Kansas State’s overall enrollment fell by 865 students, or about four percent, across all three of its campus, according to the preliminary Kansas Board of Regents campus statistics report for the fall semester.
In full-time equivalent enrollment — or the number of students taking full-time course loads — the decline was steeper at 5.1 percent.
Since enrollment peaked at 24,766 students in 2014, full-time equivalency and overall headcounts at K-State have fallen steadily. In the last five years, the total enrollment decline is just shy of 14 percent, the largest of any state university in Kansas.
Though K-State’s Polytechnic campus in Salina and the Olathe campus boasted increased undergraduate enrollments from this time last year, the Manhattan campus faced the largest decline in overall enrollment at nearly seven percent. Also, according to a release from K-State News, enrollment in online programs is up 10.8 percent.
This enrollment decline, though larger than previous fall semesters, was projected to be higher because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on the economy. Across the whole Board of Regents system — which includes community colleges, technical colleges and state universities — enrollment in full-time equivalency fell nearly seven percent from this time last year. In total headcount, enrollments fell 8.1 percent.
The only institutions in the whole system that didn’t document declines in overall enrollment across the full system are the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine — which is counted separately — and the Cowley County Community College at 2.1 and .5 percent increases respectively.
K-State’s overall enrollment decline is the second largest in the state universities division, falling behind Fort Hays State’s 5.5 percent deficit.