SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Last year, universities around the nation felt the effects of COVID-19, with many students holding off until this year to enroll. Now, with things returning to normal, Augustana is already noticing a spike.

Hundreds of future students piled into Augustana University’s Froiland Science Complex. That includes Annaliese Wagers who comes from Wausau, Wisconsin.

“I’m going into government and international relations and modern foreign languages with a minor in econ,” Wagers said.

She’s attending the University’s New Student Registration to prepare herself for her fall classes.

“I met with my advisor, and I found out what my class schedule would be like, and… it’s been amazing just an amazing day,” Wagers said.

Currently, Augustana is on track to have the largest incoming class in their school’s history. Their highest was in 2017 with 481 students.

“We’re approaching that number again for this fall. So, we’re really excited. We still have students that are making decisions; the timeline has been a little different this year,” Heinitz said.

Around 460 students have been enrolled for 2021. Director of Enrollment Adam Heinitz says a lot of excitement has been generated for this school year.

“We have new buildings, we have new programs, and I think you sense that energy – students, when they come to campus, they know Augustana’s progressing,” Heinitz said.

With their new School of Music, upcoming Division 1 Hockey Program, and a new residence hall, there’s plenty for the new students to look forward to.

“We have students from over 20 different states that are a part of this incoming first-year class and over 20 different countries as well,” Heinitz said.

“I’m really looking forward to taking my classes; I’m a huge nerd, so I’m excited for the classes and academics and also getting to know the professors and getting to meet a bunch of new people who are just as passionate about governments and politics as I am,” Wagers said.