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State Retention of Graduates at Highest Level

Posted on 2/7/2012

For More Information Contact:
John R. Irby, Public Affairs Consultant
North Dakota University System
Phone: 701.328.2962

BISMARCK, N.D. - Almost 68 percent of North Dakota University System's 7,884 graduates from 2009 were employed or re-enrolled during the 2010 academic year - the highest state retention rate since an annual "Follow-Up Report" began. The number of graduates retained totaled 5,260.

The report, released by NDUS and "Follow-Up on North Dakota Education and Training," found that 2009 graduate retention rose 3.5 percent to 67.7 percent from 64.2 percent in 2008 and 5.2 percent from 2007 (62.5 percent). For a copy of the full report, go to

"Economic climate, diversity and opportunity contributed to the increase," said William Goetz, North Dakota University System chancellor. "Other factors are the increased role of our community colleges, quality of life and the increased opportunity and appeal of our graduate programs which has increased growth at our research universities."

While 7,884 individuals graduated, 802 of those students also earned second degrees and another 1,927 earned minors. The prevalent choice of graduates was a baccalaureate degree (55.6 percent). Twenty-six percent earned undergraduate certificates, diplomas and/or associate degrees. Almost 15 percent earned graduate degrees and 3.4 percent earned professional degrees.

Within a year of graduation in 2009, 63.1 percent of those students (4,972) were employed in North Dakota. Gender breakdown of graduates was 34 percent female and 29.1 percent male.

The report includes other data such as the percentages of graduate by age: Between 20-29 (81 percent), 30-39 (10.1 percent), 40-49 (4.8 percent), under-20 (2.2 percent) and 50-and-older (2 percent). Accordingly, similar percentages were found by age groups employed in North Dakota.

Additional data includes breakdowns by profiles such as ethnicity; in- and out-of-state residency; degree levels; and primary, secondary, minors or areas of study.

For more information contact Mike Hillman, vice chancellor of academic and student affairs at 701-328-2965 or, or Michelle Olsen, research analyst, at 701-224-2540 or

Bismarck State CollegeDakota College at BottineauDickinson State UniversityLake Region State CollegeMayville State UniversityMinot State UniversityNorth Dakota State College of ScienceNorth Dakota State UniversityUniversity of North DakotaValley City State UniversityWilliston State College
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