Press Releases

University of North Dakota’s official press release archive.

UND sees strongest enrollment growth in more than 10 years

Class of 2027 group photo
UND’s Class of 2027 poses for the traditional group photo in late August. According to UND estimates, some 1,383 students are included in the photo, which might make this the largest new-student photo that the University has taken to date. Photo by Shawna Schill/UND.

UND’s enrollment has continued to grow, defying national trends and topping out at more than 14,000 students this fall for the first time since 2017.

This year’s total enrollment of 14,172 students represents an increase of 296 students or 2.13% over the Fall 2022 figure, UND’s Official Census Headcount shows. Sept. 18 was Fall Census Day, the official enrollment-tallying period for all North Dakota University System institutions.

“It is an exciting time to be at UND,” said Janelle Kilgore, vice provost for Strategic Enrollment Management. “Throughout our admissions cycle, we have had the energy and desire to educate prospective students about the value of UND. It is humbling that new students are selecting us, as we truly believe we have the best education and student experience around.”

The new figure represents the University’s fourth straight year of total enrollment growth, and the strongest growth — in both absolute terms and percentage figures — in more than 10 years. That’s a notable trend, given that many other upper Midwestern institutions are reporting enrollment declines, and that total graduate and undergraduate enrollment nationwide fell 7% from spring 2019 to spring 2023, as the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center has reported.

“In a time when higher education enrollment has been declining nationally, more students are seeing UND as a place of educational excellence, one that features a vibrant and meaningful community with rewarding student life experiences and a caring and engaged faculty and staff,” said Eric Link, UND’s provost and vice-president of Academic Affairs.

The quality of students the University attracts remains on a positive trajectory, as well. UND had a 16.63% increase in new freshmen Presidential Scholars, and the University once again enrolled eight new freshmen National Merit Finalists and Semi-Finalists from North Dakota and Minnesota.

The University’s retention rate of first-time, full-time students has also increased to 82.96%, up from 78.87% for the previous year’s cohort. “Our academic advisors and student success staff across campus work hard to make sure individual student needs are met,” said Karyn Plumm, vice provost for Undergraduate Studies & Student Success.

“They encourage students to get connected to faculty mentors, experiential learning opportunities, each other, and resources that help them along their journey. The meaningful and positive interactions students have with all members of our campus community help to increase our retention.”

The enrollment of new freshmen from North Dakota has increased by more than 8%. Most of the increase in the University’s Total Enrollment took place in the category of Total Undergraduate Enrollment, which jumped to 10,216 — up 288 students or 2.9% from last year’s figure. Meanwhile, the number of New Transfer students is up more than 10%, with 1,015 New Transfer students enrolling.

The enrollment growth and rise in retention rates are an important signal of the value and impact of a UND education. “The University of North Dakota has been intentional in focusing on the student experience and fully expects higher retention and upward enrollment trends,” said Art Malloy, vice president of Student Affairs.

“We are proud of our caring faculty who manage the in-class experience and of our dedicated staff, who partner with faculty to offer support, promote student engagement, create a greater sense of belonging, and prepare students in a variety of ways for life as professionals.”