Colleges are seeing a drop in enrollment, area schools seeing a similar trend

Published: Aug. 27, 2019 at 10:57 PM CDT
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North Dakota State University is starting out the 2019 school year with around 600 fewer students than reported last fall. Back in 2014, 14,747 students were enrolled at NDSU. This fall, first-day enrollment sits at 13,135.

Colleges across the country have been reporting a drop in enrollment for the last several years.

NDSU is not alone when it comes to declining enrollment. A check at the University of North Dakota and MSU-M shows a similar trend.

“Nationally, enrollment numbers have shown some decline in the past couple of years, due primarily to demographics and more competitive market conditions,” said Laura Oster-Aaland, NDSU’s vice provost for student affairs and enrollment management.

As for Joshua Franklin decided not to go to college because he says he didn't want to spend the money when he was able to get a job without the degree.

"It just seemed like too much money to put myself into,” Franklin said. “ It just doesn't add up in the end. I would rather go out and work a nine to five and work my way up the ladder than go to school for it."

Luke Daley, on the other hand, is back at school saying its extremely important. However, he adds it’s not for everyone.

"There's plenty of industries and professions and disciplines that don't necessarily require that in the class experience,” Daley said. “It's more about on-the-job experience."

Students like Salena Rock say education is vital for her career path so she sees the importance of higher education.

"I'm going to be, I hope one day, a physical therapist and so I'll take classes to get me there," Rock said.

Some attribute the downward trend to young adults are turning away from degrees because guarantees for more money or jobs are not there.

NDSU Annual Fall Enrollment:

MSU-M Institutional Annual Reports:

UND Official Enrollment Reports:


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