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College enrollment numbers see slight decrease

College enrollment in North Dakota has been slowly declining from its peak in 2010.
College enrollment in North Dakota has been slowly declining from its peak in 2010.(KFYR-TV)
Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 8:42 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Many colleges across the country are questioning the safety of returning to campus in the fall. And even if North Dakota college students do return full-time, enrollment numbers could be far from ideal.

College enrollment in the state has been slowly declining from its peak in 2010.

Community college numbers are down 6%, research universities down 8% and regional universities have declined by 20%.   

Now, with students wary about returning to campus because of the pandemic and paying full tuition for a completely online schedule, enrollment numbers could take another hit.

“Just like we are seeing across the nation, there has been a slight dip in the enrollment numbers and students are making decisions currently over the summer about the direction of the pandemic and what their decision for enrollment will be,” said University of North Dakota President Andrew Armacost.

Armacost said UND will offer hybrid instruction with face-to-face and online classes. University system leaders say they’re confident in the model, since 26% of students in the state are already taking blended courses.

Armacost said the numbers are still preliminary and they’ll have a better idea of their enrollment totals later in the summer.

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