans rights forever, commonly known as the GI-Bill.
The GI-Bill signed into law June 22, 1944 by Franklin D. Roosevelt acted as a safety net for veterans returning from WWII legally binding them with education, housing, loan forgiveness, and unemployment benefits.
Because of the GI Bill, Veteran’s went to school like never before and The Spectrum reports, “Swelling class rolls are hundreds of war veterans being schooled under the U.S. government’s G.I. bill of rights.”
According to the Department of Veteran Affairs website the GI Bill was created, “from a desire to avoid the missteps following World War I, when discharged Veterans got little more than a $60 allowance and a train ticket home.”
The Spectrum Article published October 3rd, 1946 was the first printed of the year and reported “swelling enrollment” due to the GI Bill.
All in all, examining this past article allows us to reflect back on post WWII America and gives a hint on what NDSU was like in the hectic years to come after WWII.