Aug 24th, 2010 @ 8:00 am | Author:
Valley City State University today announced first day headcount of 1,190, a 9.9% increase over the final headcount of 1,083 last year. First day new freshman headcount at VCSU is 226, a 46% increase over last year and the largest since 1988.

The increase is due to a number of strategic initiatives that the University has put in place to grow enrollment and increase opportunities for students.

One major initiative the University has had underway is to introduce new academic programs. For example, VCSU's Fisheries and Wildlife major, which was introduced in 2005, has more than doubled in size since last year. The Health Science program, introduced in 2004, grew by more than 30% over last year.

New athletic programs are also contributing to the increase in enrollment. Cross Country and Track & Field are both having inaugural seasons in 2010-2011, and Men's and Women's Golf is entering its second year.

The residency of the freshman class is also changing. In 2009, 57% of the University's freshman class were from North Dakota, and in 2010, that percentage increased to 65%.

In addition, VCSU was recently recognized as a "Best College" by U.S.News for the 13th year in a row, and for the second year in a row, the University was the second highest ranked public college in the Midwest. According to VCSU president Dr. Steve Shirley, "This consistent affirmation demonstrates that VCSU is well-known for delivering an outstanding educational experience and that our reputation is continuing to grow."

Dr. Shirley believes many other factors are also having an impact on enrollment. "Our alumni and donor base has been absolutely fantastic and has really stepped-up to the plate to help us maintain our scholarship base in the face of a very difficult economy, and we have received tremendous support from the community. All of this has contributed to our increased presence, and subsequently, our increased enrollment. We could not be more pleased with our progress in all of these areas."

As one sign of the enrollment increase, the residence hall population increased by nearly 10% this year, following an increase of nearly 7% last year. These increases combined with the closure of Snoeyenbos Hall for renovation has filled the University's residence halls to capacity.

First Day enrollment figures reflect data available as of the first official day of class Fall semester. Final enrollment figures are reported during the fourth week of class Fall semester.

Valley City State University (VCSU) prepares people for life through visionary leadership and exemplary practices in teaching, learning and service. VCSU is nationally acclaimed for attracting and retaining talented individuals who advance quality learning opportunities and economic growth through technology and innovation.