UND moves enrollment needle forward for third year in row

University tallies include 9-percent uptick in new freshmen students compared with 2020 Census Day count

In addition to boasting the highest enrollment of new freshmen in three years, UND also announced recently that this year’s class of new freshmen, as a group, tied the all-time high record for average high school GPA, at 3.55, first set by last year’s class of new freshman. Photo by Shawna Schill.

UND’s 2021 fall semester is in high gear, and data shows there’s more students on campus to take in all the University has to offer.

Census Day — the official enrollment-tallying period for all North Dakota University System institutions — came and went last week, with UND posting an overall student headcount of 13,772 students. That’s a little more than 1 percent higher, or 157 students, than in fall 2020, and is UND’s highest total enrollment since 2018.

The University has seen steady growth the past three years, quite an achievement given the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. And the growth comes at a time when many other schools in the region and nationwide are reporting enrollment declines.

Leading the way for UND, this fall, was the School for Graduate Studies, which tallied an increase in students for the fourth year in a row. The School’s enrollment of 3,538 represents a 7 percent increase, or 234 more students than last year’s Census Day count. UND grad students also are enjoying a new space to call their own on campus — the Gershman Graduate Center . The center, housed in the renovated former J. Lloyd Stone House and made possible by the generosity of Hal and Kathleen Gershman, is slated to hold a public Open House during Homecoming 2021, next month.

UND also saw a modest surge in new freshmen students, coming in at 1,755 — nearly 9 percent or 142 students more than last year. This is the third year in a row that UND has experienced an increase in new freshmen students. This year’s class of new freshmen, as a group, also tied the all-time high record for average high school GPA, at 3.55, first set by last year’s class of new freshmen.

Also, both the UND School of Law and the School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) posted increases in new students this fall. The SMHS recorded an overall enrollment of 281 students, while the School of Law came in with an overall count of 235 students.

New students overall — not just freshman and professional students — also are up this year, with 3,585 people taking classes from UND for the first time. That’s an increase of 2 percent, or 71 students more than in 2020.

These students are arriving at time of great transformation on the UND campus, with the aforementioned Gershman Graduate Center, a brand-new Memorial Union, a completely renovated Chester Fritz Library, revamped University Avenue and new east-west pedestrian plaza slicing through the heart of campus, the coming of the new Nistler College of Business & Public Administration and signs of new and renovated student housing rising up just west of the English Coulee.

It’s truly a great time to be at UND!

Past UND Census Day Headcounts:

2020: 13,615

2019: 13,581

2018: 13,847