Officials at Northwestern Oklahoma State University are crediting a number of factors for an increase in enrollment for the fall semester.

According to a preliminary enrollment report submitted to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, a total of 2,299 students are attending classes this fall, an increase of 1.1 percent from the same time last year.

Credit hour production reflected the enrollment figures, increasing 1.4 percent.

“Given the strength of the regional economy and the availability of employment opportunities, we are thrilled with the enrollment figures,” said Dr. Janet Cunningham, president. “First and foremost, I feel both our faculty and staff are fully engaged in the recruitment process and have done a great job of informing potential students that Northwestern offers a great education combined with great value.”

Cunningham said Northwestern welcomed 425 new freshmen to its campuses this fall.

She added the University also has bolstered its retention efforts with current students.

“I believe we are working harder than ever to retain students and move them along the process to a degree,” Cunningham said. “Retention is more than providing academic assistance. It involves every facet of the University’s operation, providing excellent service to create a positive experience for every student.”

The increase in enrollment was helped by strong enrollment numbers at the main campus in Alva, where 1,544 students are attending classes, up 1.2 percent from 2011.

Student housing occupancy soared 11 percent with 725 students residing in the school’s four residence halls.

Strong local economies did have an impact on enrollment at branch campuses in Enid and Woodward, where more non-traditional and working students are served.

Enrollment at Northwestern-Enid dipped slightly to 281 students.

After reaching its all-time enrollment high in 2011, enrollment at Northwestern-Woodward leveled off this fall with 267 students attending classes there.

Enrollment at Northwestern’s outreach sites jumped nearly 33 percent to 178 students, 44 more than a year ago. The University also is serving 69 high school students through concurrent enrollment courses.

The sum of Northwestern’s campus enrollments is slightly larger than the total headcount because some students enroll in classes at multiple sites.