Author Topic: Who has "better" enrolled students, NDSU or UND?  (Read 3996 times)

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Offline Sal Atticum

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Who has "better" enrolled students, NDSU or UND?
« on: September 26, 2011, 09:52:22 am »
An interesting analysis of enrollment numbers and which school and students are "better:"
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Iím wondering why my reply this morning was never approved. Was it something simple like the fact that I quoted my sources at the bottom and the software flagged it as spam? Or was somebody uncomfortable with the facts I was listing? Iíll try again and alter the links at the bottom.

To chilly: Are you serious? Are you so uninformed that you really believe this to be true? If so, youíve been ignoring some easily available facts that show some hard truths about UND.

First of all, it is true that a student taking a single, one-credit online course at NDSU will be included in NDSUís headcount. The thing is, the same is true at UND. And BSC. And VCSU. And NDSCS. And the MSUs. Etc. Itís called a unified system of reporting, and itís mandated by the NDUS/SBoHE. Individual institutions donít get to choose who they count and who they donít(with the obvious exception of DSU, and look how well that turned out).

Moving onÖ Last fall, one of our major campuses had a bit over 95% of its students on campus. The other had a bit over 83%. Guess which was which. If you thought UND was growing the old fashioned way and that NDSU was taking shortcuts, youíd be backwards. More than one out of every eight students in UNDís headcount doesnít set foot on campus. As for NDSU, 19 out of every 20 in their headcount are actually in Fargo, taking classes at the main campus or the downtown campus.

But maybe NDSU has a bunch of part-time students compared to UND. Nope. In fact, the gap gets wider. Last fall, NDSU had more than a thousand full-time students above UNDís number(11,857 vs. 10,845). To put it in percentages, thatís 82.3% full-time at NDSU and 76.4% at UND. Yet another way: UND had 800 more part-time students than NDSU despite being 200 students smaller overall(3349/UND Ė 2550/NDSU = 799).

Well, maybe part-time students at UND take a bunch of classes compared to part-timers at NDSU. Sorry, not really the case. The 2550 NDSU part-time students accounted for 12,324 credit hours for an average of 4.83 credits per student. The 3349 part-time students at UND accounted for 17,136 credit hours for an average of 5.12 credits per student. I donít really think a difference of 0.28 credits is that big a deal(the math doesnít quite match because of rounding errors).

What Iím trying to drill into some skulls is that the reality of the situation is quite a bit different than many of you believe(including many legislators apparently). NDSUís growth was based off of recruiting traditional, on-campus students that benefit North Dakota. They live in Fargo. They work in Fargo. They pay ND income taxes. They pay ND/Fargo sales taxes. Through their rent, they pay property taxes. They buy things from ND businesses. They contribute. UNDís growth(and that of many of the other NDUS campuses) is built on off-campus growth. UND in particular has been targeting online students from outside ND and even outside the US. Everything that the traditional students contribute to ND, these students donít. If you want to attack a campus for ďsubsidizing the education of out of state residentsĒ, you should be looking much closer to home.

Okay, lecture over; Iíll step off of my soapbox. Since itís possible it was the linking of my sources that put my previous post in the trashcan, Iíll just tell you where I got my numbers. Go to the NDUS website. Click ĎReports & Informationí. The on-campus vs. off-campus numbers came from a report entitled: 2011 Student Affordability Report. The rest came from: REVISED 2010 Fall Enrollment Report.
from http://topics.areavoices.com/2011/09/20/und-enrollment-exceeds-ndsu-for-first-time-since-2007/ (Grand Forks Herald).

What do you think?  Who has the "better" enrollment, and why does it matter?
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Offline gh

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Re: Who has "better" enrolled students, NDSU or UND?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2011, 01:16:48 pm »
That was an interesting article and some very interesting facts. I do think that for funding purposes, the campus with more students that set foot on campus should get more funding. Did you know that for funding NDSU only gets $4919 per student while UND gets $6249, Williston gets $7564, and Valley City gets $9313 per student? You can see the breakdown here: http://issuu.com/spectrumslides/docs/september_23__2011.

Quote
What Iím trying to drill into some skulls is that the reality of the situation is quite a bit different than many of you believe(including many legislators apparently). NDSUís growth was based off of recruiting traditional, on-campus students that benefit North Dakota. They live in Fargo. They work in Fargo. They pay ND income taxes. They pay ND/Fargo sales taxes. Through their rent, they pay property taxes. They buy things from ND businesses. They contribute. UNDís growth(and that of many of the other NDUS campuses) is built on off-campus growth. UND in particular has been targeting online students from outside ND and even outside the US. Everything that the traditional students contribute to ND, these students donít. If you want to attack a campus for ďsubsidizing the education of out of state residentsĒ, you should be looking much closer to home.

That's an interesting point, and maybe this person does have a point about that too. Afterall, if you are educating the future generations, you would think that you would want those people to stay in the state and contribute to the economy, taxes, etc., so it makes more sense to give more funding to the schools that encourage people to stay in state.

Sal, in response to your question, if numbers are what matter, UND has the "better" enrollment, but if counting the number of students on campus, then NDSU has the "better" enrollment.

Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Who has "better" enrolled students, NDSU or UND?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2011, 01:32:34 pm »
Sal, in response to your question, if numbers are what matter, UND has the "better" enrollment, but if counting the number of students on campus, then NDSU has the "better" enrollment.
Which follows from the idea that students who are on campus are worth something different than students who are online--which I completely understand.  It's something I never thought about before.  In terms of making money for the university, online students are cash cows (if I understand what that phrase means), but in terms of economic development for the state, which seems to be the argument by some for the reason we have state universities in the first place, on-campus students have more of an economic impact.
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Offline pmp6nl

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Re: Who has "better" enrolled students, NDSU or UND?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2011, 10:19:03 pm »
I don't think you can determine which is "better" in that way.  Wouldn't you look at something like grades.. despite how inflated, inaccurate they can be?  Surely grades are still better at determining the quality of a student..?  Maybe include extracurricular activities?

I think there needs to be a really big discussion with all of the colleges and universities.  Some potential questions: why are there funding inequalities and are they fair? What are the goals of your college/university?  What types and numbers of students are you trying to reach?  How are you similar and different than other schools in the state?.. Stuff like that, I think we need to get down to the basics and figure out what we are all trying to do.

At that point we can look at online vs. on-campus students.  How are they the same and how are they different?  Should we be charing them differently?  How do costs, investment, needed infrastructure, return on investment, etc. play into all of this?

Right now it seems like most schools nationwide are just increasing online course availability to be cash cows.. after all the online courses cost a lot more, when you think the costs of running the course would be lower than a traditional course.
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