K-State attracts out-of state students with cost, location

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Kansas State is home to not only in-state students, but international and out-of-state students as well.

The Office of the Registrar has statistics dating back to 1987 on the enrollment of in-state and out-of-state students. In the fall of 1987, there were 3,599 non-resident students and most recently, the office reported 6,683 out-of-state students this semester.

Karli Pryor, junior in agricultural communications and journalism from California, said she knew the K-State atmosphere before coming to campus, as her older sister was a student at K-State.

“I visited her several times and just fell in love with the school and Manhattan,” Pryor said.

Although out-of-state students pay higher tuition than Kansas residents, Pryor said it is relatively expensive to go to school back in California, so coming to K-State was an easy decision for her.

“I am also a very independent person, sometimes the distance can bother me, especially during my hometown fair, but for the most part, I do not mind,” Pryor said. “I have also made lots of good friends here whose families have sort of adopted me as their own.”

Pryor compared K-State to other agriculture schools in California.

“A lot of the schools in my home state are in bigger cities, and the communities there do not have as much pride in their colleges as Manhattan does for K-State,” Pryor said.

Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students, said the reasons out-of-state students come to K-State vary between cost and location.

“When the dust settles, in most states we are still one of America’s best college buys,” Bosco said.

K-State offers many programs, scholarships and student exchange programs, which can help students decisions easier to make. The university offers a Midwest student exchange program for certain majors, which Bosco said includes the states Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska and North Dakota.

“This program offers a discount for good students enrolling in specific academic programs,” Bosco said.

Bosco said K-State has an amazing alumni base that wants their children to attend K-State to have the same purple pride experience they did while attending college. This legacy scholarship program, Bosco said, drives enrollment from across the country, without academic influence.

In recent fall years, Bosco said K-State has seen around the same number of out-of-state freshmen.

“That is amazing when we significantly changed our admission standards,” Bosco said. “We have seen a lot of increased completion to keep good students at home, and of course, which has increased our cost of attendance.”

For comparison, at the University of Kansas in the past two years the out-of-state student enrollment has been slightly higher than at K-State. In 2015, there were 9,122 non-resident students and in 2016, there were 9,648.

Cindy Bontrager, vice president for administration and finance, said K-States tuition is right on track compared to other Kansas universities and that the university is a large comprehensive research university.

“For out-of-state undergraduate tuition, KSU is second to highest, with KU having the highest tuition cost,” Bontrager said. “Emporia State is third, followed by Pittsburg State, Wichita State and then Fort Hays State is the lowest tuition rate.”

Undergraduate out-of-state students pay $797.10 per student credit hour or $11,956.50 per semester at 15 hours. Out-of-state graduate students pay $909.50 per student credit hour or $8,185.50 per semester at nine credit hours.

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