News Release – Diné College Maintains Student Enrollment For Spring 2021 Despite Pandemic

Diné College Maintains Student Enrollment For Spring 2021 Despite Pandemic


Jan. 25, 2021

TSAILE, Ariz.— Diné College continues to maintain enrollment at the same level as before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The number of enrolled students represents a high amount, considering the Covid-19 outbreak, college officials said. But despite the outbreak, Diné College Director of Enrollment Management Priscilla Leonard confirmed a total enrollment of 1,233 for the Spring 2021 semester. During spring 2020, the enrollment at the same time was 1,261.

“It’s an unusual and unfortunate situation that we are in with this pandemic,” Leonard said. “But we have good numbers which I attribute to a very committed enrollment management team, marketing and communications department, the admissions office, registrar’s office, the academic advisors, program coordinators and financial aid reps.”

Leonard said there are 138 more part-time students this time around and 77 transfer students, compared with 87 transfers from the Fall semester.

“We’re holding onto our enrollment numbers from last year despite the interruption of in-person classes due to the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing us to go online,” said Director of Marketing & Communications George Joe.

“In fact, some students couldn’t get into the classes they wanted during online registration because classes were full,” said Joe. “As a result, we have more part-time status students this semester.”

The most recent January issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education has an article about higher education enrollment decline due to the pandemic. “Losses were particularly deep in areas with more low-income families and larger minority populations,” said an article entitled “How to survive the enrollment bust.”

Joe said that students were again motivated to enroll by the 50% discount offer and the opportunity to stay close to home during the pandemic. “Nation-wide the few college’s that have experienced an enrollment increase are attributing the increase to those same reasons.” Joe added,

The marketing and communications department at the college sent out a direct mail piece to 28,000 households on the Navajo reservation, installed new billboards off the reservation, ran radio advertisements in three markets, and spent more on targeted social media advertisements than ever before said Joe.

“It was the social media aspect that had the impact this time around,” Joe said.

The general public is still not allowed to come onto the college’s six campuses during the pandemic. The campuses remain closed to non-students and outsiders as a means of protection for students and employees.

Diné College is a four-year tribal college accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and located on the Navajo reservation with campuses in Arizona and New Mexico and primarily serves Navajo students. The school offers 12 bachelor’s degrees, 20 associate’s, and nine certificate programs.

The college, established in 1968, is the first tribal college and was formerly named Navajo Community College.


Jazzmine D. Martinez, Interim Marketing & Communications Officer

Dillon Nopah, Videographer

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