DICKINSON, N.D. - Dickinson State University is a bit more crowded this year.
The University once had a peak of about 2,800 students, but then enrollment fell sharply.
For the second straight year, student enrollment is back on the rise.
It's up 8 percent from 2015. Students with current or prior military benefits doubled, and enrollment of first-year students increased nine percent. There was also a double digit increase in first to second year student retention, something university leaders hope becomes a trend.
“We have struggled with our first to second year retention rate for the last several years and so to see a jump of 10 percent is extraordinary and it takes the work of an entire campus to do that,” said Provost Carmen Wilson
Wilson said the goal is to get the student body up around 2,000 students in the next few years.