FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) — The University of North Alabama (UNA) officially started classes on Wednesday, August 17.

UNA Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Ross Alexander told News 19 they are expecting enrollment numbers to continue increasing, which should have a large impact on surrounding businesses.

“The more students we have living on campus, the better it is for retention rates, graduation rates, the overall student experience, but also the economic impact in Florence and across The Shoals,” Alexander said.

Alexander later said that UNA has around 2,250 students living on campus this year, which is over 300 more than their previous record.

UNA marks the beginning of their school year with a unique tradition called “The Lucky Dip.”

Hundreds of students come to the center of campus to dip their pencils in the university’s fountain, hoping it will bring them good luck and good grades all year.

Carson Scott, a student, told News 19 that The Lucky Dip is one of his favorite campus events.

“To start the year off, you want to see all your friends and the lucky dip really brings everybody together right here in the middle of campus,” Scott said. “You don’t have to go find your friends, everyone’s right here ready to start the year off with each other.”

University officials say the tradition started around 10 years ago as an inside joke among a few students, but quickly became a campus-wide event.