Jonah Hofmeyer — Staff Writer
Dordt University saw record enrollment in 2020 with 1,666 students, and in 2021 that record was broken again, with enrollment reaching 1,786. This year, enrollment at Dordt has reached 1,858.
Around the U.S., enrollment at colleges and universities has dwindled. Only 16.2 million people enrolled in college for the spring 2022 semester nationwide, with a 14.7 percent decline since 2020, according to educationdata.org. Despite this, enrollment at Dordt continues to go up, defying the national trends.
Robert Taylor, Dean of Students, gives credit to Dordt’s reputation as a school.
“People know what they are getting,” Taylor said. “And they either sign up for it or they don’t.”
Dordt is not the only school in Northwest Iowa to see record enrollment. Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon also has record enrollment this year. According to an article written on NCC’s website, the community college has seen a 5.54 percent increase in enrollment from the fall semester of last year.
Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa has also seen an increase in student population over the past four years. According to an article published on their website, NWC has seen an 8 percent increase in enrollment compared to last fall semester.
With this continued increase in enrollment, Dordt has been expanding its facilities. The recreation center saw some remodeling throughout last year, Covenant Hall had rooms added over the summer to accommodate more students, and Dordt presses on with its plan to build a new dining hall.
Through all of this, Taylor said this enrollment increase will not affect Dordt’s role in education.
“We’re thinking very carefully about how we stay Dordt,” Taylor said. “That’s near and dear to us. And we will stay true to who we say we are.”