K-State has largest fall enrollment dip of all state universities in Kansas

Callery pear trees have blossomed in front of the historical Anderson Hall after a long, cold winter. (Brooke Barrett | Collegian Media Group)

For the sixth consecutive fall semester, Kansas State enrollment decreased. This semester, however, K-State saw the biggest decrease in full-time equivalent enrollment of any state university in Kansas, according to preliminary data collected by the Kansas Board of Regents.

Across the board, the Regents recorded a loss of 726 full-time equivalent students. K-State accounts for more than 550 students in that drop.

In the full-time equivalent count across the system, the Regents recorded a less than 1 percent decrease. K-State recorded a 3.12 percent decrease.

According to the press release, Fort Hays State and Wichita State recorded small increases at .94 percent and .99 percent respectively.

In terms of total headcount enrollment, K-State and the University of Kansas were the only state universities in the system to record decreases. K-State fell 2.3 percent and KU fell .75 percent, according to a Regents press release.

According to a press release sent out on Wednesday by K-State, the university saw a record increase in freshmen to sophomore retention and near-record graduation rates. The university also recorded increased enrollment at the Global, Polytechnic and Olathe campuses.

“We’ve completely revamped our scholarship programs and are finding new ways to increase the value of our already excellent degrees,” Provost Charles Taber said to K-State News. “Higher education has been proven to be one of the best investments a person can make — with demonstrably proven increased lifetime earnings and quality of life. The prosperity of our state and country depends on a well-educated populace.”

Taber went on to say he feels the university is on track with the strategic enrollment plan.

The Regents also track enrollment numbers for municipal universities, community colleges and technical colleges. Of all public post-secondary education types available in Kansas, technical colleges were the only options that did not report enrollment dips.

Technical colleges recorded a near 6 percent increase in total headcount enrollment since fall 2018 and a 42.48 percent growth over a five year period.

My name is Kaylie McLaughlin and I'm the ex-managing editor and audience engagement manager of the Collegian. Previously, I've been the editor-in-chief and the news editor. In the past, I have also contributed to the Royal Purple Yearbook and KKSU-TV. Off-campus, you can find my bylines in the Wichita Eagle, the Shawnee Mission Post and KSNT News. I grew up just outside of Kansas City in Shawnee, Kansas. I’m a senior in digital journalism with a minor in French and a secondary focus in international and area studies. As a third-generation K-Stater, I bleed purple and my goal is to serve the Wildcat community with accurate coverage.