Williston State College is gearing up for a huge increase in students next year. The new Williams County Scholarship is having a huge impact on enrollment.
With several high school graduations taking place this weekend, many students are looking to further their education. Williston State College is expecting record numbers this fall.
"We have seen a dramatic increase in application and enrollment already. Our applications for the fall semester are already up 117 percent, so we've been very busy," said Kaylyn Bondy, WSC registrar.
Much of this increase is due to the new Williams County Scholarship. The scholarship provides up to two years of tuition and books for graduates of Williams County high schools. Some of this year's grads are taking advantage of this opportunity.
"I think there's over 100 students in my grade that are coming here, so it's kind of going to be like high school all over again, in a sense," said Eliel LaFavor, future WSC student.
The scholarship is causing many students to adjust their post-high school plans to include Williston State.
"I was planning on going to either Boise State or UND, and I had to take this opportunity because it's way cheaper," LaFavor said.
And the scholarship has Williston State well ahead of usual enrollment.
"Enrollment, as far as that goes, typically the numbers we see in late July are what we're already seeing now. We have 325 already enrolled students," Bondy said.
While final enrollment numbers won't be known until the fall semester begins, one thing is clear already: the scholarship will provide much-needed relief.
"I can't imagine what this is doing for families who are able to participate in this. I mean, what a great opportunity for students to come, start their first two years, and have some of that stress and burden lifted off of them," Bondy said.
And more students will likely take advantage of this opportunity in the years to come.
"I just hope future classes take advantage of this," LaFavor said. "Because college is expensive and saving up money at this stage of our life is very crucial."
WSC is expecting enrollment to surpass 1,000 students next fall.