Dickinson State University’s (DSU) official fall 2023 census reported a total headcount enrollment of 1453 students registered, compared to 1473 in fall 2022, representing a 1.36% decline in overall headcount.

“We are down just a bit from last fall, and we would always like to be increasing our enrollment,” stated Steve Easton, DSU president. “But it is a positive that we are basically holding our own in a very competitive environment for students. We are still up about eight percent during the COVID-19 period, that is, from fall of 2019 to this fall.”

Early entry enrollment headcount jumped from 229 to 236 from a year ago, an increase of 3.06%. Graduate degree seeking students remained the same from a year ago at 16 incoming students.

Highlights from fall 2023 enrollment data:

  • A leap Early Entry has boosted DSU’s headcount and reinforces the institution’s commitment to helping students access low-cost, quality instruction. The partnerships with area schools helped students continue to pursue career pathways while in high school.
  • DSU added another graduate program, Master’s of Education in Educational Leadership, which offers learners the option to complete advanced degrees at home and help boost the administration in K-12 schools. With the addition of the new graduate degree option, DSU has six graduate degrees for students to expand their education to meet their career goals.
  • DSU’s dual mission focus and expanded accessibility offerings have allowed place-bound learners, especially in critical-need fields such as education, fire science, and welding, the opportunity to study in ways that fit their lifestyles and the northwest region of North Dakota.
  • Strong scholarship support of $1.3 million by the DSU Heritage Foundation provides opportunities for students to reduce their cost of attendance. DSU also implemented another tuition freeze that freezes tuition until summer 2025.
  • The number of students living on campus has residence halls at near capacity, thus continuing to support the local Dickinson economy.

"We continue to see the impact of declining freshman due to decreasing high school graduates,” added Holly Gruhlke, vice president. “We hope to correct this by exploring and offering programs students want, where and how they want them, including advancing opportunities in career and technical education. The admissions team worked closely with academic departments and athletics to ensure enrollment was steady. While this result wasn't an increase, it's still a positive reflection of student interest in DSU programming, particularly our graduate options."