TOPEKA — Thursday, officials reported that enrollment at state universities, community schools, and technical colleges in Kansas decreased by 1% for the fall semester, contributing to a five-year drop of more than 9%.
At the start of the 2022 academic year, the Kansas Board of Regents, which oversees seven universities, 19 community colleges, and seven technical institutions, reported 165,198 students enrolled. Since 2021, these higher education institutions have lost a total of 1,677 students.
According to the study, enrollment at the six state universities decreased by 1,333 students, or 1.5%; at Washburn University in Topeka, by 283 students, or 4.1%; at community colleges, by 630 students, or 1%; and at technical institutions, by 569 students, or 6%.
According to Jon Rolph, chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents, the preliminary autumn enrollment data indicate a persistent decline in attendance at numerous Kansas colleges and universities. Our system is taking urgent action to reverse declining enrollments, improve student services, and ensure that Kansas has the necessary workforce to grow its economy.
In the previous five years, enrollment patterns by category have been as follows: six universities are down 6%, Washburn is down 18.3%, community colleges are down 15.5%, and technical institutions are down 9.2%. The total decreased from 182,010 in the fall of 2017 to 165,198 to reflect national trends.
In the past 14 years, the University of Kansas has attracted the largest freshman class. KU’s freshman class of 4,457 students was the second-largest in the institution’s history. In addition, the grade point average of these entering students was a record 3.66, and minority students made up 28.5% of them.
KU’s chancellor, Doug Girod, stated, “While we are delighted with this year’s freshman class, we must continue to recruit and retain great students and establish an institution that they want to attend.” The reality is that college enrollment continues to fall across the country, and Midwest population trends remain unchanged.
KU attributed the rise in first-year students to the visibility of KU athletics, including a national championship in basketball, as well as the university’s targeted recruiting, academic reputation, and alumni influence.
This autumn, KU enrollment on the Lawrence campus decreased by 0.4% overall. Over the past five years, the total has declined 4.1%. Fall enrollment at the KU Medical Center increased by 1% and has increased by 5.9% over the past five years.
“Getting kids to KU is critical, but ensuring they graduate in a timely manner is also crucial,” Girod said.
Freshmen enrollment at Kansas State University increased by 2.9%, while new student transfers increased by 1.3% on the Manhattan campus. In the past five years, enrollment at Kansas State has decreased by 13.9%. This included a 2.6% decline at Kansas State compared to 2021.
Karen Goos, vice provost for enrollment management at KSU, remarked, “Our new student enrolment has increased significantly.” This is one of the university’s highest priorities and a proof that our strategic enrollment management efforts have us on the right track.
Black student enrollment at Kansas State climbed by 14%, while Hispanic student enrollment increased by 6%.
Here are the student enrollment figures for the four additional state universities in 2022: Emporia State was down 5.2% compared to 2021 and 7.1% compared to 2017; Fort Hays State was down 8.2% compared to 2021 and 14.2% compared to 2017; Pittsburg State was down 2.6% compared to 2021 and 15.2% since 2017; while Wichita State was up 5.1% compared to 2021 and up 12.2% since 2017.