WILLISTON, N.D. - Williston State College (WSC) has broken enrollment numbers for the fourth time since Spring 2015 with 1,168 students enrolled this spring according to fourth week census totals released Tuesday, February 7, 2017.
Headcount is up 13.62% compared to Spring 2016 while credit hours (11,153.50) and Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) (743.45) saw an 11.24% increase over last year.
"These record enrollment numbers reflect a couple of factors, first being the high level of scholarship support students receive from the WSC Foundation for various county and regional scholarships," stated Acting President John Miller. "The second factor is the growth in our Early-Entry program and the number of high school students who work with WSC to obtain college credit for coursework while in high school. Finally, the slow recovery of our energy-related industries in northwestern North Dakota has incentivized a number of our students to seek retraining or a college education for the first time."
WSC received fewer initial applications this semester when compared to Spring 2016.
"When students apply, they may be required to submit additional documents and an application fee. Some of these elements might hinder students from enrolling in classes despite applying," stated Leah Windnagle, Director for Enrollment Services. "The fact that we have fewer applicants, but more enrolled shows how serious our applicants are about attending WSC."
A large increase in spring numbers typically comes from Early-Entry (dual-credit). For Spring 2017, WSC saw its Early-Entry headcount increase by 21.45% when compared to Spring 2016. Of the 424 enrolled, 1,793 Early-Entry credit hours were produced, showing an increase of 20.82% over the previous year.
"The Early-Entry numbers this spring reflect some of our new approaches," Kimberli Wray, Director for Extended Learning, stated. "We have added several new high school adjunct professors, allowing for more WSC classes to be offered on high school campuses. We also expanded our communication with schools earlier in the fall, which has allowed us to enroll several students in our online offerings for the spring."
In addition to Early-Entry, 2016-2017 marked the first year WSC's Regional and Williams County Graduate Scholarships worked in concert, providing free tuition and fees up to 16 credits for locals who attended WSC.
"Of our spring enrollment numbers, 78% are from North Dakota," explained Crystal Hotchkiss, WSC Registrar and Research Analyst. "In a rare time where oil is down, our numbers are up which is very impressive. WSC is providing a great opportunity for our state residents to further their education at a discounted rate through our scholarships and Early-Entry programs."
Enrollment projections for Fall 2017 are expected to be higher due to the expansion of the Regional County Scholarship into five Eastern Montana counties. The scholarship now includes 2017 graduates or GED's earned in Burke, Daniels, Divide, McKenzie, Mountrail, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, or Valley counties.
For more information about Spring 2017 census, contact Crystal Hotchkiss at 701.774.4267.
For any information regarding WSC, please visit www.willistonstate.edu,
call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND.