GRAND FORKS, N.D. -

Some serious brainpower is heading to Grand Forks.

The incoming Freshman class at UND could be the smartest group of students to enroll in the history of the university.

New UND students have the highest collective high school GPA and ACT scores ever seen in Grand Forks.

We found a couple of these potential brainiacs to ask why they chose to continue their education in green and white.
 
Kyra Bostad had a 4.0 GPA in high school with an ACT score of 28.
With those grades, her options were wide open. But she chose UND.
 
"I just felt like I belonged here," Bostad says.
 
The Grand Forks native is one of a growing number of academic dynamos to enroll.
 
"I'm really excited," she admits. "I love going to school even though that's really nerdy."
 
The average GPA for an incoming freshman is 3.45, with an average ACT score of 24.1.

The academic uptick isn't by accident.
 
"We've been working on recruiting more and more qualified students to UND for a few years now," says Peter Johnson with UND University Relations.
 
That means giving students a compelling reason to choose the Fighting Hawks.
 
"Well, they come because of the programs. They come because of the faculty members," says Johnson.
 
"My teachers are all great, adds freshman Samantha Klocke. "They have a ton of resources available for us."

Klocke parlayed her 3.86 GPA into a spot in the pre-dental program, along with majoring in Spanish.

"Atmosphere," she adds. "When I came and toured, it felt like home and I toured a lot of other colleges too, and I just didn't get the feeling that I felt when I was walking through the classes and the halls and the dorm, and it just felt like one big family here."

The improved qualifications for UND students has coincided with an increased effort to recruit more students from out of state.

Johnson explains, "There's definitely been a shift over the last few years, so there's been fewer and fewer North Dakota students compared to students from other places, Minnesota, other states, other countries."

The goal isn't just to bring academically gifted students to UND.

The real end game is keeping them here.

"Of course we would prefer they stay in North Dakota, so we're trying to help prepare North Dakota's workforce," says Johnson.

And these smart students say they're up to the challenge.

"The facilities are great. The teachers are great. People are great," says Klocke.

"I'm ready."

It's not like UND is being more selective in order to improve the academic quality of incoming classes.

This year's freshman class is expected to be about the same size as it has been during the last three years.