Spring Enrollment Down But Still ‘Pretty Normal’

Enrollment at North Dakota State is down over 1,000 students from fall.

NDSU had 13,478 students enrolled at the start of spring 2016, as opposed to 14,516 enrolled in the fall semester.

Provost Beth Ingram said the decline in students between fall and spring semesters is “a pretty normal drop,” as students do graduate in the fall but the traditional bulk of incoming students are freshmen in the fall.

The drop in total enrollment is comprised of 605 less males and 432 less females in spring semester as compared to fall.

There are still more Minnesota residents enrolled at NDSU than North Dakotan residents, with Minnesotans making up over 44 percent of the student population, whereas North Dakotans make up less than 42 percent.

In fall there were more foreign students than U.S. students from states that are not North Dakota and Minnesota, but things have changed.

Now, students from all other U.S. states and territories that are not Minnesota or North Dakota make up 6.93 percent of the student population, compared to foreign students make up 6.87 percent of the student population.

The total number of male and female students in the spring 2016 semester are 7,207 and 6,272, respectively.

Just over 82 percent of students enrolled at NDSU are white, which has remained around the 80 percent mark over the last five years.

Ingram said the cause of this is because NDSU draws most of its students from North Dakota down to the Twin Cities.

“There aren’t a lot of pockets of underrepresented students in those geographical areas, so the population we draw from is pretty homogeneous, which means our student population is also pretty homogeneous,” Ingram said. “Like all universities that are in the Midwest, unless you’re near a big urban area, your demographics are your destiny.”

Four colleges have significant gender gaps this spring.

Females comprise 33.7 percent of College of Business students. The College of Human Development and Education is 26.8 percent male.

The College of Health Professions is nearly 26 percent male, and the College of Engineering is 11 percent female.

Ingram said the gender ratios among the colleges is pretty consistent with other universities, though that is not to say the gender gaps are not of concern.

“It’s a big national conversation, how to get more women and minorities into STEM fields,” Ingram said.

In terms of President Dean Bresciani’s goal to get 18,000 students enrolled at NDSU by 2018, the current enrollment growth does not factor much, Ingram said.

She added 2018 was “just kind of a tagline,” saying that the new students Bresciani wishes to add are graduate students.

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