May 20, 2024

Dordt outpaces other schools in enrolling out-of-state students

Dordt University distinguishes itself from comparable institutions by attracting 66.1% of its freshman class from out-of-state, fostering an engaged community that aligns with the university's Christ-centered mission.

According to recent findings, 66.1% of Dordt University freshmen are originally from out of state—a much higher percentage than most other comparable colleges and universities.

“This means that, by attending Dordt, students will make lifelong friends from across the country and around the world,” says Eric Tudor, director of emerging markets.

Last year, nearly 500 incoming undergraduate students enrolled at Dordt from over 230 different high schools and other secondary education institutions. “In doing so, these students deliberately moved outside their comfort zone, built meaningful relationships, and began preparing themselves for a lifetime of community-building,” says Tudor.

It is expected that most public universities would have higher in-state rates. About 38% of freshmen at Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa) are from out of state, as are 41.5% of freshmen at University of Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa); approximately 36% of freshmen from the University of South Dakota (Vermillion, South Dakota) come from out of state.

“I assumed that most Christian colleges had student body populations that reflected what we have at Dordt,” says Tudor. “It was interesting to learn that most Christian colleges, though, are very regionalized.”

Research shows that 37% of freshmen at Calvin University (Grand Rapids, Michigan) come from out of state. Approximately 40% of Northwestern College (Orange City, Iowa) freshmen originated from outside of the state of Iowa. Taylor University (Upland, Indiana) has about 55.6% of its freshmen class from out of state.

Another nearby private institution, Augustana University (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), had about 51% of its freshmen population come from outside of the state of South Dakota.

“I always tell students that, whether the college is 1,500 feet or 1,500 miles from your front door, choose the school that best aligns with your perspectives and objectives,” adds Tudor. “For many students, this means moving across the continent. For local students who resonate with Dordt’s Christ-centered mission, it just happens that the best-fit college for them is in their backyard—but that our student body includes students from California, Colorado, Canada, and beyond.”

The data, compiled through Lightcast, is reflective of Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data.

About Dordt University

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Times Higher Education,, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

A picture of campus behind yellow prairie flowers